Concise History of the Language Sciences - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080425801, 9781483297545

Concise History of the Language Sciences

1st Edition

From the Sumerians to the Cognitivists

Editors: E.F.K. Koerner R.E. Asher
eBook ISBN: 9781483297545
Imprint: Pergamon
Published Date: 22nd December 1995
Page Count: 509
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This book presents in a single volume a comprehensive history of the language sciences, from ancient times through to the twentieth century. While there has been a concentration on those traditions that have the greatest international relevance, a particular effort has been made to go beyond traditional Eurocentric accounts, and to cover a broad geographical spread. For the twentieth century a section has been devoted to the various trends, schools, and theoretical framework developed in Europe, North America and Australasia over the past seventy years. There has also been a concentration on those approaches in linguistic theory which can be expected to have some direct relevance to work being done at the beginning of the twenty-first century or those of which a knowledge is needed for the full understanding of the history of linguistic sciences through the last half of this century. The last section of this book reviews the applications of some of these findings. Based on the foundation provided by the award winning Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics this volume provides an excellent focal point of reference for anyone interested in the history of the language sciences.


For departmental libraries in linguistics, history and classical studies.

Table of Contents

General. History of linguistics—the field (E.F.K. Koerner). Historiography of linguistics (E.F.K. Koerner). Antiquity to Middle Ages—The Near East. Babylonian grammatical texts (G.B. Gragg). Hebrew linguistic tradition (D. Téné). Arabic linguistic tradition (Y. Suleiman). Antiquity—The Far East. Chinese linguistic tradition (W.S.-Y. Wang, R.E. Asher). Linguistic thought in Japan (S. Kaiser). History of East Asian phonetics (E.G. Pulleyblank). Antiquity—India. Pāninian linguistics (P. Kiparsky). Indian theories of meaning (F. Staal). Ancient Indian phonetics (M.M. Deshpande). Tamil linguistic tradition (K.V. Zvelebil). Antiquity—Europe. Classical linguistics: an overview (D.J. Taylor). Plato and his predecessors (F.W. Householder). Aristotle and the Stoics on language (F.W. Householder). Dionysius Thrax, the Technai, and Sextus Empiricus (F.W. Householder). Varro and early latin language science (D.J. Taylor). Roman language science in the early empire (D.J. Taylor). Apollonius Dyscolus and Herodian (F.W. Householder). Roman ars grammatica, including Priscian (E. Hovdhaugen). Middle Ages—Europe. Early medieval grammar (A. Luhtala). Linguistics in the later middle ages (G.L. Bursill-Hall). Medieval language philosophy (D. Perler). Renaissance—Europe. Renaissance linguistics: an overview (W.K. Percival). Renaissance linguistics in Italy (B. Richardson). Renaissance linguistics in Spain (J.C. Zamora). Renaissance linguistics in France (D.A. Kibbee). 17th and 18th Century Europe. Port-Royal tradition of general grammar (G. Wheeler). Universal language schemes and 17th century Britain (J.L. Subbiondo). Early historical and comparative studies in Scandinavia, the low countries, and German-speaking lands (K. Jankowsky). Beginnings of comparative and historical studies in Britain (M.K.C. MacMahon). Origin of language debate in the 18th-century (P.B. Salmon). Discovery of Sanskrit by Europeans (R. Rocher). The Main Strands of 19th Century Linguistics. History of comparative linguistics (N.E. Collinge). History of historical linguistics (N.E. Collinge). History of typology & language classification (E.F.K. Koerner). 20th Century Linguistics. Trends in 20th-century linguistics: an overview (J.E. Joseph). The Saussurean tradition in linguistics (J.E. Joseph). Geneva School, after Saussure (R. Amacker). Neolinguistic School in Italy (J. Albrecht). Prague School phonology (J.M.Y. Simpson). Prague school syntax and semantics (E. Hajicová). The Glossematic School of Linguistics (E. Fudge). Firth and the London School of Linguistics (F.R. Palmer). Systemic theory (M.A.K. Halliday). Guillaumean linguistics (J. Hewson). Valency grammar (D.J. Allerton). Functional grammar (A. Martinet). American structuralism (J. Fought). Post-Bloomfieldian phonology (E. Fudge). Tagmemics (L.K. Jones). Stratificational grammar (D.C. Bennett). Evolution of transformational grammar (S. Harlow). Generative semantics (J.D. McCawley). Applicational grammar (J. Miller). Case grammar (J.M. Anderson). Cognitive grammar (R.W. Langacker). Special Applications—Phonetics and Translation. Phonetics: precursors to modern approaches (J.A. Kemp). History of phonetic transcription (J.A. Kemp). Early modern instrumental phonetics (H.G. Tillmann). Speech technology: historical antecedents (J.J. Ohala). History of translation (L.G. Kelly). Machine translation: a brief history (W.J. Hutchins). Machine translation in North America (W.S. Bennett). Indexes. Index of biographical names. Index of concepts and terms.


