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Re: Constructing plausible language evolution

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Sunday, October 9, 2005, 14:43

"David J. Peterson" wrote:

> Kutsuwamushi wrote: > << > Is there any good resource for learning how to create plausible > sound/morphosyntactic changes for a conlang? Right now, I can only > guess based on what I know about a (very) limited number of (mostly > Slavic) languages, but I'd like to be able to go further than that. > >> > > Lyle Campbell's book _Historical Linguistics_ is probably the > best I've seen. It gives you a list of common sound changes, > citing natural language examples, and then goes in depth into > sound change (what drives it, what's plausible, what isn't, etc.).
Seconded. Campbell's book is clearly the best of the six or so textbooks on historical linguistics I have read so far. It addresses just about everything you need to know about language change and is also very well written. The author also warns against pseudo-scientific techniques (such as glottochronology and mass lexical comparison) popular among those who wish to boldly go where no historical linguist has gone before. Another recommendable book is _Indo-European Language and Culture_ by Benjamin W. Fortson IV. It contains sketches of PIE and several daughter languages and summarzes the sound changes characteristic of the various branches. This book will give you a good impression of what a family of related languages looks like and how languages change in practice. Greetings, Jörg.