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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: Why Do Languages Change?
Written By: Larry Trask

The first recorded English name for the make-up we now call blusher was
paint, in 1660. In the 1700s a new word, rouge, displaced paint, and remained
in standard usage for around two centuries. Then, in 1965, an advertisement
coined a new word for the product: blusher. Each generation speaks a little
differently, and every language is constantly changing. It is not only words
that change, every aspect of a language changes over time - pronunciation,
word-meanings and grammar. Packed with fascinating examples of changes
in the English language over time, this entertaining book explores the origin of
words and place names, the differences between British and American
English, and the apparent eccentricities of the English spelling system.
Amusingly written yet deeply instructive, it will be enjoyed by anyone
involved in studying the English language and its history, as well as anyone
interested in how and why languages change.

- No prior knowledge of the subject is required
- Includes examples from many languages with primary attention given to
changes in English
- Each chapter is sufficiently independent of the others to be read on its own

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9780511763878
Prices: U.S. $ 22.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9780521838023
Pages: 210
Prices: U.K. £ 50.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780521546935
Pages: 210
Prices: U.K. £ 15.99