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Principles of Linguistic Change, Volume I, Internal Factors

ISBN: 978-0-631-17914-6
664 pages
July 1994, Wiley-Blackwell
Principles of Linguistic Change, Volume I, Internal Factors  (0631179143) cover image
This book develops the general principles of linguistic change that form the foundations of historical linguistics, dialectology and sociolinguistics. 
  • Demonstrates the social as well as cognitive relevance of linguistic research
  • Shows that rapid linguistic change is in progress in the cities of America and England so that urban dialects are becoming more and more differentiated
  • Discusses factors that govern the internal development of linguistic structures: the mechanisms of change, the constraints on change, and the ways in which change is embedded in the larger linguistic system
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Editor's Preface.

Notational Conventions.

Acknowledgements.

Introduction: The Plan of the Work as a Whole.

Part I: Introduction and Methodology:.

1. The Use of the Present to Explain the Past.

2. An Overview of the Issues.

3. The Study of Change in Progress: Observations in Apparent Time.

4. The Study of Change in Progress: Observations in Real Time.

Part II: Chain Shifting:.

5. General Principles of Vowel Shifting.

6. Chain Shifts in Progress.

7. Resolution of the Paradoxes.

8. Reduction of the Rules and Principles.

9. Chain Shifts across Subsystems.

Part III: Mergers and Splits:.

10. Some Impossible Unmergings.

11. The General Properties of Mergers and Splits.

12. Near-Mergers.

13. The Explanation of Unmergings.

14. The Suspension of Phonemic Contrast.

Part IV: The Regularity Controversy:.

15. Evidence for Lexical Diffusion.

16. Expanding the Neogrammarian Viewpoint.

17. Regular Sound Change in English Dialect Geography.

18. A Proposed Resolution of the Regularity Question.

Part V: The Functional Character of Change:.

19. The Overestimation of Functionalism.

20. The Maintenance of Meaning.

21. The Principles Reviewed.

References.

Index.
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William Labov is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania.
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  • demonstrates the social as well as cognitive relevance of linguistic research

  • develops the general principles of linguistic change that form the foundations of historical linguistics, dialectology and sociolinguistics

  • shows that rapid linguistic change is in progress in the cities of America and England so that urban dialects are becoming more and more differentiated

  • discusses factors that govern the internal development of linguistic structures: the mechanisms of change, the constraints on change, and the ways in which change is embedded in the larger linguistic system
See More
"This volume represents the remarkable achievements of one of the leading linguistics of the twentieth century. Almost uniquely... Labov has demonstrated the social as well as cognitive relevance of linguistic research." Elizabeth C. Traugott and Scott A. Schwenter, Stanford University
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