ABSTRACT

Threewidespreadhistoriographicalassumptionsneedtobediscussed beforewesummarizethemoregeneraleffortsofthecentury'scentral decades.Itisoftenstatedthatthelinguistsofthetime:

(a)acceptedinfullSchleicher'snaiveorganicism:languagewasan independentorganismsubjecttonaturallaws;ithadnohistory, butalifesimilartothatofnaturalorganisms.