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LINGUIST List 20.2622

Tue Jul 28 2009

Books: Historical Linguistics/Linguistic Theories: Lass

Editor for this issue: Maria Moreno-Rollins <marialinguistlist.org>


Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
Directory
        1.    Daniel Davies, On Explaining Language Change: Lass

Message 1: On Explaining Language Change: Lass
Date: 18-Jul-2009
From: Daniel Davies <ddaviescambridge.org>
Subject: On Explaining Language Change: Lass
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Title: On Explaining Language Change
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics
Published: 2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
                http://us.cambridge.org

Author: Roger Lass
Hardback: ISBN: 9780521228367 Pages: 200 Price: U.K. £ 18.50
Paperback: ISBN: 9780521117166 Pages: 200 Price: U.K. £ 14.99
Abstract:

Note: This is a new edition of a previously published t

Roger Lass is concerned about the nature of argumentation within
linguistics and the status of its data and theoretical constructs. Through
an examination of standard strategies of explanation in historical
linguistics (particularly of phonological change), in the light of past
approaches to scientific epistemology, Dr Lass convincingly demonstrates
that attempts to model explanations of linguistic change on those of the
physical sciences are failures both in practice and in principle. Linguists
can neither assimilate their discipline crudely to the natural or the other
human sciences nor, at the other extreme, shelter behind the notion of a
private self-validating paradigm. Although Dr Lass outlines some tentative
paths towards an alternative epistemology, his main concern is that
linguists should confront the philosophical implications of their subject,
and he raises questions which both linguists and philosophers will need to
consider.

Contents:

Preface;
1. What does it mean to explain something?;
2. Why 'naturalness' does not explain anything;
Appendix to chapter 2. Naturalness, 'uniformitarianism' and reconstruction;
3. The teleology problem: can language change be 'functional'?;
Appendix to chapter 3. Four problems related to the question of function;
4. Causality and 'the nature of language';
5. Conclusion and prospects: the limits of deductivism and some alternatives;
References;
Index.


Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            Linguistic Theories

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/get-book.html?BookID=42582


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Edinburgh University Press http://www.eup.ed.ac.uk/
Elsevier Ltd http://www.elsevier.com/linguistics
Emerald Group Publishing Limited http://www.emeraldinsight.com/
Equinox Publishing Ltd http://www.equinoxpub.com/
European Language Resources Association - ELRA http://www.elra.info.
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John Benjamins http://www.benjamins.com/
Lincom GmbH http://www.lincom.eu
MIT Press http://mitpress.mit.edu/
Mouton de Gruyter http://www.mouton-publishers.com
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