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Textbook

Historical Linguistics: Theory and Method

ISBN: 978-0-631-19662-4
284 pages
February 2007, ©2007, Wiley-Blackwell
Historical Linguistics: Theory and Method (0631196625) cover image
This book goes beyond the boundaries of a standard text, using controversial and compelling ideas to explore the relationship between fundamental concepts in historical linguistics.

  • An original and engaging introduction to the subject of historical linguistics



  • Presents controversial but compelling ideas in developing a clear understanding as to why historical linguistics has had significant success in some domains, such as phonological history, and why it is considerably less successful in others



  • Explores the relationship between fundamental concepts in historical linguistics, topics such as 'language' and 'change', and corresponding notions in contemporary (synchronic) linguistic theory



  • Features extensive discussion of traditional and theoretically-oriented historical work in the domains of phonology and syntax.
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Introduction.

Part I: “Language” and “Language Change”: Preliminaries.

1. What is “Language”?.

2. Linguistic Artifacts: Philology.

3. What is a “Descent” Relationship?.

Part II: Phonological Change.

4. Galilean-Style Phonology.

5. The Traditional Approach.

6. In-Depth Consideration of Selected Issues.

7. The Regularity of Sound Change.

Part III: Syntactic Change.

8. What is Syntactic Change?.

9. The Diachrony of Clitics: Phonology and Syntax.

Part IV: Reconstruction Methodology.

10. Reconstruction Methodology.

Part V: Concluding Remarks.

11. Synchronic and Diachronic Linguistics.

References.

Index

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Mark Hale is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Concordia University, Montreal. His research centers on the relationship between contemporary theoretical linguistics and traditional historical linguistic methodology.
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  • An original and engaging introduction to the subject of historical linguistics.
  • Presents controversial but compelling ideas in developing a clear understanding as to why historical linguistics has had significant success in some domains, such as phonological history, and why it is considerably less successful in others.
  • Explores the relationship between fundamental concepts in historical linguistics, such as 'language' and 'change', and corresponding notions in contemporary (synchronic) linguistic theory.
  • Features extensive discussion of traditional and theoretically-oriented historical work in the domains of phonology and syntax.
See More
“This book will be a boon to educators who teach courses that go beyond a basic introduction to historical linguistics and who seek to link issues in linguistic change to questions in theoretical phonology or syntax … This book is firmly on my list of the few crucial texts for historical linguists … students should be encouraged to read this volume critically to broaden their horizons and deepen their thoughts.” Times Higher Education Supplement

“The appearance of this book is one of the most exciting events in historical linguistics in many decades: the book is a stunning achievement. No historical linguist can afford to ignore Hale’s attempt to provide a solid theoretical foundation for the field’s methodological successes, and to link synchronic theoretical linguistics to the study of language change. Hale’s perspective is original and stimulating, as is his lively writing style; some of his claims are sure to be controversial, but those who disagree with him will have to work hard to counter his arguments.” Sarah Thomason, University of Michigan

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