Historical Linguistics: Toward a Twenty-First Century Reintegration

Historical Linguistics: Toward a Twenty-First Century Reintegration

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Don Ringe, Joseph F. Eska
Cambridge University Press, 2013-01-24
EAN 9780521587112, ISBN10: 0521587115

Paperback, 325 pages, 17.1 x 1.8 x 1.8 cm

Bringing the advances of theoretical linguistics to the study of language change in a systematic way, this innovative textbook demonstrates the mutual relevance of historical linguistics and contemporary linguistics. Numerous case studies throughout the book show both that theoretical linguistics can be used to solve problems where traditional approaches to historical linguistics have failed to produce satisfying results, and that the results of historical research can have an impact on theory. The book first explains the nature of human language and the sources of language change in broad terms. It then focuses on different types of language change from contemporary viewpoints, before exploring comparative reconstruction - the most spectacular success of traditional historical linguistics - and the problems inherent in trying to devise new methods for linguistic comparison. Positioned at the cutting edge of the field, the book argues that this approach can and should lead to the re-integration of historical linguistics as one of the core areas in the study of language.

'Engaging, clear, modern, and intellectually honest ... this book will inspire a new generation of work in historical linguistics.' Philomen Probert, University of Oxford