Sunday, August 23, 2009

Linguistic Evolution

By Simone Gilson

Source    :

Languages are constantly changing. New words are added to the English language every year, either borrowed or coined, and there is often railing against the 'decline' of the language by public figures. Some languages, such as French and Finnish, have academies to protect them against foreign imports. Yet languages are species-like constructs, which evolve naturally over time. Migration, imperialism, and globalization have blurred
boundaries between many of them, producing new ones (such as creoles) and driving some to extinction.

This book examines the processes by which languages change, from the macroecological perspective of competition and natural selection. In a series of chapters, Salikoko Mufwene examines such themes as:

*natural selection in language the actuation question and the invisible hand that drives evolution multilingualism and language contact language birth and language death
the emergence of Creoles and Pidgins the varying impacts of colonization and globalization on language vitality This comprehensive examination of the organic evolution of language will be essential reading for graduate and senior undergraduate students, and for researchers on the social dynamics of language variation and change,
language vitality and death, and even the origins of linguistic diversity.

"Inspired by evolutionary biology, Salikoko Mufwene's spectacularly comprehensive and thought-provoking new book goes for the big picture and illuminates fundamental principles of language evolution and language contact. Showcasing the peculiar (or not so peculiar, after all) evolutionary conditions of creoles, Mufwene reaches novel and unorthodox insights which build upon concepts such as the importance of ecology,
competition and selection, imperfect replication, and family resemblance. He questions and retunes some fundamental notions in linguistics like "system", "transmission" or "acquisition", thus coming considerably closer to an understanding of how language has evolved than earlier linguistic theory. Ingenious imagery like the highway traffic analogy show how patterns have emerged through "invisible hand" evolution, the convergence of communal behavior, and how imperfection, far from being imperfect, generates real-life structures. Principles like the ubiquity of contact and hybridism, the understanding of languages as species and complex adaptive systems, the relationship between mutual accommodation between individuals and emergent communal behavior, or the link between globalization and indigenization invoke a new down-to-earth linguistics in which the interactions of real-life individuals are at the core of far-reaching
developments. A must-read for theorists of language change and language
contact, and for anybody interested in how language really works." - Professor Edgar W. Schneider, Chair of English Linguistics, University of Regensburg, Germany
Linguistic Field (s): Linguistic Theories Sociolinguistics Written In: English (eng ) See this book announcement on our website: http://linguistlist.org/getbook.html


My Comment:
I think every language has a change or has been evolution by periode, and we must  conciderly that our language can be replaced by other language if we can’t protect own language from language evolution, because a language can be gone if they not used for a long time, example hieroglyph language in egypt, it not used for thousand year’s and the result the hieroglyph language is absolutely not used in oral communication, but we can found it in ancient script or another ancient civilitation ruins or musem in egypt.

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