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See below for a selection of the latest books from Historical & comparative linguistics category. Presented with a red border are the Historical & comparative linguistics books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Historical & comparative linguistics books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Centuries ago in middle Europe, a coded language appeared, scrawled in graffiti and spoken only by people who were wiz (in the know). This hybrid language, dubbed Rotwelsch, facilitated survival for people in flight-whether escaping persecution or just down on their luck. It was a language of the road associated with vagabonds, travelers, Jews, and thieves that blended words from Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Romani, Czech, and other European languages and was rich in expressions for police, jail, or experiencing trouble, such as being in a pickle. This renegade language unsettled those in power, who responded by trying to stamp it out, none more vehemently than the Nazis. As a boy, Martin Puchner learned this secret language from his father and uncle. Only as an adult did he discover, through a poisonous 1930s tract on Jewish names buried in the archives of Harvard's Widener Library, that his own grandfather had been a committed Nazi who despised this language of thieves. Interweaving family memoir with an adventurous foray into the mysteries of language, Puchner crafts an entirely original narrative. In a language born of migration and survival, he discovers a witty and resourceful spirit of tolerance that remains essential in our volatile present.
2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title In Clues to Lower Mississippi Valley Histories David V. Kaufman offers a stunning relational analysis of social, cultural, and linguistic change in the Lower Mississippi Valley from 500 to 1700. He charts how linguistic evidence aids the understanding of earlier cultural and social patterns, traces the diaspora of indigenous peoples, and uncovers instances of human migration. Historical linguistics establishes evidence of contact between indigenous peoples in the linguistic record where other disciplinary approaches have obscured these connections. The Mississippi Valley is the heartland of early North American civilizations, a rich and diversified center of transportation for every part of eastern North America and to Mesoamerica. The Lower Mississippi Valley region emerged as the home of the earliest mound-building societies in the Americas and was home to some of the most impressive kingdoms encountered by Spanish and French explorers. The languages of the region provide the key to the realities experienced by these indigenous peoples, their histories, and their relationships. Clues to Lower Mississippi Valley Histories focuses on relationships that constitute what linguists call a sprachbund (language union), or language area. Kaufman illuminates and articulates these linguistic relationships through a skillful examination of archaeological and ethnohistorical data. Clues to Lower Mississippi Valley Histories examines the relationship between linguistics and archaeology to elucidate the early history of the Lower Mississippi Valley.
This book is a detailed examination of social connections to language evaluation with a specific focus on the values associated with both prescriptivism and descriptivism. The chapters, written by authors from many different linguistic and national backgrounds, use a variety of approaches and methods to discuss values in linguistic prescriptivism. In particular, the chapters break down the traditional binary approaches that characterize prescriptive discourse to create a view of the complex phenomena associated with prescriptivism and the values of those who practice it. Most importantly, this volume continues serious academic conversations about prescriptivism and lays the foundation for continued exploration.
Afroasiatic languages are spoken by some 300 million people in Northern, Central and Eastern Africa and the Middle East. This book is the first typological study of these languages, which are comprised of around 375 living and extinct varieties. They are an important object of study because of their typological diversity in the areas of phonology (some have tone; others do not), morphology (some have extensive inflectional systems; others do not), position of the verb in the clause (some are verb-initial, some are verb-medial, and some are verb-final) and in the semantic functions they encode. This book documents this typological diversity and the typological similarities across the languages and includes information on endangered and little-known languages. Requiring no previous knowledge of the specific language families, it will be welcomed by linguists interested in linguistic theory, typology, historical linguistics and endangered languages, as well as scholars of Africa and the Middle East.
