One of the most salient facts about research conducted in the area of language in history until relatively recently is its resistance to theoretical work. This is surprising given the centrality of questions concerned with the relationship between language and history in modern critical theory. It is also peculiar in the light of the enormous theoretical and speculative connections of the discipline of historical linguistics in the nineteenth century-ranging from anthropology to geology. Yet it is nonetheless true that the field of language in history has been relatively untouched by the sorts of questions, and answers, which have had such a transformative effect upon literary studies in the past twenty years. One pertinent, if historically odd, reason for such an omission is that the field has been characterised by a rigorous adherence to the Saussurean division (examined in the last chapter) between what is properly internal and what is external to the study of language. As we have seen, internal linguistics was to concentrate upon the formal relations between units in a system; external linguistics on the relationship between language and ethnography, language and political history, language and institutions, and so on. This rigorous delimitation, by which the science of language was brought about, has had the effect of causing the study of language in history to be regarded either as a categorical mistake or as a sort of sideline which serious linguists might follow in their spare time.