"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
SUMMARY ''The Oxford Handbook of the History of Linguistics'' consists of 34 chapters which are ''loosely organized into six thematically grouped parts'' (p. 1).
Part I, ''Linguistic studies of the basics of human communication'', deals with the origins of language (Ch. 1), writing (Ch. 2), the study of gesture (Ch. 3) and sign language linguistics (Ch. 4).
Part II, ''History of the analysis and description of sound systems'', focuses on the development of phonetics from earliest times (Ch. 5), modern instrumental phonetics (Ch. 6), 19th century studies of sound change (Ch. 7), the prehistory and early history of phonology (Ch. 8) and ideas about sound symbolism (Ch. 9).
Part III, ''Non-Western traditions'', contains contributions on linguistics in East Asia (Ch. 10) and India (Ch. 11) and on the study of Semitic (and, more broadly, Afroasiatic) languages (Ch. 12).
Part IV, ''History of grammar and morphology in Europe and North America'', begins with three chapters on specific time periods: Ancient Greece and Rome (Ch. 13), late antiquity and the Middle Ages (Ch. 14) and the Renaissance and beyond (Ch. 15). The next two articles trace the history of word-based morphology (Ch. 16) and general or universal grammar (Ch. 17) throughout the ages, and the last four are devoted to different 20th century approaches: American descriptivism (Ch. 18), Noam Chomsky’s contribution (Ch. 19), European schools (Ch. 20) and functional and cognitive grammars (Ch. 21).
Part V comprises chapters on lexicography (Ch. 22), semantics -- subdivided into the logico-philosophical tradition (Ch. 23), lexical semantics (Ch. 24) and post-structuralist and cognitive approaches (Ch. 25) --, pragmatics (Ch. 26) and text/discourse studies (Ch. 27).
Part VI, ''Histories of the application of linguistics'', covers not only fields that could be subsumed under ''applied linguistics'' in a broad sense -- sociolinguistics (Ch. 29), psycholinguistics (Ch. 30), translation and language teaching (Ch. 31), computational linguistics (Ch. 32) and corpus linguistics (Ch. 33) -- but also historical-comparative and typological linguistics (Ch. 28) and the philosophy of linguistics (Ch. 34).
Summaries of individual articles are provided in the Evaluation, below.
The main text is preceded by information on the contributors and an introduction that briefly describes the aim and structure of the book and summarizes each chapter. The volume ends with a master list of references and a combined index of languages, names and subjects. About three quarters of the authors come from or work in English-speaking countries; all contributions are in English. The book is ''principally intended for students of linguistics and those (not necessarily professional linguists) with an interest in a history of investigations into language, language origins, the media through which language is delivered, and the purposes to which language is put'' (p. 1).
EVALUATION ''The Oxford Handbook of the History of Linguistics'' is less systematically structured and less homogeneous than other reference works on the subject. For example, some chapters cover two broad fields that are more or less closely related (e.g. historical-comparative linguistics and language typology) and others deal with a much narrower topic (e.g. one period in the history of semantics). The handbook covers ''hyphenated linguistics'' and young subdisciplines fairly extensively but tends to be eclectic rather than exhaustive in many areas (for instance, non-Western traditions). Further ''white spots on the map'' result from the fact that some authors limited themselves to a certain time period or a certain part of the world. Where other handbook editors take pains to explain organizational principles and to justify fundamental decisions, Keith Allan has very little to say on such matters in his introduction -- and nothing on his conception of historiography.
For reasons of space, I confine my comments to about half of the chapters, concentrating on my own areas of interest and expertise. Since handbook articles are expected to be comprehensive, authoritative and lucid, these issues play an important role in my evaluation.
