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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Sound change and phonological change in a wider perspective
The interaction of sound change with grammar
processes and mechanisms
Common paths of grammaticalization
the development and change
3rd sg adjective adpositions affected affixes alternation American English articulation assimilation auxiliary become borrowed Bybee century chain shift change occurs chapter clause COCA cognates common comparative consider construction contexts contrast creole languages deletion derived diachronic dialects discussed dissimilation earlier ergative example expression factors forms French frequency fricative front vowel German gesture glide grammaticalization grams high-frequency indicate Indo-European Indo-European languages inflectional instance language change Latin lenition lexical items linguistic loanwords main verb marker meaning modal morphemes morphological nasal consonant noun object Old English OV languages palatal paradigms passive past tense patterns phonetic phonological phrase pidgin plural Portuguese position preposition proposed proto-phonemes reconstruction reduction regular result retiming Romance languages Section semantic change sequence similar singular situation sound change Spanish speakers stem stress structure suffix suppletive syllable syllable-final syntactic Tok Pisin tone type of change unstressed variation velar voiced voiceless stops Vowel Shift words