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The Handbook of Historical Linguistics / Edition 1

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The Handbook of Historical Linguistics provides a detailed account of the numerous issues, methods, and results that characterize current work in historical linguistics, the area of linguistics most directly concerned with language change as well as past language states.

  • Contains an extensive introduction that places the study of historical linguistics in its proper context within linguistics and the historical sciences in general
  • Covers the methodology of historical linguistics and presents sophisticated overviews of the principles governing phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic change
  • Includes contributions from the leading specialists in the field
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Handbook of Historical Linguistics proves an atypical handbook in several positive senses, beginning with the introduction's bold tackling of foundational issues. While many chapters offer the expected compact overviews of familiar topics, others are, we hope, destined to become influential as needed lucid statements on particular issues... and thought-provoking, original contributions... The value of The Handbook of Historical Linguistics is multifaceted; its influence will be far-reaching and long-lasting." Journal of Linguistics

“The editors have assembled a remarkable array of contributors who can introduce readers to the professional standards of scholarship and scientific reasoning that characterize the field.” William Labov, University of Pennsylvania

“An authoritative collection, by a stellar group of contributors, that presents historical linguistics as it really is – a multifaceted study that is both a branch of general linguistics and a field in its own right. No other survey covers the territory half so well.” Jay Jasanoff, Harvard University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405127479
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics Series , #35
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 904
  • Product dimensions: 6.78 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 1.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian D. Joseph is Professor of Linguistics and Kenneth E. Naylor Professor of South Slavic Linguistics at The Ohio State University. Within historical linguistics, his research focuses mainly on Indo-European languages. He has written and edited numerous books – including Language History, Language Change, and Language Relationship (with Hans H. Hock, 1996) and The Synchrony and Diachrony of the Balkan Infinitive (1983) – and has published over 160 articles. He became editor of the journal Language in 2002.

Richard D. Janda is Senior Lecturer and Coordinator for Undergraduate Education in the Department of Linguistics at The Ohio State University. A specialist in both Germanic and Romance linguistics, he has written widely not only on diachronic but also on synchronic issues in phonology, morphology, and morphosyntax, as well as on historical linguistics in general. His more than 70 publications focus on drawing broader implications from the application of theory to specific problems of structure, function, variation, and change in individual languages.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction:.

On Language, Change, and Language Change: Richard D. Janda & Brian D. Joseph, both The Ohio State University.

Part II: Methods for Studying Language Change: .

1. The Comparative Method: Robert L. Rankin, University of Kansas.

2. On the Limits of the Comparative Method: S.P. Harrison, University of Western Australia.

3. Internal Reconstruction: Don Ringe, University of Pennsylvania.

4. How to Show Languages are Related: Methods for Distant Genetic Relationship: Lyle Campbell, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

5. Diversity and Stability in Language: Johanna Nichols, University of California, Berkeley.

Part III: Phonological Change:.

6. The Phonological Basis of Sound Change: Paul Kiparsky, Stanford University.

7. Neogrammarian Sound Change: Mark Hale, Concordia University.

8. Variationist Approaches to Phonological Change: Gregory R. Guy, York University.

Part IV: Morphological and Lexical Change: .

9. Analogy: The Warp and Woof of Cognition: Raimo Anttila, University of California, Los Angeles.

10. Analogical Change: Hans Henrich Hock, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

11. “Phonologization”as the Start of Dephoneticization – Or, On Sound-Change and Its Aftermath: Of Extension, Generalization, Lexicalization, and Morphologization: Richard D. Janda, The Ohio State University.

12. Morphologization from Syntax: Brian D. Joseph, The Ohio State University.

13. Naturalness and Morphological Change: Wolfgang U. Dressler, Vienna University.

Part V: Syntactic Change: .

14. Grammatical Approaches to Syntactic Change: David Lightfoot, Georgetown University.

15. Variationist Approaches to Syntactic Change: Susan Pintzuk, University of York.

16. Cross-linguistic Perspectives on Syntactic Change: Alice C. Harris, Vanderbilt University.

17. Functional Perspectives on Syntactic Change: Marianne Mithun, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Part VI: Semantico-Pragmatic Change:.

18. Grammaticalization: Bernd Heine, University of Cologne.

19. Mechanisms of Change in Grammaticization: The Role of Frequency: Joan Bybee, University of New Mexico.

20. Constructions in Grammaticalization: Elizabeth Closs Traugott, Stanford University.

21. Principles of Semantic Change: Benjamin W. Fortson, IV.

Part VII: Explaining Linguistic Change:.

22. Phonetics and Historical Phonology: John Ohala, University of California, Berkeley.

23. Contact as a Source of Language Change: Sarah Grey Thomason, University of Pittsburgh.

24. Dialectology and Linguistic Diffusion: Walt Wolfram & Natalie Schilling-Estes, North Carolina State University and Georgetown University.

25. Psycholinguistic Perspectives on Linguistic Change: Jean Aitchison, University of Oxford.



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