In the opening chapter, ''The Origins and the Evolution of Language'' (Ch. 1), Salikoko Mufwene first provides a ''historical synopsis'' of views on the origin of language (§1.2). Although his chief aim is to trace the history of ideas on the subject from antiquity to modern times, he also interjects comparisons with more recent approaches when he discusses specific topics (e.g. monogenesis vs. polygenesis). A clearer structure, with sections for the historical periods and subsections for the topics or vice versa, would have made the text easier to follow. The passage on traditional narratives about the origins of language and language diversity (pp. 15-16) touches upon a very interesting topic. It could have been expanded with the help of a motif index to folk literature, and the Biblical accounts deserve more careful analysis. For instance, when the Hebrew Bible reports that Noah's descendants spoke different languages (Genesis 10:5, 10:20, 10:31), it does not offer an alternative to the Tower of Babel story (ibid. 11:1-9) but describes its consequences; the text does not follow the chronological order here (cf. Hertz 1960: 36). The second main section (§1.3) considers ''recent developments'' since the 1990s, again without an easily recognizable internal structure. The discussion is rather abstract, lacks focus and concentrates more on who said what than on the issues. Quotations from Wikipedia instead of readily available original texts (p. 16 and p. 46) should have not been allowed. All in all, this contribution falls short of my expectations of a handbook article.
Ch. 2 sees the history of writing ''as a history of linguistics'', but deals more with typological aspects of writing systems than their history. After a survey of modern and ancient script inventions (§2.1), Peter Daniels outlines the ways in which writing systems have been taken over for other languages (§2.2) and considers the levels of analysis reflected in (at least some) writing systems: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and pragmatics (§2.3). He is writing for a broader audience and knows how to do that: His text has a systematic hierarchical structure, is concise and easy to read. A few oversimplifications and inaccuracies (e.g. concerning the number of Hebrew accents and their musical interpretation) are not serious. What does not entirely convince me is the claim that writing systems embody an ''analysis'' and reflect ''conscious'' and ''explicit'' knowledge (p. 54, 61f); such expressions certainly invite misunderstandings. In particular, if a given writing system indicates all the distinctive (phonemic) sound differences of a language and none of the non-distinctive (allophonic) ones, this neither presupposes nor conveys a phonological ''analysis'' in the true sense of the word (see below on Chs. 5 and 8).
In ''The History of Sign Language Linguistics'' (Ch. 4), Bencie Woll provides a brief characterization of sign language (§4.2), gives examples of the long-held view that sign language is ''natural'' and universal (§4.3), describes the changing attitudes of 20th century linguists towards sign languages (§4.4) and discusses typological differences between manual-visual and oral-auditive languages (§4.5). She ends with remarks on bilingualism involving sign language (§4.6) and the relevance of sign language research for a better understanding of human language in general (§4.7). Despite the importance of the subject, the chapter is the shortest of all, but although would have liked to read more about some topics (e.g. the political significance of sign language research), this accessible and informative article serves its purpose very well.
Ch. 5 by Michael MacMahon deals with ''Orthography and the Early History of Phonetics'', with a clear focus on the latter. It begins with short and general overviews of phonetics in antiquity and in Eastern traditions (§5.2-5.8) and then gives a somewhat more detailed account of phonetics in Europe from the Middle Ages to the 19th century (§5.9-5.12). While Daniels (Ch. 2) warns against reducing historiography to a search for ancient antecedents of modern approaches (p. 51f), MacMahon does precisely that when he retroactively applies modern terminology and identifies various alleged precursors of (structuralist) phonology, including Sanskrit grammarians (p. 107), the originator(s) of alphabetic writing (p. 108) and the Icelandic First Grammarian (p. 111f). The claim that they intuitively understood the principle of phonemic contrastivity is not supported by quotations or references and does not stand up to closer scrutiny (see below on Ch. 8). On the other hand, Henry Sweet does not get enough credit for being the first who advocated, for specific purposes, ''an alphabet which indicates only those broader distinctions of sound which actually correspond to distinctions of meaning in language'' (Sweet 1877: 103) -- MacMahon quotes this inexactly and (following a bad habit that seems to be spreading) without a page reference (p. 117). In the few lines on ''Nineteenth-century Phonology'' (§5.13), he repeats the rumour (started by Trubetzkoy) that Jost Winteler distinguished between sound differences ''that could differentiate meaning and those that were merely variants'' (p. 118). Winteler said nothing of the sort, and examinations of his expression ''dynamic'' (Kohrt 1984: 47-65), his use of minimal pairs (Kohrt 1984: 22-27) and his transcriptions (Mugdan 1996: 273-275) have shown that the ''differentiation of meaning'' (i.e. phonological oppositions) played no role in his studies of Swiss German sound systems. The second scholar named under ''Nineteenth-century Phonology'' is Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, who distinguished ''between the phoneme as a psychological concept and the speech-sound as the physical manifestation of that concept'' (p. 118) -- but MacMahon does not mention the essential assumption (which Baudouin already made without the term ''phoneme'' before he worked at Kazan University) that the physical manifestation can diverge from the mental representation of a sound, which is more reminiscent of the underlying and surface representations of generative phonology (cf. Mugdan 1985: 144-146 = 2001: 12-15; 1996: 294-297). In sum, the article contains many valuable pieces of information, but the author's historiographic stance and the misinterpretations it entails are rather disturbing.
