LINGUIST List 5.644

Mon 06 Jun 1994

Sum: History of linguistics references

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  1. MARC PICARD, Summary: history of linguistics references

Message 1: Summary: history of linguistics references

Date: Fri, 03 Jun 1994 14:15:48 Summary: history of linguistics references
Subject: Summary: history of linguistics references

On May 29, I sent the following message to LINGUIST:

 I've been assigned to teach a course called THEORY OF GRAMMARS
which has the following description:

This course deals with the history and development of grammatical theory
prior to Chomsky. Considerable emphasis is placed on traditional grammar,
the school of de Saussure, and Bloomfieldian structuralism.

 I know of R.H. Robins' A SHORT HISTORY OF LINGUISTICS, but I'd like
to know if there are any other textbooks that could be used for such a
course. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

I received the following responses (extraneous material deleted):

 I know of two that might be appropriate for your course.
 (1) Harris, Roy and Talbot J. Taylor. 1989. Landmarks in
linguistic thought: the Western tradition from Socrates to Saussure.
London and New York: Routledge.
 (2) Sampson, Geoffrey. 1980. Schools of linguistics. Stanford:
Stanford University Press.

 Karen Chung
 National Taiwan University

With reference to your query on the Linguist list, there are at least two works
you should use in additions to Robins's book:
Even Hovdhaugen: Foundations of Western Linguistics, Oslo 1982.
Sylvain Auroux:Histoire des idees linguistiques, Liege 1989-
Also, you may come across a book by Bertil Malmberg on the subject. If you're
considering it, read first the review by Irene Rosier in Bulletin de la
Societe d'histoire et d'epistemologie des sciences du langage, published in [I
think] 1993. Also, the journals Histoire Epistemologie Langhage, Historiographia
Linguistica and Beitraege zur Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft are well worth

Anders Ahlqvist
University College
Galway Ireland

You might want to have a look at the following re: your new course:

Harris and Taylor. Landmarks in Linguistic Thought: The Western tradition
from Socrates to Saussure. // Sampson, Geoffrey. Schools of Linguistics //
or even Francis P. Dineen (Something like An introduction to Linguistics)
published I think by Georgetown University Press.

You might have a look at Sampson, Geoffrey. Schools of
Linguistics.Stanford, California: Stanford Univ. Press.
1980. It covers Saussure, the descriptivists, Sapir-
Whorf, the Prague School, Chomsky & gen. grammar,
relational grammar (Hjelmslve, Lamb, Reich), generative
phonology & the London School. (Elsa Lattey)

Take a look and see what you think of: _Schools of Linguistics_
by Geoffrey Sampson, Stanford University Press, 1980 (paperback).

Maria Casas

I would like to suggest that for "traditional grammar" of the late
19th / early 20 century you might like to have a look at
_Two grammatical models of Modern English: the old and the new from A to Z_,
published in 1993 in paperback by Routledge (with some fairly useful
corrections as compared to the 1990 hardback edition). Along somewhat similar
lines, but stretching further back in time, there are various collections
edited by Gerhard Leitner of Freie Universita"t Berlin, published by Benjamins
and Niemeyer.
Leitner, G. (ed) (1987) _The English reference grammar_. Tu"bingen: Niemeyer.
Leitner, G. (ed) (1991) _English traditional grammars_. Amsterdam &
Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Graustein, G. & Leitner, G. (eds) (1989) _Reference grammars and modern
linguistic theory_. Tu"bingen: Niemeyer.

frits stuurman
university of utrecht

Concerning your recent Linguist
message, do you know B. Malmberg's book Histoire de la
linguistique. De Sumer a Saussure. PUF. 1991.Pp. 496? It
doesn't enter the 20th century much except for the last few
chapters, and doesn't discuss Bloomfield, but it should be good
for the precursors." "Douglas C. Walker

You might have a look at:

 Andresen, Julie T. 1990. Linguistics in America 1769-1924.
 London and New York: Routledge.

