Combining studies of living communities with examinations of historical records of completed changes, this book traces the general principles of chain shifting within and across vowel systems, as well as the principles that govern mergers and splits. Labov uses evidence from sociolinguistics and dialect geography to provide responses to the controversies initiated by the neo-grammarians. Though lexical diffusion can be located in changes of membership in abstract categories such as "long" and "short", the main agent of linguistic change, Labov argues, is regular sound change that proceeds without regard to the preservation of meaning. Change in sound can lead to confusion and the disruption of dialect systems. The findings presented here on the asymmetry of production and perception explain the historical continuity of word classes when the semantic function of contrast is suspended.
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Book Description Blackwell Pub, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: Acceptable. Ex-library book. Item is intact, but may show shelf wear. Pages may include notes and highlighting. May or may not include supplemental or companion material. Access codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000972359
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