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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

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."


Academic Paper


Title: On the History of 'downright'
Author: Belén Méndez-Naya
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Using data retrieved from a variety of diachronic corpora and the OED quotation database, this diachronic study sheds light on the origin and development of the degree function of a low-frequency intensifier, English downright, both as an adverb (it's downright rude) and as a reinforcing adjective (downright nonsense). The history of downright illustrates the interplay between lexicalization and grammaticalization in the evolution of a single item and provides a good example of the crucial role of context and inferencing in semantic change, and of two different trajectories in the development of intensifiers (adjunct > degree modifier, and descriptive adjective > affective adjective > intensifier).

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 12, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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