In Ch. 6, ''From IPA to Praat and Beyond'', Deborah Loakes starts where Ch. 5 ends, with the International Phonetic Alphabet (§6.1). The next sections introduce modern tools for phonetic analysis: the computer programs Praat and EMU (§6.2) and electropalatography (§6.3). They would be suitable for a handbook of phonetics but have little historical depth and seem a bit out of place in a book on the history of linguistics. A different division of labour between Ch. 5 and 6, with the latter offering a coherent history of instrumental phonetics from its beginnings to the present day, would have been more convincing. The last part of the chapter, a detailed report about the author's own research, drifts away from the original topic, from tools to results achieved with them (§6.4).
Ch. 8, ''The Discoverers of the Phoneme'' by Harry van der Hulst, covers the prehistory and history of phonology up to our times. The title is symptomatic of a widespread failure to differentiate clearly between the term ''phoneme'' (which was, of course, nothing to be ''discovered'') and the so-called phoneme idea, the insight that certain sound differences are distinctive (i.e. serve to distinguish meanings or rather expressions of linguistic signs) while others are not. It is important to keep the term and the concept apart because they developed independently of each other until the early 1900s (for details, see Kohrt 1985: 57-162; Mugdan 1984: 61-79, 175-182; 1985; 1996; 2011; 2014). In the introduction (§8.2) and a brief section on forerunners of phonology (§8.3), van der Hulst relies on secondary and tertiary works that are ultimately based on the account by Roman Jakobson (1971), with its many unsubstantiated and untenable statements; he does not draw on more recent source-based research. Alphabetic writing is said to ''avoid'' different symbols for allophonic distinctions, and early grammarians in various traditions are credited with ''an implicit recognition of the need to abstract away from non-meaning differentiating phonetic properties'' (p. 169). But since native speakers are attuned to the distinctive differences, it is no surprise that non-distinctive ones were ignored. It was the latter that needed to be discovered, and only then, after the great advances in phonetics in the mid-19th century, was it possible to ''abstract away'' from them. Thus, the author of the First Grammatical Treatise could easily recognize that in the old Icelandic orthography several pairs of vowels were denoted by the same symbols, resulting in ambiguities -- but he did not apply a ''commutation test'' (p. 170; cf. also Ch. 15, p. 364). As was shown long ago, neither his minimal pairs nor his metalanguage qualify him as a phonologist avant la lettre (cf. Ulvestad 1976). As for the term ''phoneme'', the assumption that Antoni Dufriche-Desgenettes introduced it as an equivalent to German ''Sprachlaut'' (p. 173) is another of the Jakobsonian myths that seem to be ineradicable although they have been conclusively refuted. Like so many others, van der Hulst does not correctly describe the uses of ''phoneme'' in Saussure's ''Mémoire'' and in the writings of Jan Baudouin de Courtenay and Mikołaj Kruszewski (pp. 172-174), and although Lev V. Ščerba is mentioned briefly (p. 173), he is not named as the one who first linked the term ''phoneme'' to the criterion of distinctivity (which had previously merely served as the ''golden rule of transcription''). The sections which describe a variety of European and American approaches from the Prague School to Generative Phonology and its offshoots (§8.4-8.9) are not so error-ridden but are still mostly indebted to the secondary literature. Nowhere do we find exact references to the relevant passages in the original texts, let alone quotations or examples. A number of formal errors are a further symptom of a certain lack of carefulness: Van der Hulst misspells ''Noreen'', ''Hjelmslev'' and ''Uldall'' as ''Doreen'', ''Hjemslev'' and ''Udall'', shortens the family name ''Baudouin de Courtenay'' to ''de Courtenay'' instead of ''Baudouin'', confuses Jørgen Forchhammer with his grandfather Johan and turns Jost Winteler (1846-1929) into ''Jakob Winteler (in the late nineteenth century)'' (p. 172f, 177). In a handbook intended to ''offer authoritative and up-to-date surveys of original research'' (dust jacket), this contribution is more than a little disappointing.
