The Rise and Fall of Languages
By (author) Robert M. W. Dixon
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Rise and Fall of Languages by Robert M. W. Dixon
Book DescriptionThis book puts forward a different approach to language change, the punctuated equilibrium model. This is based on the premise that during most of the 100,000 or more years that humans have had language, states of equilibrium have existed during which linguistic features diffused across the languages in a given area so that they gradually converged on a common prototype. From time to time, the state of equilibrium would be punctuated, with expansion and split of peoples and of languages, most recently, as a result of European colonisation and the globalisation of communication which are likely to result in the extinction, within the next hundred years, of 90% of the languages currently spoken. Professor Dixon suggests that every linguist should assume a responsibility for documenting some of these languages before they disappear.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521626545
(198mm x 129mm x 10mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 11-Dec-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Robert M. W. Dixon
Yonder Come the Blues, Paperback (February 2001)
This 2001 volume combines three influential and much-quoted books on African-American music.
Changing Valency, Hardback (February 2000)
Distinguished scholars examine the phenomena of passives and causatives in languages from around the world.
Amazonian Languages, Hardback (September 1999)
An overview of one of the richest and most complex linguistic regions in the world, the Amazon Basin.
Ergativity, Paperback (June 1994)» View all books by Robert M. W. Dixon
This book provides a full survey of the various types of ergativity, looking at the ways they interrelate, their semantic bases and their role in the organisation of discourse.
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