Language Change: Progress Or Decay?

Forside
Cambridge University Press, 2001 - 312 sider
This lucid and up-to-date overview of language change. It discusses where our evidence about language change comes from, how and why changes happen, and how languages begin and end. It considers both changes which occurred long ago, and those currently in progress. It does this within the framework of one central question - is language change a symptom of progress or decay? It concludes that language is neither progressing nor decaying, but that an understanding of the factors surrounding change is essential for anyone concerned about language alteration. For this substantially revised third edition, Jean Aitchison has included two new chapters on change of meaning and grammaticalization. -- Publisher description.
 

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Innhold

The everwhirling wheel The inevitability of change
3
Collecting up clues Piecing together the evidence
19
Charting the changes Studying changes in progress
37
Spreading the word From person to person
55
Conflicting loyalties Opposing social pressures
68
Catching on and taking off How sound changes spread through a language
84
Caught in the web How syntactic changes work through a language
98
The wheels of language Grammaticalization
112
The Mad Hatters teaparty Chain reaction changes
183
Development and breakdown Child language and language disorders
201
Language birth How languages begin
217
Language death How languages end
235
Progress or decay? Assessing the situation
249
Symbols and technical terms
261
Notes and suggestions for further reading
263
References
281

Spinning away Change of meaning
120
The reason why Sociolinguistic causes of change
133
Doing what comes naturally Inherent causes of language change
153
Repairing the patterns Therapeutic changes
169
Acknowledgments
304
Index
305
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