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Sir William Jones, British philologist

Sir William Jones, British philologist

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SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sir William Jones, (1746-1794) British, philologist, linguist and translator. Jones is best known today for making and propagating the observation that Sanskrit bore a certain resemblance to classical Greek and Latin. In The Sanscrit Language (1786) he suggested that all three languages had a common root, and that they may even be linked to Gothic, Celtic and Persian languages. His work is often cited as the beginning of comparative linguistics and Indo-European studies. He also published Sacontala or The Fatal Ring: an Indian drama in 1789, which was the first translation of an Indian play into a Western language.

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