This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
In the literature on English lexicography there have been few attempts at a systematic study of the history of popular dictionaries that have been around for many years in English-speaking countries. A dictionary like Chambers deserves special attention because of its long tradition that goes back to the nineteenth century. Although it has gone through numerous editions, its history has received little attention from scholars. The book traces the development of the Chambers Dictionary from its origins to the present time by comparing corresponding parts of successive editions of the dictionary. This comparative approach aims to determine major trends in the evolution of the dictionary. It will provide scholars and interested students with insights into the Chambers lexicographers’ work, the goals they aimed to achieve, and the problems they had to face when revising the dictionary.