The major part of ''Linguistics in India'' by Peter Scharf (Ch. 11) is devoted to a helpful systematic exposition of the principles of Pāṇini's grammar (§11.2). Although examples and tables make it easier to follow, I would have welcomed even more explanations (e.g. of the kārakas in Table 11.6). While the article provides a wealth of information, it is not always apparent to me which readers it is intended for and why certain points should be relevant.
Edward Lipiński's ''From Semitic to Afroasiatic'' (Ch. 12) is mainly a survey of research on Semitic languages by both indigenous and Western scholars (§12.2.1-12.2.6). The subsections on the decipherment of scripts (§12.2.7-12.2.8) give little more than names and dates; a demonstration of the methods of decipherment and some figures would have made these passages much more appealing. Under the heading ''Comparative Semitic Linguistics'' (§12.2.9), Lipiński provides a one-page summary of work on the comparative grammar of Afro-Asiatic. Finally, ''Phonology and Lexicography'' (§12.2.10) presents a few comparative dictionaries and some publications on Proto-Semitic phonology and the structure of Semitic roots. Here, the observation that ''there are groups of verbs having two radical consonants in common which express identical or similar meanings'' is credited to a 1926 publication (p. 280), but Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch already exploited it extensively in his Torah commentary more than half a century earlier (cf. Clark 1999). Apart from the fact that the article presupposes some familiarity with Semitic grammar and its terminology, it does not focus on non-western traditions of linguistics. If the handbook was meant to include the history of research into individual language families, why was only one family chosen and why Semitic?
Anneli Luhtala begins her account of ''Pedagogical Grammars before the Eighteenth Century'' (Ch. 14) with different genres of Latin grammars in Antiquity (§14.1-14.6) and then moves on to the Middle Ages, when grammars of Latin for speakers of other languages became a necessity (§14.7-14.10). For the third period considered, that of Humanist grammar in the 16th century, she presents two specimens, including a Latin grammar in English (§14.11). This is a clear and readable article; it could have been further enhanced by translations of all the Latin words cited and a few illustrations.
The title of Ch. 15, ''Vernaculars and the Idea of a Standard Language'', already indicates that Andrew Linn combines two somewhat different issues: the grammatical study of European languages other than Latin and the emergence of European standard languages. A standard language (i.e. a ''roofing'' variety for a dialect continuum) and language standards (''norms of acceptability'', p. 361), are also different things. While the section ''Ideas'' (§15.1) therefore leaves me with some misgivings, the subsequent ones are interesting and written in a light style. However, the problems of developing a standard language and adapting it to new purposes would have merited some discussion. It is also unfortunate that Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where such issues played an important role in both theory and practice, are not considered.
James Blevins traces the history of ''word-based morphology'' (Ch. 16), assuming that modern word-and-paradigm (WP) models ''lie at the end of a continuous tradition'' that goes back to Aristotle and contrasts with a tradition that disassembles words ''into arrangements of sub-word units'' and has its roots in Sanskrit grammar (p. 375). Under ''Origins of Word-Based Models'' (§16.2), he presents the basic morphological concepts of Greek and Latin grammarians and the Neogrammarians in the 19th century who, according to Blevins, did not attach deeper significance to sub-word elements. After a short-lived dominance of the morphemic model of American structuralism, there was ''The Modern Revival of Word-Based Systems'' (§16.3). His contribution reads well but I am sceptical of attempts to ascribe a venerable tradition to certain modern approaches and to reduce historical developments to simple schemes. Typical dangers are that facts which do not fit into the scheme are overlooked (e.g. 19th century linguists who did attach importance to meaningful elements below the word) and that competing approaches are not presented adequately. For example, the lack of a 1:1 correspondence between affixes (or other markers) and morphosyntactic properties, which is a major argument in favour of WP models, follows from specific theoretical premises. They are not shared by morpheme-based models that distinguish side effects caused by a morphosyntactic feature (i.e. morphologically conditioned allomorphy) from the marker that expresses it (cf. Mel'čuk 2006: 310-315 on the ''principle of a single morphological process''), and this is relevant when contrasting the models.
