For a quick history on the godfather of linguistics go to Noam Chomsky's website. Here you'll find all of his writings, tons of information on linguistics and many debates on the "Chomskian" theory of linguistics. Chomsky is given credit for really expanding the science of linguistics and for theorizing that language is an innate, biological process that humans have from birth. Whether you believe that language is innate or that it is a learned process, reading Chomsky's stuff will really make you think about what you think. One has to admit, language, no matter where it develops, develops in a systematic manner.