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Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics [Paperback]

Sarah Grey Thomason , Terrence Kaufman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 12, 1992 0520078934 978-0520078932 Reprint
Ten years of research back up the bold new theory advanced by authors Thomason and Kaufman, who rescue the study of contact-induced language change from the neglect it has suffered in recent decades. The authors establish an important new framework for the historical analysis of all degrees of contact-induced language change.

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Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics + Language Contact: An Introduction
Price for both: $65.75

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Editorial Reviews


"Absolutely indispensable reading for anyone interested in either language structure or intercultural contact." -- Paul J. Hopper, American Anthropologist

"For the integration of contact-induced language change into historical linguistics this book constitutes the greatest breakthrough since Uriel Weinreich's Languages in Contact of 1953, and I am convinced it will be the touchstone for the further development of the discipline for years to come." -- Edgar W. Schneider, English World-Wide

"[A] major work. . . . In scope and breadth of conception there is simply no other discussion of language contact that approaches it." -- Jay H. Jasanoff, Language

About the Author

Sarah Grey Thomason is Professor of Linguistics and Terrence Kaufman is Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Reprint edition (February 12, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520078934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520078932
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,746,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it, but critically June 28, 2003
By A Customer
This book is a milestone in contact-linguistics. However, it is worthwhile to read Uriel Weinreich's 1953 Languages in Contact first, which is not outdated despite its date. Thomason & Kaufman are at times simplistic in their discussion of social factors as the primary determinant of language change outcomes, and the linguistic factors they accept as important in determining the outcome of language-contact should not be taken without a grain of salt. For example, 'universal markedness' is a concept which should be booed at every time it is used.
On the whole, however, this book is a clear, insightful and complex discussion of the mechanics of language-contact (incidentally, it is much better than Thomason's later book on the same subject, Language Contact: An Introduction).
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic June 25, 2001
This is the most important book about language contact and historical linguistics ever. It's very well written, and data-rich. Every historical linguist and sociolinguist should read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview August 6, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good overview of how languages are affected when in contact, having to do with social factors which place a language in a substrate or superstrate position.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dry text February 25, 2013
By Amy B.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read the first few chapters as required reading for a Linguistics course I am taking. It is quite dry and didn't really interest me, but I suppose it gets a lot of information across.
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