This book is a concise historical survey of structural linguistics, charting its development from the 1870s to the present day. Peter Matthews examines the beginnings of structuralism and analyzes the vital role played in it by the study of sound systems and the problems of how systems change. He discusses theories of the overall structure of a language, the "Chomskyan revolution" in the 1950s, and the structuralist theories of meaning. The book includes exposition, in particular, of the contributions of Saussure, Bloomfield and Chomsky.
"Matthews's survey has a clarity and conciseness that is rare in works on liguistics, and it is carefully argued and well organized...Bound to become the standard resource on the subject." CHOICE Nov 2001