Giorgio Graffi's ''European Linguistics since Saussure'' (Ch. 20) starts with Saussure himself (§20.1), sketching his life and work and the main lines of his linguistic thought. Graffi then deals with the schools of Geneva, Prague and Copenhagen (§20.2.1-4), several French linguists (§20.2.5-20.3.1) and the London school (§20.3.2). In connection with Prague school phonology, we find another statement about the putative motives of Dufriche-Desgenettes for coining the term ''phoneme'' -- this time ''to contrast linguistic sounds with other sounds (e.g. sounds of music)'' (p. 477). As in Ch. 8, it is unsourced and unfounded; the subsequent vague remark about ''phoneme'' having ''a different meaning'' in the works of Saussure and Baudouin de Courtenay is not substantiated either. On the positive side, the presentation is clear and accessible. It is, however, surprising that Graffi does not say anything about post-Saussurean linguistics in Germany, Poland, Russia (except for the Russian emigrés in Prague) and many other European countries (including his own, Italy).
In Ch. 22, ''Lexicography from Earliest Times to the Present'', Patrick Hanks first asks ''What is a Dictionary?'' (§22.1) but is more concerned with what a dictionary should be like, i.e. with basic decisions lexicographers have to make. Hanks' ''brief look at how dictionaries have developed in different cultures'' (p. 505) spans over two millennia and many regions; he not only presents the types of dictionaries that were produced but often also comments on purposes and motives or on the significance of a work for posterity. After describing lexicography before printing (§22.2), Hanks stresses the enormous impact that the invention of printing and innovations in typographical design had on lexicography (§22.3); here and in other sections, some sample pages from the books referred to would have been instructive. The continuation of the historical synopsis introduces various new types of dictionaries. Two sections that do not follow the chronological order deal with the history of onomasiological dictionaries (§22.12) and with the ''harmonious relationship between lexicography and linguistic theory'' (p. 519) in the Russian tradition (§22.8). The latter is an ''all-too-brief summary section'' (p. 521), but -- without expanding it -- some of the general remarks about Jan Baudouin de Courtenay could have been omitted in favour of more specific information about his role as a lexicographer, and the paragraph on Lev V. Ščerba, which does not address lexicography directly, could instead have said something about his seminal ideas on the dictionaries that a language learner needs (cf. Mugdan 1984: 91-94; 1992: 17-19). Such minor quibbles aside, this is a very readable chapter.
Together with etymology and rhetoric, lexicography is taken up again in Ch. 24 on the history of lexical semantics up to structuralism. Dirk Geeraerts names these three traditions as the factors that played a role in the birth of linguistic semantics (§24.1). The first century of semantics as an academic discipline (roughly 1830-1930) was characterized by a historical-philological approach that focussed on the classification and explanation of semantic changes (§24.2). Within structuralist semantics (§24.3), Geeraerts distinguishes three main strands, in each of which some key works are highlighted: lexical field theory, componential analysis and relational semantics. The examples and the further references (both to original works and more thorough overviews) are well-chosen, and the chapter is marked by great clarity and a logical flow of ideas throughout.
Ch. 27, ''Meaning in Texts and Contexts'', was written by Linda Waugh and four of her doctoral students. The first section summarizes some 20th century ''Work on Lexical Meaning'' (§27.2) which has little in common other than being outside of the structuralist mainstream that ''did not study how words are used'' (p. 614). To some extent, this part and the next (''Functionalist Approaches'', §27.3) overlap with other chapters. Moreover, the authors’ intentions are not clear to me. If their main topic is, as the editor says, the switch ''to a consideration of meaning in use within conversations and written texts'' (p. 9), then the first two sections must be meant to set the background for this switch (cf. p. 620); if so, they are not recognizably oriented towards the goal. The next two sections consider the study of spoken language (§27.4) and of written language (§27.5) separately; both begin with earlier approaches and then turn to more modern linguistic work and to approaches that are mainly influenced by other disciplines. Much of this goes well beyond what I would call ''analysis of meaning''. In the description of various areas or ''schools'' of research (which are characterized in fairly abstract terms without sample analyses), chronology comes into play to some degree, but on the whole this chapter is a synchronic overview.
