Western Linguistics: An Historical Introduction
April 1998, Wiley-Blackwell
The volume concentrates on those issues that are of central concern to present-day theoretical linguistics, but also draws attention to episodes and issues that have unjustifiably slid into oblivion, such as the 18th century French grammarians or the great subject-predicate debate between 1850 and 1930. An effort has also been made to interpret events and developments in linguistic theory in terms of the more general cultural and economic movements of the periods concerned. It contains many expository and exegetic quotations, together with critiques of theoretical positions and, sometimes, of academic behavior.
The book can serve as a basic text for a course on the history of linguistics, and as a collateral text in various courses on the theory of grammar and semantics.
1. Linguistics from Antiquity till the Seventeenth-Century.
2. The Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Centuries.
3. The Twentieth-Century: Europe.
4. The Twentieth-Century: America.
5. Predicate Calculus: from Aristotle to Generalized Quantifiers.
6. The Study of Meaning.
7. Meaning and Grammar.
* Presents overview of key theories and personalities.
* Laced with abundant quotations from source texts.
–Geoffrey K. Pullum, University of California, Santa Cruz
"Peter Seuren's History of Western Linguistics is an excellent survey of the subject, ranging from Greek antiquity to the present day. It distinguishes itself substantially from related works currently available in its expert concern for the philosophical tradition, in the particular attention paid to the history of semantics, and in the manner in which these two are brought to bear on the development of grammatical theory in the twentieth century. Written in a lively and accessible style, it will be attractive to the general reader as well as to those specialising in the history of linguistics."
–David Cram, Jesus College, University of Oxford
"Western Linguistics is to be considered an important work, demonstrating a vast knowledge in the field of linguistics as well as in those of philosophy and methodology."
–Flip G. Drost, University of Leuven