Language Change

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, May 28, 2015 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 292 pages
How and why do languages change? This new introduction offers a guide to the types of change at all levels of linguistic structure, as well as the mechanisms behind each type. Based on data from a variety of methods and a huge array of language families, it examines general patterns of change, bringing together recent findings on sound change, analogical change, grammaticalization, the creation and change of constructions, as well as lexical change. Emphasizing crosslinguistic patterns and going well beyond traditional methods in historical linguistics, this book sees change as grounded in cognitive processes and usage factors that are rarely mentioned in other textbooks. Complete with questions for discussion, suggested readings and a useful glossary of terms, this book helps students to gain a general understanding of language as an ever-changing system.
 

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Contents

Sound change
15
Sound change and phonological change in a wider perspective
49
The interaction of sound change with grammar
75
Analogical change
93
processes and mechanisms
117
Common paths of grammaticalization
139
the development and change
161
how languages get new words and how words
188
Comparison reconstruction and typology
209
The major branches of IndoEuropean
236
IPA chart
265
References
272
Language index
285
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About the author (2015)

Joan Bybee is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Linguistics at the University of New Mexico.