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."
Case is an accessible introduction for students of linguistics to the ways relations between words in sentences are marked in languages. Case is fundamental to the whole system of language. One of its most interesting features is the recurrence of apparently idiosyncratic patterns and devices in otherwise unrelated languages. This book picks out these recurring strategies and explores their significance. It provides the background against which the case-marking of particular languages can be best understood. In this revised edition, Blake refines and expands on his discussions of the most important concepts in the study of case, taking into account recent developments in the field. It incorporates significant additions to the data and includes a thoroughly revised section on abstract case in the Chomskyan paradigm.