LINGUIST List 9.1440

Wed Oct 14 1998

Books: Historical Ling, History of Ling

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  1. Bernadette Martinez-Keck, Historical Ling, History of Ling

Message 1: Historical Ling, History of Ling

Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 14:12:53 -0400
From: Bernadette Martinez-Keck <>
Subject: Historical Ling, History of Ling


Nostratic. Sifting the Evidence.
Joseph C. Salmons and Brian D. Joseph (eds)
1998 vi, 293 pp. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 142
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 597 4 Price: US$75.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 3646 1 Price: NLG 150.00

The Nostratic hypothesis positing a commonlingusitic ancestor for a wide
range of language families including Indo-European, Uralic, and
Afro-Asiatic has produced one of the most enduring and often intense
controversies in linguistics. Overwhelmingly, though, both supporters of
the hypothesis and those who reject it have not dealt directly with one
anothers arguments. This volume brings together selected representatives
of both sides, as well as a number of agnostic historical linguists, with
the aim of examining the evidence for this particular hypothesis in the
context of distant genetic relationships generally. The volume contains
discussions of variants of the Nostratic hypothesis (papers by A. Bomhard,
by J. Greenberg, and one by A. Manaster-Ramer, K. Baertsch, K. Adams, & P.
Michalove), the mathematics of chance in determining the relationships
posited for Nostratic ( papers by R. Oswalt and by D. Ringe), and the
evidence from particular branches posited in Nostratic (papers by L.
Campbell, by C. Hodge, and by A. Vovin) with responses and additional
discussion by E. Hamp, B. Vine, W. Baxter and B. Comrie.


Language and its Functions. A historico-critical study of the
pre-humanistic philology of Bopp. Translated by Paul Salmon, in
consultation with Anthony J. Klijnsmit. 
Pieter A. Verburg1998 xxxiv, 534 pp. Studies in the History of the
Language Sciences, 84
US/Canada: Cloth: 1 55619 621 0 Price: $110.00
Rest of the world: Cloth: 90 272 4572 X Price: NLG 220.00

When Pieter Verburg (1905-1989) published Taal en Functionaliteit in 1952,
the work was received with admiration by linguistic scholars, though the
number of those who could read the Dutch text for themselves remained
limited. The title alludes to the theories of linguistic function set out
in 1936 by Karl Bhler, but Verburg regards the three functions of
discourse focusing respectively on the speaker, the person addressed and
the matter discussed as no more than subfunctions of the human function of
speech. His central concern is to explore the relationships between
thought and language, and language and reality; and the work sets out
provide a historical analysis of views on these relationships in the period
1100-1800. The great strength of the work lies in the way in which the
views of language are related to contemporaneous moves in philosophy and
science, contrasting essentially the mediaeval acceptance of authority, the
beginnings of induction in the Renaissance, the dependence of early
rationalism on calculation based on axiomatic truths, and the further
development of independent observation. All these trends are reflected in
the way men thought about language, as well as in the way they used it.
Much has been written on the history of linguistics since this book was
written, but it still offers a unique view of the development of thinking
about language.

John Benjamins Publishing web site:
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1998 Contributors

  • Addison Wesley Longman
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Hermes
  • Pacific Linguistics
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics