LINGUIST List 17.1250

Tue Apr 25 2006

Books: Sociolinguistics: Lightfoot

Editor for this issue: Maria Moreno-Rollins <>

Directory         1.    Joyce Reid, How New Languages Emerge: Lightfoot

Message 1: How New Languages Emerge: Lightfoot
Date: 23-Apr-2006
From: Joyce Reid <>
Subject: How New Languages Emerge: Lightfoot

Title: How New Languages Emerge Published: 2006 Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: David Lightfoot, Georgetown University Hardback: ISBN: 0521859131 Pages: 210 Price: U.S. $ 75.00
Paperback: ISBN: 0521676290 Pages: 208 Price: U.S. $ 29.99

New languages are constantly emerging, as existing languages diverge intodifferent forms. To explain this fascinating process, we need to understandhow languages change and how they emerge in children. In this pioneeringstudy, David Lightfoot explains how languages come into being, arguing thatchildren are the driving force. He explores how new systems arise, how theyare acquired by children, and how adults and children play different,complementary roles in language change. Lightfoot makes an importantdistinction between 'external language' (language as it exists in theworld), and 'internal language' (language as represented in an individual'sbrain). By examining the interplay between the two, he shows how childrenare 'cue-based' learners, who scan their external linguistic environmentfor new structures, making sense of the world outside in order to buildtheir internal language. Engaging and original, this book offers apathbreaking new account of language acquisition, variation and change.

Contents1. Internal languages and the outside world;2. Traditional language change;3. Some properties of language organs;4. Languages emerging in children;5. New E-languages cuing new I-languages;6. Use and variation of grammars;7. The eruption of new grammars;8. A new historical linguistics.

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Written In: English (eng )

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