424 pp., 6 x 9 in,
- Published: January 5, 1999
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Rights: for sale only in the US and Canada
Historical linguistics is the study of how and why language changes—both the methods of investigating language change and the theories designed to explain these changes. This highly accessible introductory text takes a hands-on, how-to approach, rather than just talking about the subject as many texts do. The book contains abundant examples both from familiar European languages, to make the topics accessible, and from a variety of non-European languages, to illustrate the depth and range of the concepts. The book also covers a number of essential topics neglected by most texts, including syntactic change, methods for investigating distant genetic relationship, linguistic prehistory, and grammaticalization.