This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
Giambattista Vico considered his greatest philosophical achievement to be his discovery that early humans spoke in 'poetic characters'. Vico's New Science is thus also a philosophy of signs or semata. Jurgen Trabant reads the profound insights into human semiosis contained in Vico's 'sematology' as both a spirited rejection of Cartesian philosophy and an early critique of enlightened logocentricism. Sean Ward's translation makes this work available to an English-reading audience for the first time.