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Historical Linguistics and Language Change

Historical Linguistics and Language Change

$102.00 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Linguistics

  • Date Published: April 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521459242

$ 102.00 (P)
Paperback

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About the Authors
  • Language change happens in the spatio-temporal world. Historical linguistics is the craft linguists exercise upon its results, in order to tell coherent stories about it. In a series of linked essays Roger Lass offers a critical survey of the foundations of the art of historical linguistics, and its interaction with its subject matter, language change, taking as his background some of the major philosophical issues that arise from these considerations. The paradoxical conclusion is that our historiographical methods are often better than the data they have to work with.

    • Lass is one of the best-known authors on the list. See his Old English (1994)
    • Current book is the result of many years of thinking about the nature of history, historical explanation, and its philosophical underpinnings
    • Lass well known in English departments as well as in linguistics - book will appeal strongly to both markets
    • Includes discussion on a current strong topic - evolution and language
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is a useful and engaging book, discussing and illustrating principles of historical linguistics primarily with Indo-European examples." Keith Slater, Notes on Linguistics

    "...this is a very learned, logically reasoned and very valuable book--the work of an outstanding historical linguist who has extraordinarily wide-ranging interests and a formidable memory. It is enjoyable reading....this is a work of impressive scholarship..." James Milroy, Diachronica

    "...the book contains much of interst to students of language change at all levels. His examples and demonstrations of method would be of great value to newcomers to the field and, indeed, any of us can admire such perfect elucidation." Canadian Journal of Linguistics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521459242
    • length: 448 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.65kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    General prologue
    1. The past, the present and the historian
    2. Written records: evidence and argument
    3. Relatedness, ancestry and comparison
    4. Convergence and contact
    5. The nature of reconstruction
    6. Time and change: the shape(s) of history
    7. Explanation and ontology
    References
    Index.

  • Author

    Roger Lass, University of Cape Town

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