LINGUIST List 9.942

Wed Jun 24 1998

Books: Historical Linguistics

Editor for this issue: Anita Huang <>

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  1. Vivien Eng, Historical Linguistics

Message 1: Historical Linguistics

Date: 22 Jun 98 10:21:33 -0400
From: Vivien Eng <>
Subject: Historical Linguistics


Roger Lass (University of Cape Town); Historical Linguistics and
Language Change; ISBN: 0-521-45924-9; Paperback, 6 X 9, c. 471 pp.;
Pub. Date: 04-13-97; PUBLISHER:Cambridge University Press; $29.95;

Language change happens in the spatio-temporal world. Historical
linguistics is the craft linguists exercise upon its results, in order
to tell coherent stories about it. In a series of linked essays Roger
Lass offers a critical survey of the foundations of the art of
historical linguistics, and its interaction with its subject matter,
language change, taking as his background some of the major
philosophical issues that arise fromthese considerations. The
paradoxical conclusion is that our historiographical methods are often
better than the data they have to work with.; Contents: Preface;
General prologue; 1. The past, the present and the historian;
2. Written records: evidence and argument; 3. Relatedness, ancestry
and comparison; 4. Convergence and contact; 5. The nature of
reconstruction; 6. Time and change: the shape(s) of history;
7. Explanation and ontology; References; Index.

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1998 Contributors

  • Addison Wesley Longman
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter