New perspectives in historical linguistics

Authored by: Paul Kiparsky

The Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics

Print publication date:  June  2014
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415527897
eBook ISBN: 9781315794013
Adobe ISBN: 9781317743248

10.4324/9781315794013.ch2

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Abstract

This condensed review of recent trends and developments in historical linguistics proceeds from the empirical to the conceptual, from ‘what’ to ‘how’ to ‘why’. I begin with new findings about the origins, relationships, and diversity of the world’s languages, then turn to the processes and mechanisms of change as they concern practicing historical linguists, continue with efforts to ground change in the acquisition, use, and structure of language, and conclude with a look at ongoing debates concerning the explanatory division of labour between historical and theoretical linguistics and ways to unify historical and theoretical linguistics. The emphasis throughout is on current research rather than on established textbook knowledge. 1

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