LINGUIST List 10.1224

Fri Aug 20 1999

Books: Historical Linguistics

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  1. Susan Cronin, Historical Ling: The Rise and Fall of Languages, R.M.W. Dixon

Message 1: Historical Ling: The Rise and Fall of Languages, R.M.W. Dixon

Date: 18 Aug 99 12:26:04 -0700
From: Susan Cronin <>
Subject: Historical Ling: The Rise and Fall of Languages, R.M.W. Dixon

The Rise and Fall of Languages
R.M.W. Dixon, Australian National University, Canberra

This book puts forward a new way of looking at the emergence and
development of human language since its beginnings over 100,000 years
ago in terms of a state of equilibrium which was periodically
"punctuated." Punctuations saw the expansion or split of peoples and
of languages, most recently as a result of European colonisation and
the globalisation of communication. Professor Dixon challenges many of
the views currently held by linguists, archaeologists and geneticists,
notably those concerning the usefulness of the "family tree" model of
language relationships and the recent speculation concerning the
reconstruction of a "proto-language."


1. Introduction; 2. Preliminaries; 3. Linguistic Areas and Diffusion;
4. The Family Tree Model; 5. Modes of Change; 6. The Punctuated
Equilibrium Model; 7. More on proto-languages; 8. Recent history;
9. Today's priorities; 10. Summary and prospects; Appendix;
1998/175 pp.
0-521-62310-3/Hb/List: $54.95 Disc.: $43.96
0-521-62654-4/Pb/List: $16.95 Disc.: $13.56


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