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Historical Linguistics: An Introduction

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  189 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Historical linguistics is the study of how and why language changes--both the methods of investigating language change and the theories designed to explain these changes. This highly accessible introductory text takes a hands-on, how-to approach, rather than just talking about the subject as many texts do. The book contains abundant examples both from familiar European lan ...more
Published January 15th 1999 by MIT Press (MA) (first published January 1st 1991)
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Oct 15, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lyle Campbell's Historical Linguistics: An Introduction is a textbook initiating students into the study of language change. Already published in several editions, the book is quite impressive and I highly recommend it to anyone entering the field.

Campbell begins by discussing three types of change, that of sounds, that of the lexicon in borrowing, and analogical change. After making students aware of these diachronic developments, he then presents the comparative method and the technique of pro
Jon Gauthier
Dec 16, 2012 Jon Gauthier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An extremely detailed introduction to historical linguistics. Every concept is accompanied by several in-depth examples, some of which are almost excessively wrought out. (Get ready for page-long lists of English place name suffixes and three pages' worth of Japanese loanwords.)

This text goes much further than Crowley's, with far more examples of phonological / grammatical change and entire sections dedicated to concepts unacknowledged by Crowley (chain shifts, vowel lowering / raising, involved
May 04, 2014 Confucius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is one of the best works on historical linguistics.
jacob louis
May 05, 2016 jacob louis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy entertaining introductory read.
Mikael Lind
The problem with this book is that it is too stodgy and almost impossible to read from a to b without losing interest along the way. It works as a book of reference for anyone interested in the field, but for something more interesting and thought-provoking I recommend Mark Hale's book Historical Linguistics: Theory and Method.
Aug 14, 2011 André rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: linguistics, china
This one offers a great overview and introduction of historical linguistics, how to do it and where the problems are. The explanations are clear and the exercises are, well, quite difficult. They work nicely as exercises to be solved in class when tutoring.
Jonathan Weinand
Feb 15, 2013 Jonathan Weinand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: linguistics
This was a fantastic book. I am terribly fond of linguistics, but I feel that this was a very good book for people who aren't necessarily well-versed. At the same time, it is thorough and well-done.
Oct 13, 2014 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic. Interesting, indescribably informative, and as super a reference book for essays as it was a (rather unusual) summer read.
Another book that I started eons ago and got too distracted to pick up again. I am so coming back to this one when the time's right.
Apr 01, 2012 h rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
good book, somewhere in between intro level and intermediate. some background in linguistics is extremely helpful.
Robert Heckner
Sep 20, 2015 Robert Heckner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book. Very clear with a plethora of examples for each topic.
Jun 26, 2010 Megan added it
Historical Linguistics: An Introduction by Lyle Campbell (1999)
Dec 09, 2013 Riya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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