The Linguistics of History (2004)

   •Roy Harris

Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN: 0748619305

This book is the first comprehensive attempt to trace the relationship between Western philosophy of history and Western philosophy of language. The task of the historian would be impossible without verbal resources for dating and describing past events. Historians from Herodotus onwards traditionally relied uncritically on their own native languages (including Greek, Latin and English) to provide all they needed. In so doing, they took over a traditional Western view of the relationship between language, the world and the passage of time. The Linguistics of History spans the whole development of education from the ancient Greeks down to the present day. It also examines the impact on history of modern movements, including structuralist and postmodern approaches, as well as the recent advent of television history.

– ‘this volume succeeds in answering, and rather brilliantly so, a set of rather pressing questions about language and history’: Don E. Walicek in Journal of English Linguistics


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© Roy Harris, Emeritus Professor of General Linguistics, Oxford, 2010-2015