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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: Linguistic Simplicity and Complexity
Subtitle: Why Do Languages Undress?
Written By: John H McWhorter
Series Title: Language Contact and Bilingualism [LCB] 1

In John McWhorter’s Defining Creole anthology of 2005, his collected articles
conveyed the following theme: His hypothesis that creole languages are
definable not just in the sociohistorical sense, but in the grammatical sense. His
publications since the 1990s have argued that all languages of the world that
lack a certain three traits together are creoles (i.e. born as pidgins a few
hundred years ago and fleshed out into real languages). He also argued that in
light of their pidgin birth, such languages are less grammatically complex than
others, as the result of their recent birth as pidgins. These two claims have
been highly controversial among creolists as well as other linguists.

In this volume, Linguistic Simplicity and Complexity, McWhorter gathers articles
he has written since then, in the wake of responses from a wide range of
creolists and linguists. These articles represent a considerable divergence in
direction from his earlier work.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Historical Linguistics
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Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9781934078402
Pages: 332
Prices: Europe EURO 99.95
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9781934078372
Pages: 332
Prices: Europe EURO 99.95