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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: Acoustic correlates of rhythm in New Zealand English: A diachronic study
Author: Jacqui Nokes
Institution: University of Canterbury
Author: Jennifer B. Hay
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.ling.canterbury.ac.nz/jen
Institution: University of Canterbury
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Phonetics; Phonology
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This paper reports on a large-scale diachronic investigation into the timing of New Zealand English (NZE), which points to changes in its rhythmic structure. The Pairwise Variability Index (PVI) was used to measure the mean variation in duration, intensity, and pitch of successive vowels in the speech of over 500 New Zealanders, born between 1851 and 1988. Normalized vocalic PVIs for duration have reduced over time, after allowing for changes in speech rate, supporting existing findings that stressed and unstressed vowels are less differentiated by duration in modern NZE than in other varieties of English. Rhythmically, syllable duration may be playing a reduced role in signalling prominence in NZE. This is supported by the finding that there have been contemporaneous changes in pitch and intensity variation. We discuss external and internal influences on the timing of NZE, including contact with Māori, the emergence of Māori English, and diachronic vowel shift.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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