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Book Information


Title: Genetic Linguistics
Subtitle: Essays on Theory and Method
Written By: Joseph H. Greenberg
Edited By: William Croft

Fifty years ago Joseph Greenberg put forward the now widely accepted
classification of African languages. This book charts the progress of his
subsequent work on language classification in Oceania, the Americas, and
Eurasia,in which he proposed the language families Indo-Pacific, Amerind
and Eurasiatic. It shows how he established and deployed three fundamental
principles: that the most reliable evidence for genetic classification is
the pairing of sound and meaning; that nonlinguistic evidence, such as skin
colour or cultural traits, should be excluded from the analysis; and that
the vocabulary and inflections of a very large number of languages should
be simultaneously compared. The volume includes Joseph Greenberg's
substantive contributions to the debate his work provoked and concludes
with his writings on the links between genetic linguistics and human history.

William Croft's introduction focuses on the substance and the development
of Professor Greenberg's thought and research within the context of the
discussion they stimulated. He also includes a bibliography of scholarly
reactions to and developments of Joseph Greenberg's work and a
comprehensive bibliography of his publications in books and journals.

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 019925771X
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 458
Prices: U.K. £ 70.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0199257728
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 458
Prices: U.K. £ 26.99