Margaret Thomas

List of John Benjamins publications for which Margaret Thomas plays a role.



Subjects Applied linguistics | Language acquisition | Syntax


In the first decades of the 20th century, fieldwork — collection of language data through direct interaction with a native speaker — was foundational to American linguistics. After a mid-century period of neglect, fieldwork has recently been revived as a means to address the increasing rate of… read more
Fifty years after its publication, it is timely to return to Noam Chomsky’s Cartesian linguistics to explore what this controversial text accomplished, what it didn’t accomplish, and for whom. I begin with the context of midcentury American linguists’ historical consciousness into which… read more
This paper examines the representation of the history of the language sciences as transmitted through introductory textbooks on linguistics published in the United States in the past sixty years. I analyze the role that textbooks assign to the history of the discipline, the value they invest in it,… read more
Russian philologist Roman Jakobson (1896–1982) incubated his ideas within a sequence of “Circles”, self-consciously established groups of scholars who crossed institutional affiliations to discuss shared interests and support each others’ (and sometimes, the group’s communal) work. Jakobson’s… read more
This article surveys nine graduate programs that confer doctoral degrees in Second Language Acquisition, the first of which was founded in 1988, 25 years ago. I examine warrants for the establishment of PhD programs in second language acquisition, the array of institutional bases on which they… read more
Thomas, Margaret 2013 Otto Jespersen and “The Woman”, then and nowHistoriographia Linguistica 40:3, pp. 377–408 | Article
Danish linguist Otto Jespersen’s (1860–1943) Language, its Nature, Development, and Origin was published more than 90 years ago, in 1922. This article focuses on Jespersen’s often-cited Chapter 13, entitled “The Woman”, a text that has served since the 1970s as a touchstone for feminist… read more
Low levels of participation by women scholars in mainstream American lin­guistics in the mid twentieth century contrast with evidence, from the 1940s on­ward, of productive engagement in language study and analysis by women mis­sionary-linguists affiliated with the Summer Institute of Linguistics… read more
This article sketches the history of ‘universal grammar’ as a term and as a concept, attending in particular to the range of expressions that have been used to label what human languages have in common. I focus on three contexts: medieval speculative grammar, which developed a concept of universal… read more
Although children’s acquisition of a first, or native language is a matter of perennial interest, no consensus has emerged in English-language scholarship about how to refer to what it is that children do (or what it is that happens) in the first few years of life, when children move from… read more
Herodotus recounts the attempt of the pharaoh Psammetichus I to determine which among the peoples of the earth was the oldest. He isolated two children at birth, assuming that their spontaneous speech would reveal the identity of a primordial human language. Although Psammetichus’ inquiry was not… read more
Expositions of the history of western linguistics, especially those designed for a novice readership, often refer to a passage from the writings of the twelfth-century scholar Roger Bacon. That passage is conventionally interpreted as an assertion of the existence of universal grammar, framed in… read more
Kamio, Akio and Margaret Thomas 1999 Some referential properties of English it and thatFunction and Structure: In honor of Susumu Kuno, Kamio, Akio and Ken-ichi Takami (eds.), pp. 289 ff. | Article
Wang, Alvin Y. and Margaret Thomas 1995 The Effect of Imagery-Based Mnemonics on the Long-Term Retention of Chinese CharactersLexical Issues in Language Learning, Harley, Birgit, pp. 167–183 | Article