Linguistic Reconstruction: An Introduction to Theory and Method

Linguistic Reconstruction: An Introduction to Theory and Method

by Anthony Fox
     
 

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How and why are languages constantly changing? Historical linguistics seeks to find out by going beyond the history of individual languages to discover the general principles which underlie language change. But our evidence is severely limited. Most of the world's languages are still unwritten, and even in areas with long written traditions, such as Europe and the

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Overview

How and why are languages constantly changing? Historical linguistics seeks to find out by going beyond the history of individual languages to discover the general principles which underlie language change. But our evidence is severely limited. Most of the world's languages are still unwritten, and even in areas with long written traditions, such as Europe and the Near East, documentary evidence stretches only a little way back along the path of the historical development of languages. How, then, can we uncover our long linguistic prehistory, and what can it tell us about language change? This new book, the first in the major new series, Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics, is an accessible general guide for students with an elementary knowledge of linguistics to the methods and theoretical bases of linguistic reconstruction. Fox provides a comprehensive survey both of orthodox techniques and of newer, less well established principles such as the application of linguistic universals and language typology, and quantitative techniques.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An exemplary textbook that fills a much-needed gap. Balanced presentation of material; especially good on explaining the rationales behind the various types of reconstruction."—John Hagge, Iowa State University

"...an excellent, informative introduction to the topic which will render great service to students."—The Journal of Indo-European Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198700005
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/27/1995
Series:
Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics Series
Pages:
390
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.43(h) x 0.42(d)

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