Understanding Language Change

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Mar 17, 1994 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 361 pages
2 Reviews
How and why do language changes begin; how and why do they spread; and how can they ultimately be explained? This new textbook sets out to answer these questions in a clear and helpful way that will be accessible to all students with only an elementary knowledge of linguistics. In the first half of the book Dr. McMahon analyzes changes from every area of grammar. In the second she looks at such topics as language contact, linguistic variation, pidgins and Creoles, and language death. Throughout, the discussion is illustrated by a wealth of examples from English and other languages.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - echaika - LibraryThing

Good but for linguists Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
12 Language change and linguistic reconstruction
6
13 Synchrony and diachrony
9
14 The organisation of this book
11
Three views of sound change
14
22 The Neogrammarians
17
23 The Structuralists
24
24 The Generativists
32
Language contact
200
83 Structural borrowing
209
84 Convergence
213
85 Conclusion
224
Linguistic variation
225
92 Dialectology
226
93 Sociolinguistics
232
Pidgins and Creoles
253

25 The question of explanation
44
Sound change 2 the implementation problem
47
33 Lexical Phonology and sound change
56
Morphological change
69
42 Analogy
70
43 Natural Morphology
97
Syntactic change 1 the Transparency Principle
107
53 Lightfoots 1979a theory of syntactic change
116
54 Reactions and criticisms
123
55 Lightfoot and the principles and parameters model
129
Word order change and grammaticalisation language change and general laws
138
62 Typology and consistency in word order
139
63 Grammaticalisation
160
Semantic and lexical change
174
language internal creativity
190
102 Pidgins
255
103 Creoles
260
104 The general relevance of pidgins and creoles
265
105 The Language Bioprogram Hypothesis
270
Language death
284
112 Language suicide
287
four casestudies
291
114 Language death pidginisation and creolisation
308
Linguistic evolution?
314
122 Evolution 1
315
123 Evolution 2
325
124 Evolution 3
334
Bibliography
341
Index
353
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information