This accessible, hands-on text not only introduces students to the
important topics in historical linguistics but also shows them how to apply
the methods described and how to think about the issues; abundant examples
and exercises allow students to focus on how to do historical linguistics.
Distinctive to this text is its integration of the standard topics with
others now considered important to the field, including syntactic change,
grammaticalization, sociolinguistic contributions to linguistic change,
distant genetic relationships, areal linguistics, and linguistic
prehistory. Examples are taken from a broad range of languages; those from
the more familiar English, French, German, and Spanish make the topics more
accessible, while those from non-Indo-European languages show the depth and
range of the concepts they illustrate.
This second edition features expanded explanations and examples as well as
updates in light of recent work in linguistics, including a defense of the
family tree model, a response to recent claims on lexical
diffusion/frequency, and a section on why languages diversify and spread.
Lyle Campbell is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Canterbury
in New Zealand. He is the author of fifteen books, including American
Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America and
Historical Syntax in Cross-Linguistic Perspectives (with Alice C. Harris),
both of which won the Linguistic Society of America's Leonard Bloomfield Award.