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© Pergamon 1995
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About the Editor

E.F.K. Koerner

Since publication of this work, Professor Koerner has been elected a Fellow of the Canadian National Academy of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Ottawa

R.E. Asher

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Edinburgh, UK


@qu:...of enormous value given the diversity and complexity of the history of linguistic thought in this century, and the difficulty most scholars have in keeping abreast of all the developments taking place within the multiplicity of disciplines called linguistics...the remit is very wide for a single, manageable volume and all the sections are written in a concise yet scholarly fashion by acknowledged experts...the reader can rely on the book's contents with the utmost confidence.... The balance between brevity and detail achieved throughout the volume makes this a first class reference may be necessary to wait at least ten more years before another one volume, multi-authored history of this calibre appears. @source:Historiographia Linguistica @from:Peter Schmitter @qu:It is very welcome that E.F.K. Koerner and R.E. Asher have put together a selection of relevant articles on the history of the language sciences (from the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics) in a sinvole volume...the book deserves attention...a welcome supplement to (other) mutli-volume places emphasis on the 20th century which is not very well covered in (these) other works" @source:Beiträgezur Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft 6 @qu:The limited amount of space allowed book reviews makes it impossible to do full justice to Koerner and Asher's Concise History of the Language Sciences (CHoLS)...each article contained in this collection is marked by a praiseworthy lucidity of exposition coupled with an admirable degree of concision; such brevity, however, in no way precludes a noteworthy completeness of coverage...the present survey provides a comprehensive synthesis of developments in a variety of areas of language investigation. Furthermore, rather than fulfilling a merely adjunctive function, this study stands on its own as a very readable and exceptionally informative reflection on many facets of an evolving discipline, a tome which should be indispensable to anyone seriously involved with linguistics...the Concise History of the Langauge Sciences constitutes a remarkable achievement, and the scholarly world owes a debt of gratitude to all who took part in its creation. @source:Journal for the History of the Behavioral Sciences @from:Brigitte Nerlich @qu:What distinguishes this history of its almost global coverage.... The contributions are all of a very high standard and written by specialists.... It is one of the great joys of reading this book to plunge into chapters that deal with remoter regions of the history of linguistics which are unfamiliar to the reader...this book should not only be read by those interested in the history of the language sciences. The 20th century section in particular should be read by all those studying contemporary linguistics in order to grasp the diversity of approaches that have been developed, that are currently being developed, and that still can be developed in the future. @source:Linguist list @from:Zivko Bojadžiev @qu:....An excellent book - a comprehensive history of the language sciences, from antiquity through to the 20th century, with an invaluable bibliography!...Libraries of universities and departments that offer courses of any sort in linguistics ought to have this book on their reference shelves. @source:Contrastive Linguistics XX1 @from:Mauro Fernandez @qu:Useful as a reference book, to cover in the most efficient way the needs of those exploring the history of linguistics. ("...sirve, como libro de referencia, para cubrir de forma mas que suficiente las necesidades de quienes se aproximen a la historia de la linguistics"). @source:Anuario Galego de Filoloxia @from:Benji Wald informative and convenient volume for those interested in the origins and sources of current theoretical linguistics. @source:Language

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