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About the Book:

This book presents the fundamentals of linguistics and the historical survey of languages without any complication or obscurity. It is a valuable book for students and scholars of linguistics.

The author has followed the traditional order of presentation. He begins with the survey of languages of the world and proceeds with the study of phonetic structure, grammatical forms, syntax, and morphology, each being the indispensable preliminary to the study of the ensuing one.

The book is divided into 38 chapters which give a detailed and thorough knowledge of the subject on all important issues, such as analogic and semantic changes, cultural, intimate, and dialect borrowings, and scores of other points related to the subjects. Of these Chapter 24 Semantic Change and Chapter 25 Cultural Borrowings are much more palatable. It is in these chapters that the reader can get right away from the mechanics of language and follow the play of the human mind.

The book is documented with notes, a bibliography, a table of phonetic symbols, and an index.


About the Author:

Leonard Bloomfield (April 1, 1887–April 18, 1949) was an American linguist who led the development of structural linguistics in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s.

Bloomfield’s approach to key linguistic ideas in Language reflects the influence of Panini in his treatment of basic concepts such as linguistic form, free form, and others. Similarly, Panini is the source for Bloomfield’s use of the terms exocentric and endocentric used to describe compound words. Concepts from Panini are found in Eastern Ojibwa, published posthumously in 1958, in particular his use of the concept of a morphological zero, a morpheme that has no overt realization. Panini’s influence is also present in Bloomfield’s approach to determining parts of speech (Bloomfield uses the term ‘form-classes’) in both Eastern Ojibwa and in the later Menomini Language, published post-humously in 1962.

Bloomfield’s approach to linguistics was characterized by its emphasis on the scientific basis of linguistics, adherence to behaviorism especially in his later work, and emphasis on formal procedures for the analysis of linguistic data.

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