There are many reasons to recommend Language Classification by Numbers
...intelligent discussions... (John Nerbonne, Linguistic Typology
...this is a great book for raising questions. (Claire Bowern, Linguistic Typolog
A gentle introduction...in which they address many of the fundamental questions concerning the application of quantitative and computational techniques, including phylogenetics, to questions in historical linguistics. (John Nerbonne, Linguistic Typology
About the Author
April McMahon is Forbes Professor of English Language at the University of Edinburgh, and has previously worked at the Universities of Sheffield and Cambridge. Her main research interests are language change, language classification, phonological theory, and variation in English and Scots. She has published a number of books on these topics, including Understanding Language Change
(CUP 1994), Lexical Phonology and the History of English
(CUP 2000), and Change, Chance, and Optimality
(OUP 2000). She and Robert McMahon have worked together for the last ten years on interdisciplinary issues including connections between evolutionary theory, genetics, and historical linguistics. This is their first joint book.
Robert McMahon took his BSc (in Agricultural Science) and PhD (in fruit fly genetics) at Edinburgh, and since graduation has worked as a clinical molecular geneticist in Cambridge, Sheffield, and now Edinburgh. His work involves tracing inherited conditions through families, and in particular he has researched and provided genetic services for cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, inherited cancer and Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease). He has published a range of articles in professional and scientific journals, and maintains a research interest in issues of human genetics and evolution, and their relationship with language.