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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

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Book Information

   

Title: Typological Changes in the Lexicon
Subtitle: Analytic Tendencies in English Noun Formation
Written By: Alexander Haselow
URL: http://www.degruyter.de/cont/fb/sk/detailEn.cfm?isbn=978-3-11-023820-4
Series Title: Topics in English Linguistics [TiEL] 72
Description:

This is the first study of the typological change of English from a
synthetic towards an analytic language that focuses exclusively on the
lexical domain of the language. It presents an innovative approach to
linguistic typology by focusing on the different encoding techniques used
in the lexicon, providing a theoretical framework for the description of
structural types (synthetic, analytic) and encoding techniques (fusional,
isolating, agglutinative, incorporating) found in the lexicon of a language.

It is argued that, in the case of English, the change from syntheticity to
analyticity did not only affect its inflectional system and the encoding of
grammatical information, but also the derivational component. Based on a
cognitive approach to derivation, the book provides empirical evidence for
a considerable decline in the use of synthetic structures and a trend
towards higher degrees of analyticity in a specific lexical domain of
English, the formation of nouns by means of derivation. The full extent of
this change surfaced during the transition from Old English to early Middle
English, but it was later partly reversed though influence from French. The
typological shift was thus the result of a global structural reorganization
of the language that resulted in a fundamental change of the structure of
words.

The book also presents a comprehensive account of the historical
development of nominal derivation from the beginnings of Old English until
the end of the early Middle English period. Based on empirical data from
written sources the study documents the frequency of use of all
Germanic-based derivational morphemes for nominalizations over different
subperiods and discusses their origin as well as important changes of their
semantic and morphological properties.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
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
Morphology
Semantics
Typology
Lexicography
Subject Language(s): English
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: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9783110238211
Pages: 316
Prices: Europe EURO 99.95
 
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9783110238204
Pages: 316
Prices: Europe EURO 99.95