Archibald Henry Sayce (1845-1933) became interested in Middle Eastern languages and scripts while still a teenager. Old Persian and Akkadian cuneiform had recently been deciphered, and popular enthusiasm for these discoveries was running high when Sayce began his academic career at Oxford in 1869. In this two-volume work of 1880, Sayce attempts to give 'a systematic account of the Science of Language, its nature, its progress and its aims'. As he explains, the methods and theories which underlie the work were set out in his 1874 Principles of Comparative Philology (also reissued in this series). In Volume 1, Sayce outlines the history of theories of language, and the development of a science of language, and considers the causes of language change, phonology, morphology and comparative syntax. Chapter appendices examine topics such as the vocal organs of animals and the various phonetic alphabets then in use.