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Understanding Language Change Paperback – 17 Mar 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (17 Mar. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521446651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521446655
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"...an admirable review and summary of research and theory of language change over the last two centuries..." Language

"Understanding Language Chnage is a clear and coherent guide to many of the complex issues of contemporary historical linguistics....the book provides an excellent overview of many of the topics involved in language change....Understanding Language Change provides a solid introduction to many of the concerns of sociolinguistics, and in fact would be equally useful as a beginning guide to the issues involved in langiage contact....Understanding Language Change is a well thought out book which should be read by all students of historical linguistics....It is an excellent text, which covers important issues and debates in a disarmingly clear and lucid manner....It is a pleasure to read and shouls encourage students of language change to delve further into the literature." Paula West, Word

Book Description

This new textbook will be accessible to all students with only an elementary knowledge of linguistics. In the first half of the book Dr McMahon analyses changes from from every area of grammar. In the second she addresses recent developments in socio-historical linguistics, and looks at such topics as language contact, linguistic variation, pidgins and creoles, and language death.

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Format: Paperback
I read April McMahon's book as a follow-up to Jean Aitchison's (excellent) introduction to language change, "Language Change: Progress or Decay?". Dr McMahon's book covers some similar ground, including, for example, the same examples of sociolinguistic variation drawn from experiments in New York. But she also covers lots of other material and discusses a range of topics in sound, semantic and syntactic change, as well as issues such as pidgin languages, creoles, language contact, lexical borrowing, and langage death. This book is characterised by a much deeper analysis of the subject than Aitchison's, and I for one was out of my depth at some points. Yet the questions she raises are interesting, and I imagine this would be a particularly interesting and useful for linguistics students working with guidance from a teacher. Unfortunately it's not really suitable for the non-specialist general reader, I'd recommend Jean Aitchison's work instead.
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Format: Paperback
An easy to understand book showing why and how language change occurs. Well worth buying by linguistic students everywhere.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x95fbbfa8) out of 5 stars 1 review
HASH(0x96515708) out of 5 stars Thnx for help 2 Aug. 2015
By essam sameh shalaby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In fact the book conditoon was stated "good" . I got the boom today and it deserve more than this ... very nice copy nthn in it just like a new one .. great job guys
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