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 study sheds light on the complex relationship between cognitive and linguistic categories. Challenging the view of cases as categories in cognitive space, Professor Schlesinger proposes an understanding of the concept of case. Drawing on evidence from psycholinguistic research and English language data, he argues that case categories are in fact composed of more primitive cognitive notions: features and dimensions. These are registered in the lexical entries of individual verbs, thereby allowing certain metaphorical extensions. This approach to case permits better descriptions of certain syntactic phenomena, as Schlesinger illustrates through the analysis of the feature compositions of three cases.