Bacon, F. (1605) The Advancement of Learning, ed.
Kitchin, London: Dent, 1976.
(Bacon’s discussion of ‘characters real’ occurs in book 2, chapter 16.)
Bacon, F. (1620) The New Organon, ed.
Anderson, New York: Macmillan, 1960.
(Bacon criticizes words as ‘idols of the marketplace’ in book I, aphorisms 43, 59–60.)
Dalgarno, G. (1834) The Works of George Dalgarno, Edinburgh; repr. New York: AMS Press, 1971.
(Contains all of Dalgarno’s writings on artificial language schemes, including his 1661 Ars Signorum.)
Descartes, R. (1991) The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vol. 3 (The Correspondence), trans.
Murdoch and A.
Kenny, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(Descartes’ letter to Mersenne is dated 20 November 1629.)
Katz, D.S. (1982) Philo-Semitism and the Readmission of the Jews to England (1603–1655), Oxford: Clarendon Press.
(Chapter 2 argues persuasively for the importance of the idea of an Adamic language in seventeenth-century England.)
Knowlson, J. (1975) Universal Language Schemes in England and France 1600–1800, Toronto, Ont.: University of Toronto Press.
(The best survey of the topic; contains a valuable checklist of universal language schemes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.)
Leibniz, G.W. (1966) Logical Papers, trans. and ed.
Parkinson, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
(The fullest collection in English of Leibniz’s writings on logic and language; includes selections from his 1666 essay On the Art of Combinations, in which appears his earliest plan for a universal language.)
Mersenne, M. (1636) Harmonie Universelle, Paris; repr. Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1986.
(Book I, proposition 24 contains Mersenne’s proposal for a ‘perfect language’, in which mathematical and scientific truths would be expressed by combinations of musical tones.)
Rutherford, D. (1995) ‘Philosophy and Language’, in N.
Jolley (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz, New York: Cambridge University Press.
(A comprehensive review of Leibniz’s interests in language, including the idea of a universal language.)
Salmon, V. (1988) The Study of Language in 17th-Century England, Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
(A collection of ground-breaking essays on the projects of Dalgarno, Wilkins and their contemporaries; includes a bibliography of recent work in the area.)
Slaughter, M.M. (1982) Universal Languages and Scientific Taxonomy in the Seventeenth Century, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(An important study of the relationship between seventeenth-century scientific thinking and the idea of a universal language.)
Wilkins, J. (1668) An Essay towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language, London; repr. in the series English Linguistics 1500–1800, number 119, Menston: Scolar Press, 1968.
(Wilkins’ attempt at constructing a universal language, discussed in §2 above.)