This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
This text argues controversially that second language acquisition has much in common with other forms of skill learning; and that there is much to be learned about the business of language teaching by considering the views and practices of teachers in other domains. The study of second language learning and teaching may thus draw on knowledge about first language acquisition, but not on what is known about the learning of non-linguistic skills. This book argues against such an approach. It begins by considering arguments for and against the uniqueness of language. It reviews the recent SLA literature, looking both at general learning theories and opposing theories (mostly based on the study of universal grammar). The book then turns to language teaching, and in a programmatic way considers what insights may be gained by viewing language within a general skill framework.