Language change

Raymond Hickey
Table of contents

In this overview the author considers previous research on language change and the various issues which have arisen and been discussed over the past few decades. The article considers the methodologies applied to the field from the comparative method and internal reconstruction to the text corpus and sociolinguistic/variationist approaches of recent years. Further sections of the article deal with issues such as pathways of change, e.g. grammaticalization, and with explanatory models of language change, such as speaker-induced language change, contact accounts and the typological perspective. The debate between functionalism and formalism is also given consideration.

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