Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

The Social Origins of Language

By Daniel Dor

Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'


New from Brill!

ad

Free Access 4 You

Free access to several Brill linguistics journals, such as Journal of Jewish Languages, Language Dynamics and Change, and Brill’s Annual of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics.


Book Information

   

Title: Language Complexity as an Evolving Variable
Edited By: Geoffrey Sampson
David Gil
Peter Trudgill
Series Title: Studies in the Evolution of Language
Description:

This book presents a challenge to the widely-held assumption that human
languages are both similar and constant in their degree of complexity. For
a hundred years or more the universal equality of languages has been a
tenet of faith among most anthropologists and linguists. It has been
frequently advanced as a corrective to the idea that some languages are at
a later stage of evolution than others. It also appears to be an inevitable
outcome of one of the central axioms of generative linguistic theory: that
the mental architecture of language is fixed and is thus identical in all
languages and that whereas genes evolve languages do not.

"Language Complexity as an Evolving Variable" reopens the debate. Geoffrey
Sampson's introductory chapter re-examines and clarifies the notion and
theoretical importance of complexity in language, linguistics, cognitive
science, and evolution. Eighteen distinguished scholars from all over the
world then look at evidence gleaned from their own research in order to
reconsider whether languages do or do not exhibit the same degrees and
kinds of complexity. They examine data from a wide range of times and
places. They consider the links between linguistic structure and social
complexity and relate their findings to the causes and processes of
language change. Their arguments are frequently controversial and
provocative; their conclusions add up to an important challenge to
conventional ideas about the nature of language.

The authors write readably and accessibly with no recourse to unnecessary
jargon. This fascinating book will appeal to all those interested in the
interrelations between human nature, culture, and language.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Philosophy of Language
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0199545219
ISBN-13: 9780199545216
Pages: 320
Prices: U.S. $ 135.00

 
 
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0199545227
ISBN-13: 9780199545223
Pages: 320
Prices: U.S. $ 45.95