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."
This book is a guide to the development of English syntax between the Old and Modern periods. Beginning with an overview of the main features of early English syntax, it gives a unified account of the significant grammatical changes that occurred during this period. Four leading experts demonstrate how these changes can be explained in terms of grammatical theory and the theory of language acquisition. Drawing on a wealth of empirical data, the book covers a wide range of topics including changes in word order, infinitival constructions and grammaticalization processes.