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comparative grammar

study of the relationships or correspondences between two or more languages and the techniques used to discover whether the languages have a common ancestor. Comparative grammar was the most important branch of linguistics in the 19th century in Europe. Also called comparative philology, the study was originally stimulated by the discovery by Sir William Jones in 1786 that Sanskrit was related to Latin, Greek, and German

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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