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

James McElvenny, ed. 2023. The Limits of Structuralism. Forgotten Texts in the History of Modern Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 336 p. ISBN 9780192849045
Publisher’s website

Based around seven primary texts spanning 130 years, this volume explores the conceptual boundaries of structuralism, a scholarly movement and associated body of doctrines foundational to modern linguistics and many other humanities and social sciences. Each chapter in the volume presents a classic — and yet today underappreciated — text that addresses questions crucial to the evolution of structuralism. The texts are made accessible to present-day English-speaking readers through translation and extensive critical notes; each text is also accompanied by a detailed introduction that places it in its intellectual and historical context and outlines the insights that it contains. The volume reveals the complex genealogy of our ideas and enriches our understanding of their contemporary form and use.


2023. Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte / History of Science and Humanities 46(1) [Special issue: Language in the Global History of Knowledge]. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH GmbH. 132 p. ISSN 1522-2365
Publisher’s website

Floris Solleveld – Language in the Global History of Knowledge

Michiel Leezenberg – From Cosmopolitan to Vernacular in the Language Sciences: A Global History Perspective

Rebeca Fernández Rodríguez – Language, Science and Globalization in the Eighteenth Century

Sven Osterkamp – Yoshio Gonnosuke and His Comparative Dutch-Japanese Syntax: Glimpses at the Unpublished Second Part of Siebold’s “Epitome Linguae Japonicae”

Ian Stewart– James Cowles Prichard and the Linguistic Foundations of Ethnology

Floris Solleveld – Language as a Specimen

Judith R. H. Kaplan – The “Greenberg Controversy” and the Interdisciplinary Study of Global Linguistic Relationships


Raf Van Rooy, Pierre Van Hecke & Toon Van Hal, eds. 2023. Trilingual Learning. The Study of Greek and Hebrew in a Latin World (1000-1700). Turnhout: Brepols. 426 p. ISBN 978-2-503-60106-9
Publisher’s website

In 1517, the Brabant city of Louvain witnessed the foundation of the Collegium Trilingue (Three Language College). Funded by means of the legacy of the humanist and diplomat Jerome of Busleyden (d. 1517) and steered by guiding spirit Erasmus of Rotterdam, this institute offered courses in the three so-called sacred languages Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, which students could attend for free. However, this kind of initiative was not unique to Louvain in the early 16th century. In a time span of barely twenty years, Greek and Hebrew were also offered in Alcalá de Henares (near Madrid), Wittenberg, and Paris, among other places. It would not take long before these ‘sacred’ languages were also on the educational agenda at universities throughout the whole of Europe.
The present volume examines the general context in which such polyglot institutes emerged and thrived, as well as the learning and teaching practices observed in these institutes and universities. Devoting special attention to the study of the continuity, or rather the discontinuity, between the 16th-century establishment of language chairs and the late medieval interest in these languages, it brings together fifteen selected papers exploring various aspects of these multilingual undertakings, focusing on their pedagogical and scholarly dimensions. Most of the contributions were presented at the 2017 LECTIO conference The Impact of Learning Greek, Hebrew, and ‘Oriental’ Languages on Scholarship, Science, and Society in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which was organized at the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the Louvain Collegium Trilingue.


Raf Van Rooy. 2023. New Ancient Greek in a Neo-Latin World. The Restoration of Classical Bilingualism in the Early Modern Low Countries and Beyond. Leyden: Brill. [Brill Research Perspectives in Humanities and Social Sciences]. 187 p. ISBN 978-90-04-54790-2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004547902
Publisher’s website
Book in Open Access

Did you know that many reputed Neo-Latin authors like Erasmus of Rotterdam also wrote in forms of Ancient Greek? Erasmus used this New Ancient Greek language to celebrate a royal return from Spain to Brussels, to honor deceded friends like Johann Froben, to pray while on a pilgrimage, and to promote a new Aristotle edition. But classical bilingualism was not the prerogative of a happy few Renaissance luminaries: less well-known humanists, too, activated their classical bilingual competence to impress patrons; nuance their ideas and feelings; manage information by encoding gossip and private matters in Greek; and adorn books and art with poems in the two languagges, and so on. As reader, you discover promising research perspectives to bridge the gap between the long-standing discipline of Neo-Latin studies and the young field of New Ancient Greek studies.


Maria Fausta Pereira de Castro, Núbia Rabelo Bakker Faria, Eliane Silveira, eds. 2023. Études saussuriennes aujourd’hui. Preface by Enrica Galazzi. Rome: @racne. [Lingue d’Europa e del Mediterraneo, 19]. 228 p. ISBN 979-12-5994-598-3
Publisher’s website

Nel 2021, nell’ambito della XV edizione di ICHoLS (International Conference for the History of Language Sciences) realizzatasi per la prima volta in Italia, a Milano, e partecipata a distanza da Est a Ovest, dalla Corea al Canada, e da Nord a Sud, dalla Finlandia all’Argentina, ha avuto luogo un ricco workshop organizzato in Brasile, dedicato agli studi saussuriani sviluppatisi soprattutto in America latina e in modo particolare in Brasile. Un’opera vive nel tempo, e tanto più sopravvive al suo autore tanto più merita di essere studiata nel contesto delle sue ricezioni, distanti non solo nel tempo, ma anche nello spazio, e quindi in contesti culturali, scientifici, linguistici ben diversi tra loro. La rielaborazione di quegli interventi per questa edizione in volume intende offrire ai lettori un fil rouge che si dipana nei paesi di lingua romanza, nascendo nella Svizzera francese, passando anche e non secondariamente per l’Italia, come evidenziato nella Prefazione, e infine approdando oltre Oceano, in America latina, favorita dalle traduzioni spagnola (1945 e 1980) e portoghese (1970 e 1971 in Brasile, 2000 in Portogallo).


Émilie Picherot. 2023. La Langue arabe dans l’Europe humaniste 1500-1550. Paris: Classiques Garnier. [Perspectives comparatistes, 127]. 471 p. ISBN 978-2-406-14433-5. DOI: 10.48611/isbn.978-2-406-14435-9
Publisher’s website

La langue arabe n’est pas exclue de l’humanisme renaissant. Les premières grammaires imprimées de l’arabe (celles d’Alcalá et de Postel) prouvent la curiosité linguistique de certains érudits qui, par leurs voyages et leurs discours, font basculer l’arabe de l’Occident espagnol à l’Orient ottoman.

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