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Book Information


Title: The Western Classical Tradition in Linguistics
Written By: Keith Allan
Series Title: Equinox Textbooks and Surveys in Linguistics

The Western Classical Tradition in linguistics extends from Ancient Greece
to the 21st century and has spread from Europe to the other four inhabited
continents. It is a story of successive stages of language study, each
building upon, or reacting against, the preceding period. There is a
theoretical track passing through Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics to the
scholastics of the later middle ages; on to the vernacular grammarians of
the renaissance, then the rationalists and universal grammarians of the
17th, 18th and 20th centuries. Joining this, is a tradition relating
language to thought handed on from Epicurus and Lucretius to Locke,
Condillac, Humboldt, Saussure, Boas, Sapir, Whorf and today’s cognitivists.
There is at the same time a pedagogical track deriving from the Greek
grammarians Dionysius Thrax and Apollonius Dyscolus via the Latins,
Donatus, Priscian, and their commentators; a track that gives rise to
prescriptivism and applied linguistics. The book’s last chapter examines
the re-ascendancy of hypothetico-deductive theory over the inductivist
theories of the early 20th century, concluding that both approaches are
necessary for the proper modelling of language in the 21st century and beyond.

Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: Equinox Publishing Ltd
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Linguistic Field(s): History of Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1904768954
ISBN-13: 9781904768951
Pages: 368
Prices: U.K. £ 60

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1904768962
ISBN-13: 9781904768968
Pages: 368
Prices: U.K. £ 16.99