The Language Revolution

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We are living through the consequences of a linguistic revolution. Dramatic linguistic change has left us at the beginning of a new era in the evolution of human language, with repercussions for many individual languages.





In this book, David Crystal, one of the world's authorities on language, brings together for the first time the three major trends which he argues have fundamentally altered the world's linguistic ecology: first, the emergence of English as the world's first truly global language; second, the crisis facing huge numbers of languages which are currently endangered or dying; and, third, the radical effect on language of the arrival of Internet technology.





Examining the interrelationships between these topics, Crystal encounters a vision of a linguistic future which is radically different from what has existed in the past, and which will make us revise many cherished concepts relating to the way we think about and work with languages. Everyone is affected by this linguistic revolution.





The Language Revolution will be essential reading for anyone interested in language and communication in the twenty-first century.
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About the author

David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor.
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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
May 8, 2013
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Pages
152
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ISBN
9780745637976
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The articles of this volume are centered around two competing views on language change originally presented at the 2003 International Conference on Historical Linguistics in the two important plenary papers by Henning Andersen and William Croft. The latter proposes an evolutionary model of language change within a domain-neutral model of a ‘generalized analysis of selection’, whereas Henning Andersen takes it that cultural phenomena could not possibly be handled, i.e. observed, described, understood, in the same way as natural phenomena. These papers are models of succinct presentation of important theoretical framework. The other papers present and discuss additional models of change, e.g. invisible hand-processes, system-internal models, functional and cognitive models. Most papers do not subscribe to the evolutionary model; instead, they focus on functional factors in the selection and propagation of variants (as opposed to factors of code efficiency), or on cognitive and pragmatic perspectives. Several papers are inspired by the late Eugenio Coseriu and by Henning Andersen’s theories on language change. In particular, the volume contains articles proposing interesting grammaticalization studies and extended models of grammaticalization. The clear presentation of important and competing approaches to fundamental questions concerning language change will be of high interest for scholars and students working in the field of diachrony and typology. The languages referred to in the papers include Cantonese, the Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages, Danish, English, Eskimo languages, German, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.
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