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Look Inside Humboldt: 'On Language'

Humboldt: 'On Language'
On the Diversity of Human Language Construction and its Influence on the Mental Development of the Human Species

2nd Edition


Part of Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy

  • Date Published: December 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521660891

£ 89.99

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About the Authors
  • Wilhelm von Humboldt's classic study of human language was first published in 1836, as a general introduction to his three-volume treatise on the Kawi language of Java. It is the final statement of his lifelong study of the nature of language, exploring its universal structures and its relation to mind and culture. Empirically wide-ranging - Humboldt goes far beyond the Indo-European family of languages - it remains one of the most interesting and important attempts to draw philosophical conclusions from comparative linguistics. This 1999 volume presents a translation by Peter Heath, together with an introduction by Michael Losonsky that places Humboldt's work in its historical context and discusses its relevance to contemporary work in philosophy, linguistics, cognitive science, and psychology.

    • New edition of a classic work on language
    • Will be of interest to linguists and cognitive scientists as well as philosophers
    • New introduction and useful notes on further reading
    Read more

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: December 1999
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521660891
    • length: 342 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 159 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Distribution and cultural connection of the Malayan races
    2. General consideration of the course of man's development
    3. The same, continued
    4. Effects of exceptional mental power
    5. Conjoint action of individuals and nations
    6. The same, continued
    7. Transition to closer consideration of language
    8. Form of languages
    9. Nature and constitution of languages as such
    10. Sound-system of languages
    11. Inner linguistic form
    12. Combination of sound with inner linguistic form
    13. The procedure of language more fully explained
    14. Isolation, inflection and agglutination of words
    15. Verbal unity more closely examined
    16. Accent
    17. Incorporative system of languages
    18. Congruence of sound-forms in languages with grammatical requirements
    19. Main division of languages, according to the purity of their formative principle
    20. Character of languages
    21. Power of languages to evolve felicitously from one to another
    22. Retrospect on the course of the inquiry so far
    23. Nature and origin of less perfect language-structure
    24. The Chinese language
    25. Whether the polysyllabic language-structure has evolved from the monosyllabic.

  • Author

    Wilhelm von Humboldt


    Michael Losonsky, Colorado State University


    Peter Heath

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