The first part of this study presents a broad outline of the establishment of the parts of speech, with special emphasis on prepositions, in Ancient Greece, and of the further development in the Roman age, including the long shadow cast by Donatus and Priscian. It then examines the works of two of the most prominent members of the group of Speculative Grammarians in the High Middle Ages, and those of some of the leading grammar writers of the Renaissance. The central part of the book focuses on a detailed analysis of prepositions in fifty English grammatical treatises from Bullokar (1586) to Dalton (1801). Here the author not only scrutinises the individual grammatical texts, but by dealing with them in chronological order he also provides a historical perspective and hence a valuable overview of the treatment of prepositions as well as of word classes more generally during the first two centuries or so of English grammar writing. Taken together, these various aspects make this an important contribution to the history of linguistics.
Dr Tom Lundskær-Nielsen is Senior Lecturer in Danish at University College London. He has previously published a monograph on the historical development of a group of locative prepositions in early English texts, Prepositions in Old and Middle English (1993), and a shorter booklet relevant for the present book, Some Views of Prepositions in 17th and 18th Century England (2000). He is also co-author of Danish: A Comprehensive Grammar (2nd ed. 2010), of Danish: An Essential Grammar (2nd ed. 2011) and of An Introduction to Scandinavian Phonetics (2005), and has written a number of articles on Danish language and literature, in particular on Hans Christian Andersen.