LINGUIST List 12.865

Tue Mar 27 2001

Sum: History of LInguistics

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>


  1. Fay Wouk, History of LInguistics

Message 1: History of LInguistics

Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 07:44:08 +1200
From: Fay Wouk <>
Subject: History of LInguistics

For Query: Linguist 11.2780

Some people who didn't respond to my original query responded to the 
summary, so for anyone who wants it, here is some more information.

Atro Voutilainen mentions:

Itkonen, Esa. 1991. Universal History of Linguistics: India, China,
Arabia, Europe. John Benjamins, Amsterdam 1991.

Laurie Gerber mentions:

"History and Historiography of Linguistics" and a number of others 
edited by E.F.K. Koerner. (Most published by John Benjamins.) This 
particular one is not a light overview but an in-depth examination of 
the various traditions from ancient to present. He also has a concise 

Mark Amsler mentions:

For the earlier periods (ancient through Renaissance), Lepschy's volumes
(available in English translations) are very good, though the individual
articles are uneven. Hovdhaugen's brief survey is readable but lacks
depth. Law's recent history of medieval grammar is likely to take up
the slack. The advantage of Lepschy's edition is the earlier volumes
includes nonEuro-American traditions, including Indian, Chinese,
Akkadian, etc. Matthews' article on later medieval grammar is first-rate
in such a short space.

For post-Renaissance discussions, Fritz Newmeyer's Grammatical Theory in
the 20th c in America, while controversial, is excellent, as is P.I.
Matthews' acct of the rise of T-G theory. One of the recent
developments in the historiography of linguistics is attention to topics
other than theory-building. Louis Kelly's 25 Centuries of Language
Teaching is a good start, as are Dennis Baron's Grammar and Good Taste
(on 19th c. standards and prescriptions), Edward Finegan's War of Words
(U.S. colonial through mid 19th c), and Julie Andresson's Language
Theory in America.
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