Key Thinkers in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language

Key Thinkers in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language (2005). Co-edited with Siobhan Chapman. Links to publishers: Edinburgh University Press: UK Edition; Oxford University Press: US Edition.


A unique and accessible reference guide to the work of eighty key figures who have played an important role in the development of ideas about language from antiquity to the twenty-first century. The entries are extensively cross referenced, allowing readers to trace influences, developments, and debates both in contemporary thinking and across time. Each entry concludes with suggestions for further reading of primary texts and secondary sources, encouraging readers to find out more about the particular key thinker and the impact of his or her ideas.


“… the volume is of good quality, a valuable endeavour for bringing together linguistics and the philosophy of language. I find the volume very useful, quite easy to consult and use in teaching and research, especially valuable for under and postgraduates and I really believe that it filled a gap when this was really needed.” Anca Gata, Linguist List 17.188

Read the whole review here.

Key Thinkers featured in “The Year’s Work in Stylistics 2005,” (.pdf download) Language and Literature 2006; 15; 381. Reviewer Joanna Gavins had this to say:

“The editors state that ‘no prior knowledge of either linguistics
or philosophy is assumed’, and this inclusiveness embraces both sets of readers.
The alphabetical order of the great and the good produces some intriguing
neighbours Grimm, Halliday and Hegel, or Labov, Lacan and Leibniz which
also serves to illustrate the common questions in the history of linguistics which
are rephrased and re-imagined in each generation. … [T]he entries
are both clear and opinionated, and the exclusions are an argument for an
expanded second edition in the future.”

Selected chapters from this book are available from Google Books.