Recent publications in the history and philosophy of linguistics – December 2019


Henri MESCHONNIC. 2019. The Henri Meschonnic Reader. A Poetics of Society. Edited by Marko Pajević. Translated by Pier-Pascale Boulanger, Andrew Eastman, John E. Joseph, David Nowell Smith, Marko Pajević, Chantal WrightMarko The Henri Meschonnic Reader. A Poetics of Society. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.  344 p. ISBN: 9781474445962
Publisher’s website

9781474445962
Henri Meschonnic was a linguist, poet, translator of the Bible and one of the most original French thinkers of his generation. He strove throughout his career to reform the understanding of language and all that depends on it. His work has had a shaping influence on a generation of scholars and here, for the first time, a selection of these are made available in English for a new generation of linguists and philosophers of language.
This Reader, featuring fourteen texts covering the core concepts and topics of Meschonnic’s theory, will enrich, enhance and challenge your understanding of language. It explores his key ideas on poetics, the poem, rhythm, discourse and his critique of the sign. Meschonnic’s vast oeuvre was continuously preoccupied with the question of a poetics of society; he constantly connected the theory of language to its practice in various fields and interrogated what that means for society. In exploring this fundamental question, this book is central to the study and philosophy of language, with rich repercussions in fields such as translation studies, poetics and literary studies, and in redefining notions such as rhythm, modernity, the poem and the subject.


Margaret THOMAS. 2019. Formalism and Functionalism in Linguistics. The Engineer and the Collector. New York : Routledge. 126 p. ISBN : 9780429455858
Publisher’s website

9781138316119This volume is a concise introduction to the lively ongoing debate between formalist and functionalist approaches to the study of language. The book grounds its comparisons between the two in both historical and contemporary contexts where, broadly speaking, formalists’ focus on structural relationships and idealized linguistic data contrasts with functionalists’ commitment to analyzing real language used as a communicative tool. The book highlights key sub-varieties, proponents, and critiques of each respective approach. It concludes by comparing formalist versus functionalist contributions in three domains of linguistic research: in the analysis of specific grammatical constructions; in the study of language acquisition; and in interdisciplinary research on the origins of language. Taken together, the volume opens insight into an important tension in linguistic theory, and provides students and scholars with a more nuanced understanding of the structure of the discipline of modern linguistics.

 

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