Kurt Jankowsky's ''Comparative, Historical and Typological Linguistics since the Eighteenth Century'' (Ch. 28) actually begins before that, with the emergence of the idea that language should be studied with scientific methods and the recognition of genealogical relationships between languages (§28.1). In the subsequent sections, he depicts the development of historical-comparative linguistics from the late 18th century to the Neogrammarians about a hundred years later (§28.2-28.7), with an emphasis on the main actors in this history (most of whom are also featured in Ch. 7 on the study of sound change). Numerous quotations enliven the text but, in my view, programmatic statements are only half of the picture; the implementations of the principles and the results achieved are no less important. Once again, concrete examples are lacking, but fortunately without impeding comprehensibility. While historical-comparative linguistics after the Neogrammarians is not dealt with, the final section, ''The Rise of Language Typology'' (§28.8), is not limited to the early 19th century but also includes Edward Sapir and Joseph Greenberg. This discrepancy in the treatment of the two disciplines is surprising, as is the considerable difference in the amount of space accorded to each.
''Language, the Mind, and the Brain'' (Ch. 30) by Alan Garnham consists of two main sections, preceded by general comments on how the relationship between mind and body has been viewed (§30.2). ''Language and the Mind'' (§30.3) is a history of psycholinguistics with its two themes, language acquisition and language use (production and comprehension). Garnham concentrates almost exclusively on Chomskyan notions (Poverty of the Stimulus, Universal Grammar, Language Acquisition Device); we hear nothing about down-to-earth analyses of how children actually acquire phonology, morphology, syntax or semantics. In the part on language use, he says a little about experimental psychology in the late 19th century and about behaviourism but does not specify objects, methods or results of research. He is primarily interested in developments since the 1950s but again describes them on a general level, without explanations or examples. The other main section, ''Language, the Brain, and the Body'' (§30.4), starts with the beginnings of ''modern thinking'' (early 19th century attempts at localizing language in the brain and milestones in aphasiology), followed by a short passage on cognitive neuropsychology and a longer one on cognitive neuroscience and its techniques. The entire orientation of the article is more psychological (if not philosophical) than linguistic, and because of its abstractness it will hardly satisfy readers looking for something tangible.
Corpus linguistics (Ch. 33), a child of the computer age, obviously has a very short history. As ''early precursors'' (§33.2), Tony McEnery and Andrew Hardie name frequency lists and collections of observed language data, e.g. in field linguistics and (diary) studies of language acquisition. To these, one could add index cards with citations, which were an important tool of many lexicographers (cf. Ch. 22) and were sometimes claimed to form a corpus. It would have been helpful to discuss what a corpus is and also whether it can be ''representative'' (cf. Bergenholtz & Mugdan 1989), a term often used imprecisely. The authors rightly attach great importance to Chomsky's rejection of corpus data and the shift towards reliance on intuition; in a clear and objective fashion, they report both Chomsky's position and the counterarguments that eventually led to a rehabilitation of corpus data (§33.3). English corpus linguistics certainly was groundbreaking, but the lead was followed elsewhere, for instance in West Germany. Sadly, the authors do not mention such developments. Apart from its somewhat narrow perspective, this is another article that is not predominantly historical; one symptom of this is that key events are often not dated.
As the preceding comments show, the contributions to this volume vary enormously in character, perspective, style and quality. A few are right on topic and eminently suitable for the target audience, whereas, for one reason or another, others should better not have been included in their present form. Such unevenness is perhaps indicative of limited guidance by the editor. This impression is reinforced by minor inconsistencies in various formal matters, e.g. where to place references to further reading and cross-references to other articles, which names to include in the index, when to translate the titles of publications and when to give the years of birth and death of a person mentioned. In the combined list of references (which is inconvenient if one needs a copy of a single article), names with particles such as ''de'' and ''von'' unexpectedly appear (with a couple of exceptions) under D and V, e.g. Ferdinand de Saussure as ''de Saussure, Ferdinand'' and Hermann von Helmholtz as ''von Helmholtz, Hermann'', but in the index they are sorted as ''Saussure, F. de'', ''Helmholtz, H.v.'', etc.
