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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Book Information

   

Title: Change, Chance, and Optimality
Description:

This book is about how languages change. It is also a devastating critique of a widespread linguistic orthodoxy. April McMahon argues that to provide a convincing explanation of linguistic change the roles of history and contingency must be accommodated in linguistic theory. She also shows that theoretical work in related disciplines can be used to assess the value of such theories. Optimality Theory, or OT as it is usually called, dominates contemporary phonology, especially in the USA, and is becoming increasingly influential in syntax and language acquisition. Having set out its basis principles, Professor McMahon assesses their explanatory power in analysing language change and its residues in current phonological systems. Using cross-linguistic data, and drawing comparisons with other theories inside and outside linguistics, she shows that OT is incapable of accounting for language change, without the addition of rules and an appreciation of chance and historical contingency that would then undermine its theoretical underpinnings.

Publication Year: 2000
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0198241240
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 216
Prices: $60.00

 
 
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0198241259
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 216
Prices: $19.95