ASCOLI, GRAZIADIO ISAIA (1820-1907), Italian philologist;
of Jewish family, was born at GŲrz at an early age showed a
marked linguistic talent. In 1854 he published his Studii
orientali e linguistici, and in 1860 was appointed professor of
philology at Milan. He made various learned contributions to
the study of Indo-European and Semitic languages, and also of
the gipsy language, but his special field was the Italian dialects.
He founded the Archivio glottologico italiano in 1873, publishing
in it his Saggi Ladini, and making it in succeeding years the
great organ of original scholarship on this subject. He was
universally recognized as the greatest authority on Italian
linguistics, and his article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica
(9th ed., revised for this edition) became the classic exposition
in English. (See Italy: Language.)
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