About this online version of

A Reader in Nineteenth Century
Historical Indo-European Linguistics

This online book, A Reader in Nineteenth Century Historical Indo-European Linguistics, is one in a series of books authored/edited by Winfred P. Lehmann on the subjects of Indo-European languages and historical linguistics, broadly interpreted. The Reader is being made available here, in online form, in order to ensure its long-term, widespread availability. Other books in this series may be reached via links in the left margin and on the series introduction page.

Conversion History

The first conversion to online form of this Reader, originally published in 1967, was begun, not by this editor, at a time when Unicode (see below) was relatively new, and some popular browsers did not yet support it; there were also few Unicode-compliant fonts with large numbers of characters. That conversion experimented with a number of prospective "solutions" to the problem of representing, online, large numbers of characters, including: a non-standard font that had to be downloaded and installed by each user; employment of image files in lieu of "odd" characters; conversion to Adobe® PDF format; and even Unicode itself. The conversion effort was never truly completed (e.g., the text was proof-read inadequately, if indeed at all, and a redrawn diagram contained major errors), but the web pages were released to the public nonetheless -- with different chapters implementing different character "solutions." The online text nonetheless became an often-visited resource, despite its manifold drawbacks.

This new version results from a massive clean-up of the old, with [belated] full reliance on Unicode, now supported by all relevant platforms. The page layout has changed, with a Table of Contents in the left margin of each page, and any chapters formerly split across multiple web pages have been reunified. Invisible "metadata" has been added to enhance classification by web search engines, hence discovery by readers such as you. The content of this new online version is otherwise substantially the same as that of the original 1967 book, save for a new Author's Note, this Editor's Note, and a few minor textual changes originated or sanctioned by the author. Mention of errata is welcome; the webmaster's address for comments appears at the bottom of every page.

Textual Conventions and Unicode®

For notes on how textual conventions in this online book series may differ from those of the published books, and information about the Unicode character set, which we employ, see the series introduction, Indo-European Languages and Historical Linguistics. Links on that page lead to this and other books in the IELHL series.


Readers interested in Indo-European languages may be especially interested in our "Early Indo-European Online Lessons" series; use the EIEOL link here or on any web page in this book series.

Jonathan Slocum
July, 2006

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