Historical Roots of Linguistic Theories

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Most of the papers collected in this volume concentrate on the history of linguistic ideas in France and Italy in the modern period (from the Renaissance to the present day). Some of them are specifically focused on the links between the two traditions of reflection on language. The contributions have a common methodological outlook: the authors do not believe that the history of linguistic ideas is a separate activity from research on language or that it is marginal with respect to the latter. On the contrary, they are convinced that in contemporary research into language we can still discern the influence - positive or negative as this may be - of factors deriving from the (sometimes distant) past. A historical analysis of these factors - whether it rejects them as superseded, or redefines them in order to elicit the fruitful suggestions they may still contain - has a contribution to make to the progress of theory.