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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 language for all the world
Author: John Edwards
Institution: St. Francis Xavier University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Abstract: In the popular mind, constructing a language has always been seen as an odd activity, one that seems to fly in the face of ‘natural’ language dynamics. It is, nonetheless, a very old activity, and attention to its various stages is an important part of the study of linguistic history – and, indeed, of modern scientific development. The first stage involves attempts (highly speculative, of course) to recapture the original lingua humana, as spoken in the Garden of Eden. At a later stage, scholars tried to create entire languages ab ovo, motivated by the desire for a more logical and regular variety that would better reflect and channel scientific classification. Later still – and on into the modern era – ‘artificial’ languages have been assembled from pre-existing rules and components. At all stages, the work has been underpinned by hopes for a more practical medium, but there have also been expectations that a language that was both regular and widely shared would contribute to international harmony and understanding.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language Teaching Vol. 46, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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