The present volume brings together the author's most recent thinking on the tasks and methods of linguistic historiography and his critical assessment of the legacy of a number of major 20th-century scholars. Some of the chapters are revisions of previously published articles, which together with new materials have been welded into a coherent volume.
1. Introduction: On the uses of the history of linguistics; 2. Part I. Topics in the Historiography of Linguistics; 3. Ch. 1 The History of Linguistics: Attainments and remaining challenges; 4. Ch. 2 Linguistics and Ideology: A neglected aspect of 19th and 20th century historiography; 5. Ch. 3 Immediate and not so Immediate Sources of the 'Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis': Methodological considerations; 6. Ch. 4 The Concept of 'Revolution' in Linguistics: Historical, methodological, and philosophical issues; 7. Ch. 5 The Idea of Reconstruction in Comparative Linguistics: History and some modern debates; 8. Part II. Historical Perspectives on Individual Scholars; 9. Ch. 6 Otto Jespersen as a Reader of the 'Cours de linguistique generale'; 10. Ch. 7 On the Sources of Roman Jakobson's Linguistic Inspiration; 11. Ch. 8 J. R. Firth's Musings on Saussurean Tenets; 12. Ch. 9 Einar Haugen as a Historian of Linguistics; 13. Ch. 10 The Authors of the Idea of Language as a System ou tout se tient