Typographical errors are rare, but a misplaced paragraph (top of p. 354, which belongs at the end of §14.9 on the preceding page) and a few garbled sentences (including ''Against the role that UG, he writes:'', p. 45, and ''Cognitive neuropsychology is based on the functional [...] models of cognitive neuropsychology'', p. 687) were not spotted.
To sum up, ''The Oxford Handbook of the History of Linguistics'' contains much that is interesting and stimulating and in some cases not found elsewhere, but it shows once more that it takes particular skills and attitudes to write for a reference work and to do linguistic historiography (even at the level of merely establishing historical facts without aspiring to detect influences and causes).
REFERENCES Bergenholtz, Henning & Joachim Mugdan. 1989. Korpusproblematik in der Computerlinguistik: Konstruktionsprinzipien und Repräsentativität. In István S. Bátori, Winfried Lenders & Wolfgang Putschke (eds.), Computational Linguistics (Handbücher zur Sprach und Kommunikationswissenschaft 12). Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 141-149.
Clark, Matityahu. 1999. Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew: Based on the Commentaries of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. Jerusalem, New York: Feldheim.
Hertz, J[oseph] H. (transl. and ed.). 1960. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, 2nd ed. London: Soncino [1st ed. 1936].
Jakobson, Roman. 1971. The Kazan' School of Polish Linguistics and its Place in the International Development of Phonology. In Roman Jakobson, Selected Writings II: Word and Language. The Hague, Paris: Mouton, 394-428 [originally Polish 1960].
Kohrt, Manfred. 1984. Phonetik, Phonologie und die ''Relativität der Verhältnisse'': Zur Stellung Jost Wintelers in der Geschichte der Wissenschaft (Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik Beihefte 47). Stuttgart: Steiner.
Kohrt, Manfred. 1985. Problemgeschichte des Graphembegriffs und des frühen Phonembegriffs (Reihe Germanistische Linguistik 61). Tübingen: Niemeyer.
Mel'čuk, Igor. 2006. Aspects of the Theory of Morphology (Trends in Linguistics Studies and Monographs 146). Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Mugdan, Joachim. 1984. Jan Baudouin de Courtenay (1845–1922): Leben und Werk. München: Fink.
Mugdan, Joachim. 1985 [actually 1987]. The Origin of the Phoneme: Farewell to a Myth. Lingua Posnansiensis 28.137-150. [Repr. in Charles W. Kreidler (ed.), Phonology: Critical concepts, Vol. V: The Interface with Morphology and Syntax. London & New York: Routledge 2001, 4-20.]
Mugdan, Joachim. 1992. On the Typology of Bilingual Dictionaries. In Karl Hyldgaard-Jensen & Arne Zettersten (eds.), Symposium on Lexicography V (Lexicographica Series Maior 43). Tübingen: Niemeyer, 17-24.
Mugdan, Joachim. 1996. Die Anfänge der Phonologie. In Peter Schmitter (ed.), Sprachtheorien der Neuzeit II: Von der Grammaire de Port-Royal (1660) zur Konstitution moderner linguistischer Disziplinen (Geschichte der Sprachtheorie 5). Tübingen: Narr, 247-318.
Mugdan, Joachim. 2011. On the Origins of the Term Phoneme. Historiographia Linguistica 38.85-110.
Mugdan, Joachim. 2014. More on the origins of the term phonème. Historiographia Linguistica 41 [forthcoming].
Sweet, Henry. 1877. A Handbook of Phonetics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Ulvestad, Bjarne. 1976. Grein sú er máli skiptir: Tools and Traditions in the First Grammatical Treatise. Historiographia Linguistica 3.203-223.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
Prof. Dr. Joachim Mugdan is adjunct professor (apl. Prof.) of General Linguistics at the University of Münster, Germany. His main research areas are morphology (among other things, he has co-authored a morphology textbook and co-edited a morphology handbook) and the history of linguistics (his publications in this field include a monograph about Jan Baudouin de Courtenay and several articles on the history of the terms 'phoneme' and 'morpheme'). He has also taken an active interest in lexicography, corpus linguistics, language acquisition and sign language.