Graziadio Isaia Ascoli

Ascoli, Graziadio Isaia


Born July 16, 1829, in Gorizia; died Jan. 21, 1907, in Milan. Italian linguist; specialist in comparative Indo-European phonetics. Ascoli set up the substratum theory, which explains changes in language by language mixture brought about when the population of a given territory adopts a foreign language and adjusts it to its own habitual speech norms. Ascoli’s chief works are Romansh Essays (1873), Lectures on the Comparative Phonology of Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin (1870), and Linguistic Letters (1886).