Skip to main content Accessibility help

Book description

The establishment of language as a focus of study took place over many centuries, and reflection on its nature emerged in relation to very different social and cultural practices. Written by a team of leading scholars, this volume provides an authoritative, chronological account of the history of the study of language from ancient times to the end of the 20th century (i.e., 'recent history', when modern linguistics greatly expanded). Comprised of 29 chapters, it is split into 3 parts, each with an introduction covering the larger context of interest in language, especially the different philosophical, religious, and/or political concerns and socio-cultural practices of the times. At the end of the volume, there is a combined list of all references cited and a comprehensive index of topics, languages, major figures, etc. Comprehensive in its scope, it is an essential reference for researchers, teachers and students alike in linguistics and related disciplines.


‘This multi-authored volume surveys the fascinating history of the study of language, from its beginnings in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to the diversification of the language sciences in the past half-century. The wide chronological and geographical scope, the broad view of the language sciences in their relation to psychology, sociology and anthropology, the accuracy of historiographical analysis, avoiding unnecessary technical jargon, and the comprehensive coverage up to the most recent developments, make the CHL a major reference work for teachers and students of linguistics, and readers interested in the fascinating history of language study.’

Pierre Swiggers - University of Leuven and Université de Liège

‘The Cambridge History of linguistics is an impressive one-volume accomplishment which is remarkable by its depth - it spans more than twenty centuries of learned thinking about language - by its breadth - across centuries and across continents - and by the diversity of its themes - a fresco across centuries with a large section devoted to present-day linguistics and interdisciplinary work on language.’

Georges Daniel Veronique - Professor emeritus, Aix-Marseille Université

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Save to Kindle
  • Save to Dropbox
  • Save to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Page 1 of 2

Page 1 of 2


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.