ISBN is

9780198700005 / 0198700008

Linguistic Reconstruction: An Introduction to Theory and Method (Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics)

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Publisher:Oxford University Press, USA

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

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 short distance 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? Aimed at students with an elementary knowledge of linguistics, this text explains the methods and theoretical bases of linguistic reconstruction, and newer, less established principles such as the application of linguistic universals and language typology, and quantitative techniques. It also reviews the principles for establishing language relationships and for uncovering information about the homelands and cultures of the prehistoric speakers of reconstructed languages.

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