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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

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."


Academic Paper


Title: A real-time window on 19th-century vernacular French: The Récits du français québécois d'autrefois
Author: Shana Poplack
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Ottawa
Author: Anne St-Amand
Institution: University of Toronto
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: French
Abstract: This article describes the construction of a corpus of spoken French with a time depth of a century and a half, the Récits du français québécois d'autrefois (RFQ). The folktales, local legends, and interviews constituting the RFQ were produced by speakers born between 1846 and 1895. They spoke the French of 19th-century rural Québec, a variety shown to be replete with the vernacular structures and inherent variability of contemporary dialects. The authors review the advantages and drawbacks associated with this type of diachronic material, and argue that, exploited judiciously, it effectively represents an earlier stage of spoken French. They show how systematic comparison of the RFQ with contemporary vernaculars can help pinpoint the existence, date, and direction of language change.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 36, Issue 5, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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