Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Historical Linguistics: An Introduction” as Want to Read:
Historical Linguistics: An Introduction
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Historical Linguistics: An Introduction

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  202 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Creased cover, unmarked
Paperback, Second Edition, 448 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by The MIT Press (first published January 1st 1991)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 15, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing
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
Stephen Simpson
Dec 03, 2016 Stephen Simpson rated it really liked it
A little scattered in terms of included subjects/material, but a quality book on the subject nonetheless.
Jon Gauthier
Dec 16, 2012 Jon Gauthier rated it it was amazing
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 14, 2014 Katy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A thorough overview of genetic language classification. To me the most interesting parts were the history sections, which looked in part at how early classification methodologies were often suspect because they relied on non-linguistic factors such as racial stereotypes for classifying languages. The constant bashing of a particular linguist called Greenberg (who was apparently very lax in his application of the comparative method in order to force data to fit pre-conceived theories) was also ...more
Mikael Lind
May 05, 2011 Mikael Lind rated it liked it
Shelves: linguistics
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.
Feb 26, 2013 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.
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.
Jonathan Weinand
Feb 15, 2013 Jonathan Weinand rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 01, 2012 secondwomn rated it liked it
good book, somewhere in between intro level and intermediate. some background in linguistics is extremely helpful.
Luckie rated it really liked it
May 19, 2014
Lux rated it really liked it
Jun 20, 2012
Kennedy rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2015
Melissa rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2012
Jen Leboeuf
Jen Leboeuf rated it it was amazing
Aug 08, 2014
Ark rated it did not like it
Jan 10, 2015
Abdullah Shaghi
Abdullah Shaghi rated it liked it
Feb 01, 2013
Emma rated it liked it
Aug 30, 2016
Ryan Moniz
Ryan Moniz rated it it was amazing
Jun 02, 2013
Danielle St Jean
Danielle St Jean rated it it was amazing
Aug 19, 2015
DCA rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2016
Brian rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2012
Kassandraoftroy rated it liked it
Jan 04, 2014
Jenny rated it it was ok
Feb 02, 2009
Caroline Aubry
Caroline Aubry rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2014
Amrit Sidhu-Brar
Amrit Sidhu-Brar rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2016
Alaa rated it it was amazing
Mar 30, 2012
Arthur Ma
Arthur Ma rated it really liked it
Apr 02, 2012
Tess rated it it was amazing
Feb 18, 2008
Thomas Dougherty
Thomas Dougherty rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Course in Phonetics
  • Describing Morphosyntax: A Guide for Field Linguists
  • An Introduction to Historical Linguistics
  • Pragmatics
  • Speech and Language Processing: An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics and Speech Recognition
  • Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction
  • Syntax: A Generative Introduction
  • The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
  • The World's Major Languages
  • Semantics
  • Language Files: Materials for an Introduction to Language and Linguistics
  • An Introduction to Language
  • Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts
  • Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf
  • Language Death
  • Language Myths
  • Language Change: Progress or Decay?
  • Old English and Its Closest Relatives: A Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages

Share This Book