LINGUIST List 12.361

Mon Feb 12 2001

Books: History of Language

Editor for this issue: Naomi Ogasawara <>

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  1. Joyce Reid, History of Language: Language Change by J. Aitchison

Message 1: History of Language: Language Change by J. Aitchison

Date: 12 Feb 2001 10:32:05 +0800
From: Joyce Reid <>
Subject: History of Language: Language Change by J. Aitchison

Language Change
Progress or Decay?
Third Edition
Jean Aitchison. University of Oxford

This book gives a lucid and up-to-date overview of language change,
discussing where our evidence about language change comes from, how
and why changes happen, and how languages begin and end. It considers
both changes that occurred long ago, and those currently in
progress. This substantially revised third edition includes two new
chapters on change of meaning and grammaticalization. New sections
have been added to other chapters, as well as over 150 new
references. The work remains nontechnical in style and accessibleto
the reader with no previous knowledge of linguistics.


Part I. Preliminaries: 
1. The ever-whirling wheel: the inevitability of change; 
2. Collecting up clues: piecing together the evidence; 
3. Charting the changes: studying changes in progress; 

Part II. Transition: 
4. Spreading the word: from person to person; 
5. Conflicting loyalties: opposing social pressures; 
6. Catching on and taking off: how sound changes spread through a language; 
7. Caught in the web: how s yntactic changes work through a language; 
8. The wheels of language: grammaticalization; 
9. Slip slidin' away: change of meaning; 

Part III: 
10. The reason why: sociolinguistic causes of change; 
11. Doing what comes naturally: inherent causes of language change; 
12. Repairing the patterns: therapeutic changes; 
13. The Mad Hatter's tea-party: chain reaction changes; 

Part IV: 
14. Development and breakdown: child language and language disorders;
15. Language birth: how languages begin; 
16. Language death: how languages end; 
17. Progress or decay?: Assessing the situation.

Cambridge Approaches to Linguistics
2001/324 pp./7 graphs/25 line diagrams/17 tables
0-521-79155-3/Hb/List: $54.95
0-521-79535-4/Pb/List: $19.95
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Tuesday, February 06, 2001