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Language is the carrying medium of civilization. This broad survey and synthesis of the various phases of language problems opens the door to new approaches in education and technology, and at the same time traces the background history of linguistics, showing that this branch of learning, like most intellectual developments in Western culture, may be traced back to the Greek philosophers.
The various parts of linguistics are defined and their current methodology is described. Separate chapters are devoted to the relation of linguistics to neighboring disciplines—to psychology, the social sciences, and philosophy. John Carroll’s provocative discussion of the identifiable languages and dialects—Indo-European, Asian, Pacific, African, American—demonstrates the vast amount of work remaining to be done in linguistics.