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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."


Query Details


Query Subject:   Role of content in 'value' of a language
Author:   Thomas Hale
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Philosophy of Language

Query:   Promoters of the French language often cite not only what they see as the
intrinsic 'value' of the language, stemming from its 'clarity,' usage in
diplomacy, number of speakers, etc., but also the 'prestigious content'
that it has conveyed--e.g. the Rights of Man. In thls view, the message
contributes to the 'intrinsic' 'value' or 'prestige' of the language. Is
there a linguistic term for the supposed 'transfer' of 'value' from ideas
formulated in the language to the language itself? The entire concept is
absurd, but I'm looking for a term that might signify such a transfer.
LL Issue: 25.3052
Date posted: 26-Jul-2014