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Edited by Hans C. Boas and Marc Pierce

This volume consists of revised versions of presentations given at a roundtable on “New Directions for Historical Linguistics: Impact and Synthesis, 50 years later” held at the 23rd International Conference on Historical Linguistics in San Antonio in 2017, as well as an introduction by the editors. The roundtable discussed the evolution of historical linguistics since the 1966 Symposium on “Directions for Historical Linguistics,” held in Austin, Texas. Six prominent scholars of historical linguistics and sociolinguistics contributed: William Labov (the only surviving author from the 1968 volume), Gillian Sankoff, Elizabeth Traugott, Brian Joseph, Sarah Thomason, and Paul Hopper (a graduate student assistant at the original Symposium).

The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān (324/936)

Ibn Mujāhid and the Founding of the Seven Readings

Shady Nasser

In The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān, Nasser studies the transmission and reception of the Qurʾānic text and its variant readings through the work of Ibn Mujāhid (d. 324/936), the founder of the system of the Seven Eponymous Readings of the Qurʾān. The overarching project aims to track and study the scrupulous revisions the Qurʾān underwent, in its recited, oral form, through the 1,400-year journey towards a final, static, and systematized text.
For the very first time, the book offers a complete and detailed documentation of all the variant readings of the Qurʾān as recorded by Ibn Mujāhid. A comprehensive audio recording accompanies the book, with more than 5,000 audio files of Qurʾānic recitations of variant readings.

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Christina Willis Oko

A Grammar of Darma provides the first comprehensive description of this Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Uttarakhand, India. The analysis is informed by a functional-typological framework and draws on a corpus of data gathered through elicitation, observation and recordings of natural discourse. Every effort has been made to describe day-to-day language, so whenever possible, illustrative examples are taken from extemporaneous speech and contextualized. Sections of the grammar should appeal widely to scholars interested in South Asia’s languages and cultures, including discussions of the socio-cultural setting, the sound system, morphosyntactic, clause and discourse structure. The grammar’s interlinearized texts and glossary provide a trove of useful information for comparative linguists working on Tibeto-Burman languages and anyone interested in the world’s less-commonly spoken languages.

Language and Chronology

Text dating by machine learning

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Edited by Gregory Toner and Xiwu Han

In Language and Chronology, Toner and Han apply innovative Machine Learning techniques to the problem of the dating of literary texts. Many ancient and medieval literatures lack reliable chronologies which could aid scholars in locating texts in their historical context. The new machine-learning method presented here uses chronological information gleaned from annalistic records to date a wide range of texts. The method is also applied to multi-layered texts to aid the identification of different chronological strata within single copies.
While the algorithm is here applied to medieval Irish material of the period c.700-c.1700, it can be extended to written texts in any language or alphabet. The authors’ approach presents a step change in Digital Humanities, moving us beyond simple querying of electronic texts towards the production of a sophisticated tool for literary and historical studies.

The Precursors of Proto-Indo-European

The Indo-Anatolian and Indo-Uralic Hypotheses

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Edited by Alwin Kloekhorst and Tijmen Pronk

In The Precursors of Proto-Indo-European some of the world’s leading experts in historical linguistics shed new light on two hypotheses about the prehistory of the Indo-European language family, the so-called Indo-Anatolian and Indo-Uralic hypotheses. The Indo-Anatolian hypothesis states that the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European family should be viewed as a sister language of ‘classical’ Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of all the other, non-Anatolian branches. The common ancestor of all Indo-European languages, including Anatolian, can then be called Proto-Indo-Anatolian. The Indo-Uralic hypothesis states that the closest genetic relative of Indo-European is the Uralic language family, and that both derive from a common ancestor called Proto-Indo-Uralic. The book unravels the history of these hypotheses and scrutinizes the evidence for and against them.

Contributors are Stefan H. Bauhaus, Rasmus G. Bjørn, Dag Haug, Petri Kallio, Simona Klemenčič, Alwin Kloekhorst, Frederik Kortlandt, Guus Kroonen, Martin J. Kümmel, Milan Lopuhaä-Zwakenberg, Alexander Lubotsky, Rosemarie Lühr, Michaël Peyrot, Tijmen Pronk, Andrei Sideltsev, Michiel de Vaan, Mikhail Zhivlov.

The Golden Mean of Languages

Forging Dutch and French in the Early Modern Low Countries (1540-1620)

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Alisa van de Haar

In The Golden Mean of Languages, Alisa van de Haar sheds new light on the debates regarding the form and status of the vernacular in the early modern Low Countries, where both Dutch and French were local tongues. The fascination with the history, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary of Dutch and French has been studied mainly from monolingual perspectives tracing the development towards modern Dutch or French. Van de Haar shows that the discussions on these languages were rooted in multilingual environments, in particular in French schools, Calvinist churches, printing houses, and chambers of rhetoric. The proposals that were formulated there to forge Dutch and French into useful forms were not directed solely at uniformization but were much more diverse.

The Development of the Biblical Hebrew vowels

Including a Concise Historical Morphology

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Benjamin Suchard

The development of the Biblical Hebrew Vowels investigates the sound changes affecting the Proto-Northwest-Semitic vocalic phonemes and their reflexes in Tiberian Biblical Hebrew. Contrary to many previous approaches, Benjamin Suchard shows that these developments can all be described as phonetically regular sound laws. This confirms that despite its unique transmission history, Hebrew behaves like other languages in this regard. Many Hebrew sound changes have traditionally been explained as reflecting non-phonetic conditioning. These include the Canaanite Shift of *ā to *ō, tonic and pre-tonic lengthening, diphthong contraction, Philippi’s Law, the Law of Attenuation, and the apocope of short, unstressed vowels. By reconsidering reconstructions and re-evaluating phonetic conditions, this work shows how the Biblical Hebrew forms regularly derive from their Proto-Northwest-Semitic precursors.

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Edited by David Rood and John Boyle

Robert L. Rankin was a seminal figure in late 20th and early 21st centuries in the field of Siouan linguistics. His knowledge, like the papers he produced, was voluminous. We have gathered here a representation of his work that spans over thirty years. The papers presented here focus on both the languages Rankin studied in depth (Quapaw, Kansa, Biloxi, Ofo, and Tutelo) and comparative historical work on the Siouan language family in general. While many of the papers included have been previously published, one third of them have never before been made public including a grammatical sketch and dictionary of Ofo and his final paper on the place of Mandan in the larger Siouan family.

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Ahmad Al-Jallad and Karolina Jaworska

This is the first comprehensive dictionary of the Safaitic inscriptions, comprising more than 1400 lemmata and 1500 lexical items. The dictionary includes a lengthy introduction to the inscriptions as well an outline of various aspects of the Safaitic writing tradition.

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James Essegbey

This is the first comprehensive description of Tutrugbu(Nyangbo- nyb ), a Ghana Togo Mountain( gtm ) language of the Kwa family. It is based on a documentary corpus of different genre of linguistic and cultural practices gathered during periods of immersion fieldwork. Tutrugbu speakers are almost all bilingual in Ewe, another Kwa language. The book presents innovative analyses of phenomena like Advanced Tongue Root and labial vowel harmony, noun classes, topological relational verbs, the two classes of adpositions, obligatory complement verbs, multi-verbs in a single clause, and information structure. This grammar is unparalleled in including a characterization of culturally defined activity types and their associated speech formulae and routine strategies. It should appeal to linguists interested in African languages, language documentation and typology.