“We do not want to know languages, we want to know language; what language is, how it can form a vehicle or an organ of thought; we want to know its origin, its nature, its laws”. Who wrote this, and when? (No Googling!)
The author turns out to be a fascinating person (and no I did not know who he was till Klea sent me the query) very much in the tradition of von Humboldt. Indeed, his remarks are apposite to this day. I have started reading some of his work (they are available online). They are well worth the time.