Giuliano Bonfante and Historical Linguistics, 1930–2000

55,00 € *

Transl. by: Steven Baker
Preface by: Michael Weiss

1. Edition, 2018
146 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-7743-4
Product: Ebook
Edition: PDF
Subject: Indogermanistik
Series: Indogermanische Bibliothek. 3. Reihe: Untersuchungen
Available: 19.01.2018

Keywords: Biographie, Latein, romanische Sprachen, Sprachgeschichte, Semantik, Linguistik, historische Sprachwissenschaft, Altgriechisch, Methodologie, Indo-Europäische Sprachgeschichte

Giuliano Bonfante (1904–2005) was an Italian linguist who lived through the tumultuous historical period of the twentieth century, in which he took an active part, personally, politically, and intellectually. This intellectual biography, translated from the Italian by Steven Baker, was written by Maria Luisa Porzio Gernia, his successor to the Linguistics Chair at the University of Turin. It follows the course of his adventurous life, in Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States during the years of Fascism and the Second World War, and back to Italy and a prolific, successful scholarly career.

Throughout, he developed his ideas on the Indo-European languages and their relation to modern languages, especially the Romance languages. Bonfante’s most conspicuous scholarly legacy is in the field of historical linguistics, where he transformed our understanding of Indo-European languages and the relationships between them; he also pointed out the archaic and conservative character of Latin, contrasting with the innovative character of Greek. His love of literature informed much of his work, as did his belief that language is above all expressive, that it is poetry.

The book includes three of his articles, and “A Daughter’s Memories,” by Larissa Bonfante.


Vít Boček in: Linguistica Brunensia, 67.1 (2019), 80-84, DOI:

Melanie Malzahn in: Informationsmittel (IFB), 27.3 (2019) [#5929], URL:

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