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This issue presents the most relevant topics from the CISPELS Summer School that took place in Stresa in 2016 and 2017. The papers that have been proposed for publication deal with historical linguistics and have been deemed relevant both for epistemological and political reasons. The historical approach that structures the disciplines themselves (linguistics, glottology, philosophy of language) is being challenged. Thus the aim is not to simply legitimize this approach but to re-found the theoretical importance of historical research in linguistic studies.