Understanding Language Change

Understanding Language Change

How and why do language changes begin; how and why do they spread; and how can they ultimately be explained? This new textbook sets out to answer these questions in a clear and helpful way that will be accessible to all students with only an elementary knowledge of linguistics. In the first half of the book Dr. McMahon analyzes changes from every area of grammar. In the second she looks at such topics as language contact, linguistic variation, pidgins and Creoles, and language death. Throughout, the discussion is illustrated by a wealth of examples from English and other languages.


"...an admirable review and summary of research and theory of language change over the last two centuries..." Language

"Understanding Language Chnage is a clear and coherent guide to many of the complex issues of contemporary historical linguistics....the book provides an excellent overview of many of the topics involved in language change....Understanding Language Change provides a solid introduction to many of the concerns of sociolinguistics, and in fact would be equally useful as a beginning guide to the issues involved in langiage contact....Understanding Language Change is a well thought out book which should be read by all students of historical linguistics....It is an excellent text, which covers important issues and debates in a disarmingly clear and lucid manner....It is a pleasure to read and shouls encourage students of language change to delve further into the literature." Paula West, Word

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