A multimodal ethnography of language as living process, this book demonstrates methods for the integrated analysis of talk, gesture, and material culture, developing a fresh way to understand human language through a focus on jointly achieved social actions to which it is part. Based on findings from a participatory, multimedia language documentation project in a highland Zapotec community of Oaxaca, Mexico, Mark A. Sicoli brings together goals of documentary linguistics and anthropological concern with the everyday means and ends of human social life with theoretical consequences for the analysis of linguistic and cultural reproduction and change. This book argues that resonances emergent in the whole of multiparticipant, multimodal interaction, are organizational of human social-cognitive process important for understanding both the shape linguistic utterances take in interaction (dialogic resonance) and the relationships built between distinct sign modes (intermodal resonance). In this way, Saying and Doing in Zapotec develops a new theory, characterizing the logic of resonance in human interaction as semiotic process that connects and juxtaposes interactional moves into assemblages of relations, resonances and collaborations that build an emergent lifeworld for a language.
An entirely new follow-up volume providing a detailed account of numerous additional issues, methods, and results that characterize current work in historical linguistics. This brand-new, second volume of The Handbook of Historical Linguistics is a complement to the well-established first volume first published in 2003. It includes extended content allowing uniquely comprehensive coverage of the study of language(s) over time. Though it adds fresh perspectives on several topics previously treated in the first volume, this Handbook focuses on extensions of diachronic linguistics beyond those key issues. This Handbook provides readers with studies of language change whose perspectives range from comparisons of large open vs. small closed corpora, via creolistics and linguistic contact in general, to obsolescence and endangerment of languages. Written by leading scholars in their respective fields, new chapters are offered on matters such as the origin of language, evidence from language for reconstructing human prehistory, invocations of language present in studies of language past, benefits of linguistic fieldwork for historical investigation, ways in which not only biological evolution but also field biology can serve as heuristics for research into the rise and spread of linguistic innovations, and more. Moreover, it: offers novel and broadened content complementing the earlier volume so as to provide the fullest available overview of a wholly engrossing field includes 23 all-new contributed chapters, treating some familiar themes from fresh perspectives but mostly covering entirely new topics features expanded discussion of material from language families other than Indo-European provides a multiplicity of views from numerous specialists in linguistic diachrony. The Handbook of Historical Linguistics, Volume II is an ideal book for undergraduate and graduate students in linguistics, researchers and professional linguists, as well as all those interested in the history of particular languages and the history of language more generally.
This groundbreaking collection showcases Jenny Cheshire's influential work in bringing greater attention to quantitative analysis of socio-grammatical variation and builds upon her contributions with new lines of inquiry pushing sociolinguistic research forward. Featuring contributions from leading experts in the field, the volume is structured in six parts with a particular focus on syntactic, morpho-syntactic, and discourse-pragmatic variation and change, each section turning a lens on a different aspect of socio-grammatical variation. The first sections of the volume focus on the role of structure, its relevance for sociolinguistic production and perception and the impact of social structure on formal structure. Two sections look at the interface of variationist research with other aspects of linguistic research, including generative syntax and discourse-pragmatic features. The final sections consider the importance of integrating broader external factors in socio-grammatical variation, exploring the impact of interactional pressures in the sociolinguistic environment and the role of multi-ethnic contact varieties. Taken together, this volume demonstrates the critical role of socio-grammatical variation in our understanding of language change as a holistic process.
This book provides an integrated account of the phonetic causes of the diachronic processes of palatalization and assibilation of velar and labial stops and labiodental fricatives, as well as the palatalization and affrication of dentoalveolar stops. While previous studies have been concerned with the typology of sound inventories and of the processes of palatalization and assibilation, this volume not only deals with the typological patterns but also outlines the articulatory and acoustic causes of these sound changes. In his articulation-based account, Daniel Recasens argues that the affricate and fricative outcomes of these changes developed via an intermediate stage, namely an (alveolo)palatal stop with varying degrees of closure fronting. Particular emphasis is placed on the one-to-many relationship between the input and output consonant realizations, on the acoustic cues that contribute to the implementation of these sound changes, and on the contextual, positional, and prosodic conditions that most favour their development. The analysis is based on extensive data from a wide range of language families, including Romance, Bantu, Slavic, and Germanic, and draws on a variety of sources, such as linguistic atlases, articulatory and acoustic studies, and phoneme identification tests.