Language Change: Progress or Decay?

Overview

An up-to-date overview of language change considers where our evidence about language comes from and how and why changes happen, begin and end. This second edition has been substantially revised and enlarged.
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Language Change

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Overview

An up-to-date overview of language change considers where our evidence about language comes from and how and why changes happen, begin and end. This second edition has been substantially revised and enlarged.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Advance Praise: "Jean Aitchison's Language Change: Progress or Decay? has been essential introductory reading for students of historical linguistics for many years: it manages the rare trick of combining theoretical sophistication and clear, simple (but not simplistic) expression. This new edition, which takes account of current issues in language-change studies while not discarding classic discussions, remains a fine and very approachable survey. I shall certainly recommend it to my undergraduates." --Jeremy J. Smith, University of Glasgow

‘’A brilliant essay in linguistics...Even in the most complex spaghetti junctions of her argument, her own directions are always clear, and her own language lively, fresh and stimulating’’. --The Guardian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107023628
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2012
  • Series: Cambridge Approaches to Linguistics Series
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

After many years lecturing with the University of London (at the London School of Economics and Political Science), Jean Aitchison was Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford (1993–2003) and is now an Emeritus Professor. She is the author of a number of books on language, including The Language Web (Cambridge University Press, 1997).
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Table of Contents

Preface
1 The ever-whirling wheel 3
2 Collecting up clues 19
3 Charting the changes 37
4 Spreading the word 55
5 Conflicting loyalties 68
6 Catching on and taking off 84
7 Caught in the web 98
8 The wheels of language 112
9 Spinning away 120
10 The reason why 133
11 Doing what comes naturally 153
12 Repairing the patterns 169
13 The Mad Hatter's tea-party 183
14 Development and breakdown 201
15 Language birth 217
16 Language death 235
17 Progress or decay? 249
Symbols and technical terms 261
Notes and suggestions for further reading 263
References 281
Acknowledgments 304
Index 305
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