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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

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.

Book Information


Title: The Growth and Maintenance of Linguistic Complexity
Written By: Östen Dahl
Series Title: Studies in Language Companion Series 71

This book studies linguistic complexity and the processes by which it arises and is maintained, focusing not so much on what one can say in a language as how it is said. Complexity is not seen as synonymous with "difficulty" but as an objective property of a system — a measure of the amount of information needed to describe or reconstruct it. Grammatical complexity is the result of historical processes often subsumed under the rubric of grammaticalization and involves what can be called mature linguistic phenomena, that is, features that take time to develop. The nature and characteristics of such processes are discussed in detail, as well as the external and internal factors that favor or disfavor stability and change in language.

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1588115542
ISBN-13: 9781588115546
Pages: x, 336 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 155
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027230811
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: x, 336 pp.
Prices: Europe EURO 115.00