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An Introduction to Historical Linguistics Paperback – May 28, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0195583786 ISBN-10: 0195583787 Edition: 3rd

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Paperback, May 28, 1998
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 3 edition (May 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195583787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195583786
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,068,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English

About the Author

Terry Crowley is at University of Waikato.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Leung Wai Wan on April 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a textbook used for my introductory comparative and historical linguistics course. It is a good choice because it is easy to read and to understand. It provides foundation knowledge on languages formation then begins to discuss different topics covered in the comparative and historical linguistics. It gives plenty of exercises for practice and discussion. (unfortunately there is no solution provided) Some of them are pretty challenging and need some thoughts to solve them. I highly recommend this book you all of you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris on February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best things about Terry Crowley is that his books are easy to understand and amazingly interesting. It is so unfortunate that he passed away so early in life. This book was in the process of being written and was polished off after his death by Claire Bowern, who is another leading person in the field of language documentation and fieldwork.

I am using this book for a graduate level class in Linguistics right now. And I have to say that I have read three chapters ahead from the required course speed, precisely because the details are just right and they never draw things out too long or introduce things too early. Furthermore, you can feel the excitement and wonder of the authors while reading through this book (which I do not feel in most textbooks). And it really makes you more and more excited to learn about the origins and evolutions of languages and the changes that they all undergo. Lastly, they take the scientific process of analyzing and dissecting patterns and behaviors and somehow add color and life to something that you might otherwise expect to be bland and boring.

If you are at all interested in either Linguistics or the dynamic "life" of languages (both historically and also looking into the future), I would highly recommend this book!
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6 of 15 people found the following review helpful By B I on November 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have found myself wanting to throw this book out my window on several occasions because the examples are so inaccessible for most of the book, and the chapter on observing language change is laughable, at best. If you're taking a Historical Linguistics class, pray your instructor is using a different book, or do yourself a favor and buy Lyle Campbell's book as a supplement; it's much more clear, and the examples are not derived from a bunch of Polynesian languages. It helps if you have some familiarity with the languages used to illustrate the change or theory at hand, and this text falls very much short of that, which seems like a pedagogical misstep.
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