Reconstructing the origin of language families and variation

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/Conference proceedingKapitel samlingsverk


The chapter looks at language variation and change, and the correlation of these processes to language reconstruction and classification. The chapter gives an overview of theories, models, methods and data, describing how diversity and variation is modelled and measured for reconstruction and classification within traditional comparative and statistical, evolutionary or phylogenetic methods. First, the chapter identifies the basic principles of language change and the way in which these differ within various subdomains of language. A second part delves around the outcome of change, describing the diverse result of sound change, lexical change, and typological/ morphosyntactic change. Here, important aspects include the inherent propensity of change, the role of arbitrariness, the role of systems, horizontal transfer, and the outcome of change at macro-levels. Finally, the chapter deals with the issue of the ontological status of the reconstruction, and how various theoretical approaches may affect the interpretation of results. The chapter reviews results and controversies arising from current research.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Zurich
  • University of Queensland

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Jämförande språkvetenskap och lingvistik
Titel på värdpublikationOxford Handbook of Human Symbolic Evolution
RedaktörerChris Sinha, Andy Lock, Nathalie Gontier
FörlagOxford University Press
StatusAccepted/In press - 2018
Peer review utfördJa


NamnOxford Handbooks