'Comparative Philology' is a name sometimes given to the study of comparative and historical linguistics. These two sub-disciplines are intimately linked with each other. If one is to make a distinction between the two, 'comparative linguistics' emphasizes the use of the comparative method in investigating the similarities and dissimilarities between more or less closely related languages, whereas the term 'historical linguistics' emphasizes the study of the historical development of one or more languages. In practice, the two approaches are likely to be applied together, so that inferences on the historical development are made on the basis of comparisons between related languages, using the comparative method.
Go to Kjell Gustafson's Main page