- Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
- The Origins and the Evolution of Language
- The History of Writing as a History of Linguistics
- History of the Study of Gesture
- The History of Sign Language Linguistics
- Orthography and the Early History of Phonetics
- From IPA to Praat and Beyond
- Nineteenth-Century Study of Sound Change from Rask to Saussure
- Discoverers of the Phoneme
- A History of Sound Symbolism
- East Asian Linguistics
- Linguistics in India
- From Semitic to Afro-Asiatic
- From Plato to Priscian: Philosophy's Legacy to Grammar
- Pedagogical Grammars Before the Eighteenth Century
- Vernaculars and the Idea of a Standard Language
- Word-Based Morphology from Aristotle to Modern WP (Word and Paradigm Models)
- General or Universal Grammar from Plato to Chomsky
- American Descriptivism (‘Structuralism’)
- Noam Chomsky's Contribution to Linguistics: A Sketch
- European Linguistics since Saussure
- Functional and Cognitive Grammars
- Lexicography from Earliest Times to the Present
- The Logico-philosophical Tradition
- Lexical Semantics from Speculative Etymology to Structuralist Semantics
- Post-structuralist and Cognitive Approaches to Meaning
- A Brief Sketch of the Historic Development of Pragmatics
- Meaning in Texts and Contexts
- Comparative, Historical, and Typological Linguistics since the Eighteenth Century
- Language, Culture, and Society
- Language, the Mind, and the Brain
- Translation: the Intertranslatability of Languages; Translation and Language Teaching
- Computational Linguistics
- The History of Corpus Linguistics
- Philosophy of Linguistics
Abstract and Keywords
A literary canon remained the core of élite education in Classical Antiquity for centuries, while the discipline of grammar emerged to produce correct texts, explain, and evaluate it. But it was to philosophy that grammarians owed, not merely powerful theories of language’s origins, functions, constituents, and structures, all formulated in a rich meta-language, but the very conception of linguistic phenomena – as constituting a fundamentally rational system – that makes expert or scientific knowledge of them possible. Grammatical interests, whether accounting for (apparent) departures from formal or syntactic regularity, determining both the correct reading of a disputed Homeric verse and the correct rules for such a procedure, or defining the parts of speech in a school primer, of course ousted the original philosophical contexts and purposes: when the Stoic Chrysippus advised using nannies who spoke pure Greek, his aim, probably, was to improve their charges’ souls, not their economic or social prospects.
Catherine Atherton holds appointments in the Departments of Philosophy and Classics at UCLA, having previously been Tutorial Fellow in Classical Philosophy at New College, Oxford. She works on a broad range of topics in ancient philosophy, with a special interest in logic, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of mind.
David Blank is Professor of Classics at UCLA. A specialist in Greco‐Roman philosophy, he has written extensively on philosophy of language and grammar in antiquity. His current major project is a new edition and commentary of the Rhetoric of the Epicurean Philodemus from the papyri found at Herculaneum.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.