The Comparative Method Reviewed: Regularity and Irregularity in Language Change

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

EditorMark Durie, Malcolm Ross

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Historical reconstruction of languages relies on the comparative method, which itself depends on the notion of the regularity of change. The regularity of sound change is the famous Neogrammarian Hypothesis: "sound change takes place according to laws that admit no exception." The comparativemethod, however, is not restricted to the consideration of sound change, and neither is the assumption of regularity. Syntactic, morphological, and semantic change are all amenable in varying degrees, to comparative reconstruction, and each type of change is constrained in ways that enable theresearcher to distinguish between regular and more irregular changes. This volume draws together studies by scholars engaged in historical reconstruction, all focussing on the subject of regularity and irregularity in the comparative method. A wide range of languages are represented, including Chinese, Germanic, and Austronesian.

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From the Publisher

Historical reconstruction of languages relies on the comparative method, which itself depends on the notion of the regularity of change. The regularity of sound change is the famous Neogrammarian Hypothesis: "sound change takes place according to laws that admit no exception." The comparativemethod, however, is not restricted to the co...

From the Jacket

Historical reconstruction of languages relies on the comparative method, which itself depends on the notion of the regularity of change. The regularity of sound change is the famous Neogrammarian Hypothesis: "sound change takes place according to laws that admit no exception". The comparative method, however, is not restricted to the c...

Mark Durie is at University of Melbourne. Malcolm Ross is at Australian National University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.57 × 6.38 × 1.06 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195066073

ISBN - 13:9780195066074

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