Recent publications in the history and philosophy of the language sciences – April 2022

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Camille Joseph & Isabelle Kalinowski. 2022. La Parole inouïe. Franz Boas et les textes indiens. Toulouse: Anacharsis. 198 p. ISBN: 9791027904365
Publisher’s website

Franz Boas (1858-1942) est considéré comme le père fondateur de l’anthropologie américaine. Par-delà de vastes collectes d’objets, il s’est livré pendant des dizaines d’années à une pratique frénétique d’édition de textes indiens. Pour bien des raisons, notamment parce qu’il s’abstenait systématiquement de commenter les textes publiés, les laissant à nu sur des milliers de pages, cette entreprise est déroutante.

Cet ouvrage se propose d’élucider ses méthodes de travail en se focalisant sur l’attention portée à la transcription puis à la traduction du matériau collecté : comment entendre, comprendre, transcrire et traduire des langues et récits de tradition orale ? Comment, au fond, s’est construit un vaste matériau ethnographique textuel et matériel – dont Claude Lévi-Strauss entre autres a su maintes fois tirer parti ?
Ce sont ici, autour de questions fondatrices, les contours d’une autre anthropologie possible qui sont esquissés.

B. Elan Dresher & Harry van der Hulst. 2022. The Oxford History of Phonology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 880 p. ISBN: 9780198796800
Publisher’s website

This volume is the first to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive history of phonology from the earliest known examples of phonological thinking, through the rise of phonology as a field in the twentieth century, and up to the most recent advances. The volume is divided into five parts. Part I offers an account of writing systems along with chapters exploring the great ancient and medieval intellectual traditions of phonological thought that form the foundation of later thinking and continue to enrich phonological theory. Chapters in Part II describe the important schools and individuals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who shaped phonology as an organized scientific field. Part III examines mid-twentieth century developments in phonology in the Soviet Union, Northern and Western Europe, and North America; it continues with precursors to generative grammar, and culminates in a chapter on Chomsky and Halle’s The Sound Pattern of English (SPE). Part IV then shows how phonological theorists responded to SPE with respect to derivations, representations, and phonology-morphology interaction. Theories discussed include Dependency Phonology, Government Phonology, Constraint-and-Repair theories, and Optimality Theory. The part ends with a chapter on the study of variation. Finally, chapters in Part V look at new methods and approaches, covering phonetic explanation, corpora and phonological analysis, probabilistic phonology, computational modelling, models of phonological learning, and the evolution of phonology. This in-depth exploration of the history of phonology provides new perspectives on where phonology has been and sheds light on where it could go next.

Eugenio Coseriu. 2021. Sistema, norma e parola. Traduzione, postfazione e cura di Tiziana Migliore, introduzione di Rossana de Angelis. Rome: Aracne. 148 p. ISBN: 979-12-5994-578-5
Publisher’s website

Il volume è la versione integrale e più recente di uno dei saggi cardine di Eugenio Coseriu, Sistema, norma y habla (1952-1989), pubblicato per la prima volta in Italia. Un contributo utilissimo per la linguistica, la semiotica e le scienze che a vario titolo si interessano di regole e infrazioni. Qui l’autore rivisita la coppia saussuriana langue/parole con un bilancio delle posizioni di studiosi come Croce, Devoto, Pagliaro, Hjelmslev, Brøndal, Paul, Humboldt, Jespersen, Bally, Gardiner, Bühler. E mostra non solo la pregnanza culturale dei rapporti fra aspetti sistemici e aspetti processuali nelle lingue, ma la loro validità al di fuori del linguaggio verbale. Con Coseriu langue e parole diventano infatti sistema, norma e discorso per spiegare e comprendere come funzionano le abitudini, convenzioni sociali, violazioni e innovazioni con cui gruppi e individui si autodeterminano e si distinguono.

The introduction is available here

2022. Language & History 65-1. Abingdon-on-Thames: Taylor and Francis. ISSN: 1759-7536.
Publisher’s website

Table of contents

Articles
Marten van der Meulen & Gijsbert Rutten
Prescriptivism on its own terms. Perceptions and realities of usage in Siegenbeek’s Lijst (1847)

Joseph L. Subbiondo
‘A philosopher’s grammar’: Henry Sweet’s ‘general’, ‘universal’, and ‘philosophical grammar’

Julia Fernández Cuesta
Der Geist, der stets verneint: Roger Lass’s epistemology of linguistic change

Book Reviews
Language, memory and remembering: explorations in historical sociolinguistics
by Buhan Pan

Women in the history of linguistics
by Olivia Walsh

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