Diacronia 4, August 1, 2016, art. A50 (p. 1–17)

Considerations on the theory of the basis of articulation (I)

Enikő Pál1,, Francisc Gafton2,


1Faculty of Economic and Human Sciences, Sapientia University, Piața Libertății 1, 530104 Miercurea Ciuc, Romania
2Faculty of Letters, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Bd. Carol I 11, 700506 Iași, Romania


Received May 19, 2016
Accepted May 24, 2016
Published August 1, 2016

Key words

diachronic linguistics
linguistic change
basis of articulation
psychological basis
language development


„By the manner in which several different people speak French you can recognize that one of them is French by birth, the other one is Romanian, the other German, the other British”

„on the lips of Romanians who speak French it is not Romanian language that changes according to French, but rather French alters as per Romanian”

(Philippide, 1894)


The aim of the present discussion is to observe the various endeavours undertaken in linguistics to discern whether the basis of articulation is a viable and useful concept and—above all—whether or not it reflects reality. Since as far as we know the most fruitful development of this very notion is accomplished within Romanian scientific milieu, by the contributions of A. Philippide and G. Ivănescu, we shall make an attempt to pursue the path which was unfold in the mid 19th century under the influence of the evolutionist perspective and which was followed by the two great theorists of the concept.

In the second part of our study we shall present a brief present-day account of the issue, especially since, subsequent to the two Romanian scholars, Romanian linguistics did not give much attention to this concept, though its existent premises are firm and valuable, i.e. of great aid.


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    Text:1, E. P. & 2, F. G. (2016). Considerations on the theory of the basis of articulation (I), Diacronia 4 (August 1), A50 (1–17),
    BibTeX:@ARTICLE{pal 12016,
     author = {Enikő Pál 1, Francisc Gafton 2},
     title = {Considerations on the theory of the basis of articulation (I)},
     journal = {Diacronia},
     ISSN = {2393-1140},
     year = {2016},
     month = {August},
     number = {4},
     eid = {A50},
     doi = {},
     pages = "(1–17)",
     url = {}


© 2016 The Authors. Publishing rights belong to the Journal. The article is freely accessible under the terms and conditions of the CC-BY Open Access licence.

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