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Historical & Comparative Linguistics




Publication Date

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A History of the Irish Language: From the Norman Invasion to Independence


Aidan Doyle

June 2015

This book traces the history of the Irish language from the time of the Norman invasion to independence. Aidan Doyle addresses both the shifting position of Irish in society and the important internal linguistic changes that have taken place, and combines political, cultural, and linguistic history.

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Origins of Language: A Slim Guide


James R. Hurford

March 2014

This book offers an accessible overview of what is known about the evolution of the human capacity for language and what sets human language apart from the simple communication systems used by non-human animals. It draws on a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, neuroscience, genetics, and animal behaviour.

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The Oxford History of English

Revised Edition


Lynda Mugglestone

November 2012

Lynda Mugglestone's hugely popular The Oxford History of English is republished in a reset and revised edition featuring David Crystal's new take on the future of English. With impeccable and approachable scholarship, it describes the changing sounds, words, and meanings of English. A book for everyone interested in the language.

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The Oxford Guide to Etymology


Philip Durkin

July 2011

The best introduction to word history ever published combines scholarship with readability. OED's chief etymologist shows how words originate and change. He explores the histories of place and personal names and explains how to use different kinds of evidence, historical as well as linguistic. This is a book for everyone interested in words.

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A Natural History of Latin


Tore Janson

January 2007

Tore Janson tells the history of Latin from origins to present. He offers persuasive arguments for its value and gives direct access to its fascinating worlds, past and present. He describes how Latin spread through the classical world, its renewed importance in the Middle Ages, and its survival into modern times. He shows how spoken and written Latin evolved in different places and its central role in European history and culture. Brilliantly conceived and written with the same light touch as the author's bestselling history of languages, this book is a masterpiece of adroit synthesis.

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The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World


J. P. Mallory, D. Q. Adams

August 2006

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Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction


P. H. Matthews

April 2003

Very Short Introductions

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