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The Changing English Language
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Book description

Bringing together experts from both historical linguistics and psychology, this volume addresses core factors in language change from the perspectives of both fields. It explores the potential (and limitations) of such an interdisciplinary approach, covering the following factors: frequency, salience, chunking, priming, analogy, ambiguity and acquisition. Easily accessible, the book features chapters by psycholinguists presenting cutting edge research on core factors and processes and develops a model of how this may be involved in language change. Each chapter is complemented with one or several case study in the history of the English language in which the psycholinguistic factor in question may be argued to have played a decisive role. Thus, for the first time, a single volume provides a platform for an integrated exchange between psycholinguistics and historical linguistics on the question of how language changes over time.

Reviews

‘This innovative collection sketches what a long overdue cooperation of psycholinguistics and language change could look like. By systematically investigating key psycholinguistic factors from both perspectives, it closes a striking gap in historical linguistics.'

Lieselotte Anderwald - Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

‘This is an admirable example of how a sophisticated analysis of a narrowly defined and partly even invisible phenomenon can reveal deep insights into language acquisition, with wide-ranging consequences for syntactic theory. As such, it is also a demonstration of how acquisition research can inform grammatical theory. Beautifully written, this book is therefore highly recommended to a readership not only interested in language acquisition but also in syntactic theory.'

Jürgen Meisel - Universität Hamburg

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