Recent publications in the history and philosophy of the language sciences – September 2023




Savatovsky, Dan, Mariangela Albano, Thi Kieu Ly Pham & Valérie Spaëth, ed. 2023. Language Learning and Teaching in Missionary and Colonial Contexts. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. 496 p. ISBN 9789463728249
Publisher’s website

This volume assembles texts dedicated to the linguistic and educational aspects of missionary and colonial enterprises, taking into account all continents and with an extended diachronic perspective (15th–20th centuries). Strictly speaking, this “linguistics” is contemporary to the colonial era, so it is primarily the work of missionaries of Catholic orders and Protestant societies. It can also belong to a retrospective outlook, following decolonization. In the first category, one mostly finds transcription, translation, and grammatization practices (typically, the production of dictionaries and grammar books). In the second category, one finds in addition descriptions of language use, of situations of diglossia, and of contact between languages. Within this framework, the volume focuses on educational and linguistic policies, language teaching and learning, and the didactics that were associated with them.

Kabatek, Johannes. 2023. Eugenio Coseriu. Beyond Structuralism. Boston: De Gruyter. 325 p. ISBN 9783110716153. DOI:
Publisher’s website
Book in open access

Eugenio Coseriu counts among the most important linguistic scholars of the second half of the 20th century. He is known mainly as a structuralist and a Romance linguist, but his work is in fact far more expansive in scope, including a comprehensive linguistic theory as well as writings on a wide range of issues, from semantics, syntax, typology, variational linguistics, language change, pragmatics and text linguistics to Vulgar Latin, the history of the philosophy of language and the history of Romance linguistics.
Coseriu’s thought is founded on solid philosophical principles, and his life brought him into contact with a number of different academic traditions and cultures. However, for a variety of reasons (among which, the languages in which he tended to publish: Spanish, Italian, French and German), knowledge of his thought is rather marginal in the Anglo-American world.
This book aims to go some way to addressing this situation by offering an overview in English of Coseriu’s main contributions to linguistics, and indeed to other disciplines. It is of general interest for the study of linguistics, the history of linguistics, and the philosophy of language, as well as for a broader reading public.

first comprehensive English introduction to Coseriu’s work and thought

compact overview

allows for an initial study as well as for deeper insights

Bohas, Georges & Jean-Patrick Guillaume. 2023. Études des théories des grammairiens arabes : morphologie et phonologie. Beyrouth : Presses de l’IPFO [1ère édition 1984. Damas : Institut français de Damas]. 504 p. ISBN 978-2-35159-788-0
Publisher’s website

Moins étudiées que la syntaxe, la morphologie et la phonologie des grammairiens arabes n’en présentent pas moins d’intérêt par leur cohérence dans la description et l’explication des faits. Le but de cet ouvrage est d’en dégager les principaux aspects. Le livre I, première partie, met notamment en lumière une conception originale, selon laquelle le mot n’est pas le croisement d’une racine et d’un schème : seul le terme initial (maṣdar) a accès à la racine, la dérivation s’effectuant ensuite de mot à mot. Sont étudiés dans la deuxième partie les principaux processus phonologiques, dans une perspective comparatiste avec la démarche de la grammaire générative. Le livre II approfondit certains aspects de la théorie à partir du traitement par Ibn Ğinnī des verbes à glide médian, l’accent étant mis sur la méthode d’argumentation relative aux formes sous-jacentes.

Makoni, Sinfree, Cristine Severo, Ashraf Abdelhay, Anna Kaiper-Marquez, Višnja Miloičić, ed. 2023. Shades of Decolonial Voices in Linguistics. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 272 p. ISBN 9781800418523
Publisher’s website

This book argues that Linguistics, in common with other disciplines such as Anthropology and Sociology, has been shaped by colonization. It outlines how linguistic practices may be decolonized, and the challenges which such decolonization poses to linguists working in diverse areas of Linguistics. It concludes that decolonization in Linguistics is an ongoing process with no definite end point and cannot be completely successful until universities and societies are decolonized too. In keeping with the subject matter, the book prioritizes discussion, debate and the collaborative, creative production of knowledge over individual authorship. Further, it mingles the voices of established authors from a variety of disciplines with audience comment and dialogue to produce a challenging and inspiring text that represents an important step along the path it attempts to map out.

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