Descriptive linguists have tended to shun self-reflection, and have been more interested in doing description than reflecting on it. Little attention has been paid in recent years to grammar writing as such, although there are two notable exceptions: Catching language: the standing challenge of grammar writing (ed. Ameka, Dench & Evans, 2006; Mouton de Gruyter) and Perspectives on grammar writing (ed. Payne & Weber, 2007; John Benjamins). Almost completely lacking in these works is a historical perspective. The conference theme is proposed as an attempt to solicit contributions that address this lacuna, in order to come to better understandings of grammar writing practices of the past, and how modern grammars have been shaped by these past practices.
The conference is a part of the Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas