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."
The relationship between the meaning of words and the structure of sentences is an important area of research in linguistics. Studying the connections between lexical conceptual meaning and event structural relations, this book arrives at a modular classification of verb types within English and across languages. Ramchand argues that lexical encyclopedic content and event structural aspects of meaning need to be systematically distinguished, and that thematic and aspectual relations belong to the latter domain of meaning. The book proposes a syntactic decompositional view of core verbal meaning, and sets out to account for the variability and systematicity of argument structure realisation across verb types. It also proposes an interesting view of lexical insertion.