Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

John Wallis (1616-1703): A Reappraisal of his Contribution to the Study of English

Buy Article:

$24.65 + tax (Refund Policy)

Three centuries after its publication, John Wallis' Grammatica Linguae Anglicanae (1653) is still worth the attention of the readers interested in the study of English. Considered within the context of its day, it appears as a significant contribution to the field, and indeed a work which constitutes a landmark in the history of the study of English. Its author, a remarkable mathematician looked upon as one of the most important precursors of Newton, succeeded in handling facts of the English language (both phonetics and grammar) better than any of his predecessors. His work, which illustrates the empirical approach, is important through the degree of independence attained in it from the Latin model which, at that time, still exerted a strong influence on attempts at describing the European vernaculars. In the advent of comparative linguistics in the 19th century Wallis' grammar fell into disgrace. Even in our time scholars often repeat, with little justification, earlier criticisms of Grammatica Linguae Anglicanae - thus suggesting that Wallis' contribution to the study of English has not always been examined in terms of the advances it represented when it was first published more than three centuries ago. When mapping out the development of linguistics in a historiography of our discipline there are two aspects in which Wallis' grammar of English deserves special mention: when tracing the evolution of articulatory phonetics and when examining the roots of modern structural descriptivism.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 1974

More about this publication?
  • International Journal for the History of the Language Sciences
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more