How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.
This translation of the German edition first published in 1970, introduces the standard text on the comparative-historical method to an English-speaking audience. After surveying the general principles of diachronic-comparative linguistics, the book uses these principles to analyze the phonological and morphological structure of the Indo-European language group. Each section of the book has a detailed bibliography, so readers can progress from the general overview to a more in-depth examination of particular topics.