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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: Diachronic change: Early versus late acquisition
Author: Fred Weerman
Institution: University of Amsterdam
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: There is a long linguistic tradition in which language change is explained in terms of first language acquisition. In this tradition, children are considered to be the agents of language change, or at least the agents of changes in the underlying grammar. Since the early 1980s, this has been formulated in the (generative) terminology in terms of parameters set by children: whereas an older generation acquires one particular setting of a parameter (during childhood), a next generation of L1 children may set a parameter differently, based on the input of their parents, and this may lead to a different output. For obvious reasons this argumentation had to be built on theoretical rather than empirical work on language acquisition. There are no children acquiring Old English or Middle Dutch, and, in fact, the field of acquisition research was until recently much less developed and very often not focused on the type of facts that happened to play a role in discussions of language change.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 14, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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