Category Archives: Historical linguistics

Models of Language Change

by Assif Am-David, Frankfurt a.M.

For the last 150 years the ultimate representation of language change has been the family tree model. I shall start by explaining what the family tree model is. I shall pursue in presenting some major schools raising contention against this model. Finally, I shall discuss these critical voices in light of the progress in historical linguistics. Continue reading Models of Language Change

Language Change

by Assif Am-David, Frankfurt a.M.

One of the most intriguing and widely studied topics in linguistics is the nature of language change. It is a well-known fact that natural languages of all types keep changing constantly. Language change can be studied from several angles: One can reconstruct extinct languages, classify languages to language families, recognise trends in lexical and grammatical changes and draw historical conclusions from language change. However, perhaps the most prominent question regarding language change is why it happens in the first place. Continue reading Language Change