An Introduction to Historical Linguistics

Terry Crowley

Oxford University Press 1992
A book review by Danny Yee © 1993
An Introduction to Historical Linguistics is a straightforward text that assumes no prior knowledge of linguistics. Its most notable features are its emphasis on using non-Indo-European (and in particular Oceanic) languages as examples and its strong treatment of pidgins and creoles. The material covered includes all the obvious things — phonetic change, the comparative method, internal reconstruction, glottochronology, language contact, cultural reconstruction, etc. Each chapter has an extensive set of exercises (and some reading questions) which are useful in checking one has understood the material and sometimes contain interesting trivia. This is a very nicely presented book which makes good use of maps and diagrams, and wouldn't be a bad general introduction to linguistics for a reader interested in a historical approach.

Note: a third edition of An Introduction to Historical Linguistics was published in 1998.

April 1993

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%T An Introduction to Historical Linguistics
%A Crowley, Terry
%I Oxford University Press
%D 1992
%O paperback, 2nd edition, exercises, bibliography, index
%G ISBN 0195582470
%P 331pp