Stan Dubinsky


 A very good book I used for a course on "Grammars of English" is "Readings in t
he Theory of Grammar" by Diane D. Bornstein,Winthrop, Cambridge, Mass 1976. I
am not sure if they still publilsh it, but it has a wonderful collection of rea
dings from Traditional Gramamrians (Swift, Arnauld, Lowth, Murray,etc.) Histori
cal (Whitnesy, Curme, Jespersen, etc.) Descriptive (de Sausure, Sapir, Bloomfie
ld, etc.) as well as Transformational (Chomsky, Fillmore, etc.)


I have seen this book in the bookstore - it looks pretty interesting.

TITLE: Grammatical theory : from Bloomfield to Chomsky / P.H. Matthews.
NAMES: Matthews, P. H. (Peter Hugoe)
CALL NUMBER: P 81 U5 M38 1993
SOURCE: Cambridge : Cambridge Univeristy Press, 1993.
DESCRIPTION: xiii, 272 p.
SERIES: Cambridge studies in linguistics ; 67
SUBJECTS: Linguistics - United States - History - 20th century.
 Grammar, Comparative and general - History - 20th century.

I read (and enjoyed)
TITLE: Syntactic theory in the High Middle Ages : modistic models of
 sentence structure / Michael A. Covington.
NAMES: Covington, Michael A.
CALL NUMBER: P 291 C67 1984
SOURCE: Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University
 Press, 1984.
DESCRIPTION: viii, 163 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
SERIES: Cambridge studies in linguistics ; 0068-676X ; 39
SUBJECTS: Grammar, Comparative and general - Syntax - History.
 Speculative grammar.

There is also

TITLE: Grammatical theory in Western Europe, 1500-1700 / G.A. Padley.
 Trends in vernacular grammar I.
 Trends in vernacular grammar II.
NAMES: Padley, G. A., 1924-
CALL NUMBER: P 71 P3 1985
SOURCE: Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University
 Press, 1985-1988.
SUBJECTS: Grammar, Comparative and general - History.
 Linguistics - Europe - History - 16th century.
 Linguistics - Europe - History - 17th century.

Bill Turkel (UBC)

On your search for a text for a history of linguistics course focussed on
Theory of Grammar, have you considered Dinneen's old text? _An Introduction
to General Linguistics_ by Francis P. Dinneen. Originally published 1967 by
Holt, Rinehart and Winston (New York); reprinted (I don't have a date) more
recently by Georgetown University Press. There are chapters on ancient Greece
and Rome; traditional grammar (medieval, Modistae, later prescriptive
grammars); 19th century; Saussure; Sapir; Bloomfield; Firth; Hjelmslev; early
Chomsky. If you just want late 19th and the first half of the 20th century,
you might try _Schools of Linguistics_ by Geoffrey Sampson, Stanford
University Press, 1980 (though I do find it rather idiosyncratic); chapters
are on 19th century; Saussure; Bloomfield and followers; Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis; Prague School, early-mid Chomsky; Hjelmslev, Lamb, Reich; Firth,
Halliday. I would appreciate hearing of any other recommendations you
receive. Regards, Julia Falk. (Department of Linguistics and Germanic,
Slavic, Asian and African Languages, Michigan State University, A-608 Wells
Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1027, USA) Julia S.Falk

Regarding your query on the LINGUIST network, the following books
might be useful for your course:
Matthews, P H Grammatical theory in America from Bloomfield to Chomsky
 Cambridge University Press, 1993
Hymes, D and Fought, J American Structuralism, Mouton, Berlin, 1981
Newmeyer, F Linguistic Theory in America, San Diego, Academic Press,
 second ed, 1986
Various books in the John Benjamins Studies in the History of the Language
 Sciences series.

(Dr) Bas Aarts
English Department
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
UK B.Aarts

Hi - saw your email re bibliography for a course on the history of linguistics.

A couple of suggestions for you. When I first came into linguistics in the
late '70s, I had to follow such a course, and the following come to mind:

Apart from Saussure and Robins

Dinneen, F P (1978) An Introduction to General Linguistics. Georgetown
University Press.

