Both Leibniz and Humboldt are scholars in whose work we find a passionate interest in the history and development of languages combined with a strong theoretical commitment. Linking their names to linguistic comparativism draws attention to the contribution these scholars have made to the history of comparativism and also promotes discussion of the relationship of theory and practice in linguistic research in more general terms. In September 1986, a conference on Leibniz, Humboldt and the Origins of Comparativism' was held in Rome. The papers included in this volume are revised versions of the papers presented at the conference.
1. Foreword; 2. Part I: Leibniz to Humboldt; 3. Le voyage de Schreiten: Leibniz et les debuts du comparatisme finno-ougrien (by Droixhe, Daniel); 4. Leibniz on Particles: Linguistic form and comparatism (by Dascal, Marcelo); 5. Vulgaris opinio babelica: Sui fondamenti storico-teorici della pluralita delle lingue nel pensiero di Leibniz (by Gensini, Stefano); 6. Leibniz and Wilhelm von Humboldt and the History of Comparative Linguistics (by Robins, Robert H.); 7. Die Sakularisierung des Tertium comparationis: Eine philosophische Erorterung der Ursprunge des vergleichenden Sprachstudiums (by Borsche, Tilman); 8. Descent, Perfection and the Comparative Method since Leibniz (by Hoenigswald, Henry M.); 9. Part II: Humboldt and the Aftermath; 10. Humboldt et Leibniz: Le concept interieur de la linguistique (by Trabant, Jurgen); 11. The Philosophical and Anthropological Place of Wilhelm von Humboldt's Linguistic Typology: Linguistic comparison as a means to compare the different processes of human thought (by Di Cesare, Donatella); 12. Wilhelm von Humboldt und das Problem der Schrift (by Stetter, Christian); 13. Da Humboldt ai neogrammatici: Continuita e fratture (by Ramat, Paolo); 14. Part III: Comparative Linguistics before and after Humboldt; 15. Representation and the Place of Linguistic Change before Comparative Grammar (by Auroux, Sylvian); 16. The Place of Friedrich Schlegel in the Development of Historical-Comparative Linguistics (by Koerner, E.F.K.); 17. Lautform, innere Sprachform, Form der Sprachen: Il problema della comparazione e classificazione delle lingue in Heymann Steinthal (by Barba, Mario); 18. Comparatismo e grammatica comparata: Tipologia linguistica e forma grammaticale (by Swiggers, Pierre); 19. Afterword (by De Mauro, Tullio); 20. Index Nominum; 21. Index Rerum; 22. Index Linguarum