The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.
The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin
Signs, Science and Politics. Philosophies of Language in Europe 1700-1830
Tells the story of how 18th-century philosophy used Locke's theory of signs to build a natural history of speech and to investigate the semiotic tools with which nature and civil society could supposedly be controlled. The story ends at the point where this approach to language sciences was called into question. Its epilogue is the description of the birth of an alternative between empiricism and idealism in late 18th- and early 19th- century theories of language.