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Historical Linguistics: An Introduction

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  218 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
This accessible, hands-on introduction to historical linguistics - the study of language change - does not just talk about topics. With abundant examples and exercises, it helps students learn for themselves how to do historical linguistics.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 3rd 2004 by Edinburgh University Press (first published January 1st 1991)
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Aug 09, 2007 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
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.
Jon Gauthier
Nov 07, 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
Jun 17, 2013 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 mi ...more
Aug 28, 2010 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.
Apr 10, 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.
jacob louis
May 05, 2016 jacob louis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy entertaining introductory read.
Historical Linguistics: An Introduction by Lyle Campbell (1999)
Stephen Simpson
Dec 03, 2016 Stephen Simpson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little scattered in terms of included subjects/material, but a quality book on the subject nonetheless.
Dec 20, 2016 Jekapner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this as the textbook for an undergraduate historical linguistics course. Excellent in all respects.
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.
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.
May 04, 2014 Confucius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is one of the best works on historical linguistics.
Robert Heckner
May 16, 2014 Robert Heckner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-reread
A great book. Very clear with a plethora of examples for each topic.
good book, somewhere in between intro level and intermediate. some background in linguistics is extremely helpful.
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