The study addresses the question of the extent to which Herder’s early philosophy of speech was influenced by the Platonic idea of anamnesis, namely in relation to the problem of the relationship between reason and speech. Is all speech grounded in sensibility, or does it also somehow reflect the apriority of reason? If the development of reason is tied to speech, which is the product of the specific living conditions of a particular speech community, can we still speak in any way of the universality of reason? Answers to these questions, however partial they may appear in the context of Herder’s early work, are sought in Herder’s early essay Fragments on Recent German Literature. Another of Herder’s early texts, “Plato said...”, is chosen as an interpretive starting point, which shows Herder’s inspiration for the concept of apriority in Leibniz and Mendelssohn.