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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: On the role of locality in learning stress patterns
Author: Jeffrey N. Heinz
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.ling.udel.edu/people/jeffrey-heinz
Institution: University of Delaware
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology; Psycholinguistics; Typology
Abstract: This paper presents a previously unnoticed universal property of stress patterns in the world's languages: they are, for small neighbourhoods, neighbourhood-distinct. Neighbourhood-distinctness is a locality condition defined in automata-theoretic terms. This universal is established by examining stress patterns contained in two typological studies. Strikingly, many logically possible – but unattested – patterns do not have this property. Not only does neighbourhood-distinctness unite the attested patterns in a non-trivial way, it also naturally provides an inductive principle allowing learners to generalise from limited data. A learning algorithm is presented which generalises by failing to distinguish same-neighbourhood environments perceived in the learner's linguistic input – hence learning neighbourhood-distinct patterns – as well as almost every stress pattern in the typology. In this way, this work lends support to the idea that properties of the learner can explain certain properties of the attested typology, an idea not straightforwardly available in optimality-theoretic and Principle and Parameter frameworks.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 26, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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