Historical Linguistics: An Introduction

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MIT Press, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 448 pages
5 Reviews

This accessible, hands-on text not only introduces students to the important topicsin historical linguistics but also shows them how to apply the methods described and how to thinkabout the issues; abundant examples and exercises allow students to focus on how to do historicallinguistics. Distinctive to this text is its integration of the standard topics with others nowconsidered important to the field, including syntactic change, grammaticalization, sociolinguisticcontributions to linguistic change, distant genetic relationships, areal linguistics, and linguisticprehistory. Examples are taken from a broad range of languages; those from the more familiarEnglish, French, German, and Spanish make the topics more accessible, while those fromnon-Indo-European languages show the depth and range of the concepts they illustrate.This secondedition features expanded explanations and examples as well as updates in light of recent work inlinguistics, including a defense of the family tree model, a response to recent claims on lexicaldiffusion/frequency, and a section on why languages diversify and spread.

  

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Review: Historical Linguistics: An Introduction

User Review  - Jon Gauthier - Goodreads

An extremely detailed introduction to historical linguistics. Every concept is accompanied by several in-depth examples, some of which are almost excessively wrought out. (Get ready for page-long ... Read full review

Review: Historical Linguistics: An Introduction

User Review  - h - Goodreads

good book, somewhere in between intro level and intermediate. some background in linguistics is extremely helpful. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Sound Change
16
Borrowing
62
Analogical Change
103
The Comparative Method
122
Linguistic Classification
184
Models of Linguistic Change
211
Internal Reconstruction
225
Explaining Linguistic Change
312
Areal Linguistics
330
Distant Genetic Relationship
344
The Role of Written Records
361
Linguistic Prehistory
378
Bibliography
421
Language Index
436
Name Index
442

Semantic Change and Lexical Change
252
Syntactic Change
283

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About the author (1998)

(with Alice C. Harris), both of which won the Linguistic Society of America's Leonard Bloomfield Award.

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