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."
All aspects of the concept of collocation – the phenomenon whereby words naturally tend to occur in the company of a restricted set of other words – are covered in this book. It deals in detail with the history of the word collocation, the concepts associated with it and its use in a linguistic context. The authors show the practical means by which the collocational behaviour of words can be explored using illustrative computer programs and examine applications in teaching, lexicography and natural language processing that use collocation in formation. The book investigates the place that collocation occupies in theories of language and provides a thoroughly comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the current position of collocation in language studies and applied linguistics.