Historical and Comparative Linguistics

Raimo Anttila
In any course of historical and comparative linguistics there will be students of different language backgrounds, different levels of linguistic training, and different theoretical orientation. This textbook attempts to mitigate the problems raised by this heterogeneity in a number of ways. Since it is impossible to treat the language or language family of special interest to every student, the focus of this book is on English in particular and Indo-European languages in general, with Finnish and its closely related languages for contrast. The tenets of different schools of linguistics, and the controversies among them, are treated eclectically and objectively; the examination of language itself plays the leading role in our efforts to ascertain the comparative value of competing theories. This revised edition (1989) of a standard work for comparative linguists offers an added introduction dealing mainly with a semiotic basis of change, a final chapter on aspects of explanation, particularly in historical and human disciplines, and added sections on comparative syntax and on the semiotic status of the comparative method.
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 6]  1989.  xv, 462 pp.
Publishing status: Available
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027235565 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
 
PaperbackAvailable
ISBN 9789027235572 | EUR 36.00 | USD 54.00
 
ISBN 9789027286086 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
 
 
 

Table of Contents

Introduction
ix
Part I. Background: genetic linguistics in relation to general linguistics and related fields
1. Language and linguistics
3
2. Writing and language
31
3. Linguistic variation
47
Part II. Historical linguistics: how does language change
4. Sound change
57
5. Grammar change: analogy
88
6. Rule change
109
7. Semantic change
133
8. External change: borrowing
154
9. Why does language change?: Social and linguistic factors
179
Part III. Comparative linguistics (general notions and structure): how can change be reversed?
10. Preliminaries to the historical methods
207
11. The comparative method (the central concept)
229
12. Internal reconstruction
264
13. Conclusion to the methods
274
Part IV. Linguistic reconstruction: A synthesis of various linguistic and cultural notions
114. Dialect geography
289
15. Alternative relationship models
300
16. Classification of languages
310
17. Philology and etymology
323
18. Reconstructing Phonology
335
19. Reconstructing grammar
351
20. Reconstructing semology/semantics
364
Part V. Conclusion: linguistics as part of anthropology
21. Change and reconstruction in culture and linguistics
377
22. Genetic linguistics and biological genetics
389
23. Genetic linguistics and metatheory
399
Bibliography
413
Index
449

Quotes

“The book remains an outstanding introduction, revealing the author's depth of knowledge and original thought, opening fascinating perspectives while informing adequately and reliably.”
Edgar C. Polomé, in The Journal of Indo-European Studies, 1996
“This book provides a thorough introduction to genetic linguistics for those who are already trained in other areas of linguistics. It successfully demonstrates that genetic linguistics is full of issues in need of investigation, and is thus very much alive.”
Colette van Kerckvoorde, in Language, 1990.

Subjects

Benjamins Subject classification

BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics
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