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."
Parallels in Semitic Linguistics
The Development of Arabic la- and Related Semitic Particles
This linguistic study is concerned with the role of the emphasizing particle la- (known as lām al-ta'kīd) in the grammatical traditions of Classical Arabic, as well as with the question of the historical relationship connecting this particle to a set of elements in several other Semitic languages showing comparable forms and functions. Although these particles have hitherto seemed to defy a coherent reconstruction, the very complexity of the data to which they attest proves to provide a key to their interpretation. They represent a critical first step in the refining of our understanding of the history of the Semitic sonorant phonemes.