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Hardcover | $120.00 Short | £82.95 | ISBN: 9780262041683 | 583 pp. | 7 x 10 in | 4 illus.| May 1999
Paperback | $50.00 Short | £34.95 | ISBN: 9780262541268 | 583 pp. | 7 x 10 in | 4 illus.| January 2001

Language Creation and Language Change

Creolization, Diachrony, and Development


Research on creolization, language change, and language acquisition has been converging toward a triangulation of the constraints along which grammatical systems develop within individual speakers—and (viewed externally) across generations of speakers. The originality of this volume is in its comparison of various sorts of language development from a number of linguistic-theoretic and empirical perspectives, using data from both speech and gestural modalities and from a diversity of acquisition environments. In turn, this comparison yields fresh insights on the mental bases of language creation.

The book is organized into five parts: creolization and acquisition; acquisition under exceptional circumstances; language processing and syntactic change; parameter setting in acquisition and through creolization and language change; and a concluding part integrating the contributors' observations and proposals into a series of commentaries on the state of the art in our understanding of language development, its role in creolization and diachrony, and implications for linguistic theory.

Dany Adone, Derek Bickerton, Adrienne Bruyn, Marie Coppola, Michel DeGraff, Viviane DĂ©prez, Alison Henry, Judy Kegl, David Lightfoot, John S. Lumsden, Salikoko S. Mufwene, Pieter Muysken, Elissa L. Newport, Luigi Rizzi, Ian Roberts, Ann Senghas, Rex A. Sprouse, Denise Tangney, Anne Vainikka, Barbara S. Vance, Maaike Verrips.

About the Author

Michel DeGraff is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About the Editor

Michel DeGraff is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


"This book represents an impressive range of informative reports onthe development of languages through change, creolization, andcreation, including the important story of the emergence of SignLanguage in Nicaragua, a major event in the lives of the peopleaffected and in the history of scientific language scholarship."
—Kenneth L. Hale, Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Modern Languages andLinguistics, Linguistic Theory, Amerindian and Australian Languages,Massachusetts Institute of Technology