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."
Europäische Hochschulschriften / European University Studies / Publications Universitaires Européennes
The ability to combine and arrange formal and meaningful units is an unquestionable advantage that languages have in comparison to other communication systems. If we want to know how languages work, we must understand how they make use of this combinatory potential and what its limits are. This book analyzes the occurrence and combinations of phonemes in Modern Standard Czech, which is known for exploiting the combinatory potential of formal units to a high degree. The analysis comprises more than 500 combinations of consonants as well as combinations of vowels and consonants within the so-called distributional unit – a phonotactic model superior to the syllable. It also presents a way to predict structurally possible but actually unattested combinations with this model.