It has about 130 pages of historical introduction, before going Bloomfieldian,
if I remember rightly. The date is a reprint of the original 1967 volume,
which I think is the one I used.

Lyons, John (1969) Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. Cambridge
University Press.

I wish to god there were a 1990s equivalent of this - an absolute gold-mine.

I don't know if either of them are currently available, but they should be in
good libraries.
To spread your wings further, we were also enjoined to take up a "Prague School
Reader", and another whose exact name I have forgotten, but which was
essentially a J R Firth (London School --> Systemic Grammar & Halliday et al
are the offspring) Reader. Being London based, this latter was clearly of
relevance. But I don't know how much you might want to follow it up. Unlike
the Prague School, I don't think Firth et al had much impact on the Linguistics
scene themselves, and I don't know how far Systemic Grammar has spread beyond
the UK (and Australia, presumably, since I think I am right in saying that
Halliday now has a chair over there. I don't know much about linguistics in
And for the seriously involved there was Hjelmslev's "Prolegomena to a Theory
of Language". The title was enough to put off the faint hearted, but it had
the advantage for me that I worked out that the lecturer hadn't really
understood it, and there was a high chance that an essay on it would appear in
the examination - an educational equivalent to a 'hole-in-one'?

Mark R Hilton
University of Westminster, School of Languages, 9-18 Euston Centre,
London NW1 3ET.

In addition to the Robbins text, I found Geoffrey Sampson's _Schools
of Linguistics_ helpful when I taught a similaar course.

Kathleen Doty
Dept. o f English
Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, Calif. Kathleen Doty

I just finished teaching a course entitled History of Linguistics in
which I used Robins' book and Harris and Taylor's Classics in Linguistics
(or some such title -- I don't have the book here). It worked pretty well
for what sounds like a much broader course than yours. One really
excellent source for European and American STructuralism is the anthology
Readings in Linguistics (?) by Hamp, Householder, and Austerlitz, pub.
of Chicago Press catalog for 1991-92, and there's something in tere
by U. of Chicago Press. This is a one-volume collection taken from
the two earlier volumes, one by the same authors and the other by Joos.

Steve Seegmiller

you might try
Sampson, Geoffrey. 1980. Schools of linguistics. Stanford: University Press
A Short History of American Linguistics/ by Tim Pulju/in Historigraphia
Linguistica/ 1991

Dietmar Zaefferer

I give you some references. I hope they will help you.

Arens, H., 1969, _Sprachwissenschaft: der Gang ihrer Entwichlung von der Antike
bis zur Gegenwart_, Alber, Freiburg. (It includes texts of several clasical
Auroux, Sylvain (ed.), 1989, _Histoire des id$es linguistiques_. Tome 1, P.
Mardaga, Liege-Bruxelles. (The East grammatical tradition).
Auroux, Sylvain (ed.), 1992, _Histoire des id$es linguistiques_. Tome 2, P.
Mardaga, Liege-Bruxelles. (European tradition).
Itkonen, Esa, 1991, _Universal History of Linguistics: India, China, Arabia,
Europe_, (SiHoLS, 65), John Benjamins, Amsterdam-Philadelphia.
Malmberg, Bertil, 1991, _Histoire de la linguistique de Sumer $ Saussure_,
Presses Universitaires de France, Paris.
Sebeok, T. A. (ed.), 1975, _Historiography of Linguistics_, (Current Trends in
Linguistics, 13), Mouton, The Hague.
Stankiewicz, Edward, 1975, "Bibliography of the History of Linguistics", in T.
A. Sebeok (ed.), 1381-1446.
Tagliavini, Carlo, 1970 [1963], _Panorama di storia della linguistica_, P$tron,
Bologna. (It is interesting because it includes information about less known
scholars of the 19th century).

Ricardo Gomez
Euskal Filologia Saila
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea
Urkixoko Markesa z/g

 Many thanks to all of you. There can't be much else, can there?

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