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

Please note: This is a new edition of a previously announced text.

Now available as paperback!

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

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: 2012
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Language Contact
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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

Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781934078396
Pages: 338
Prices: Europe EURO 29.95