This book presents a new theory of grammatical categories - the Universal Spine Hypothesis - and reinforces generative notions of Universal Grammar while accommodating insights from linguistic typology.
Hermann Osthoff (1847–1909) and Karl Brugmann (1849–1919) were central figures in the circle of German scholars who rejected a doctrinal approach to the study of linguistics. They came to be known as the Neogrammarian school. At the core of their work was the theory that European languages, together with a subset of languages found in central and southern Asia, have a common origin in a single prehistoric language. They called this ancestor Indo-Germanic (known today as Indo-European) and claimed that its descendants are all related to one another by varying degrees of closeness. This six-volume elaboration of this thesis was published between 1878 and 1910. In Volume 2 (1879) the authors focus on explaining very specific elements in the development of Indo-European languages. They account for the rules of declination and the use of suffixes in various combinations.
1. Kleine Beiträge zur Declinationslehre (cont.); 2. Die schwache Form der Nominalstämme auf '-n'.