Linguistic Reconstruction: An Introduction to Theory and Method / Edition 1

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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198700012
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/27/1995
  • Series: Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 390
  • Lexile: 1500L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
A Note on Transcription and Transliteration
1 Introduction 1
2 Background to the Comparative Method 17
3 The Comparative Method in the Twentieth Century 37
4 The Comparative Method: Basic Procedures 57
5 Comparative Reconstruction of Morphology, Syntax, and the Lexicon 92
6 Issues in Comparative Reconstruction 122
7 Internal Reconstruction 145
8 Applications and Implications of Internal Reconstruction 185
9 Reconstructing Language Relationships 217
10 Language Typology and Linguistic Reconstruction 247
11 Quantitative Methods in Reconstruction 275
12 Reconstruction, Culture, and Society 303
References 330
General Index 359
Language Index 365
Name Index 368
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