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Regularity in Semantic Change


Part of Cambridge Studies in Linguistics

  • Date Published: April 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521617918


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About the Authors
  • This new and important study of semantic change examines the various ways in which new meanings arise through language use, especially the ways in which speakers and writers experiment with uses of words and constructions. Drawing on extensive research from over a thousand years of English and Japanese textual history, Traugott and Dasher show that most changes in meaning originate in and are motivated by the associative flow of speech and conceptual metonymy.

    • At the forefront of work in historical pragmatics and discourse analysis
    • Reveals systematic principles at work in semantic change, a domain usually thought of as unsystematic
    • Draws on data from over a thousand years of English and Japanese textual history
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521617918
    • length: 364 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    Preface and acknowledgements
    List of abbreviations
    1. The framework
    2. Prior and current work on semantic change
    3. The development of modal verbs
    4. The development of adverbials with discourse marker function
    5. The development of performative verbs and constructions
    6. The development of social deictics
    7. Conclusion
    Primary references
    Secondary references
    Index of languages
    Index of names
    Index of subjects.

  • Authors

    Elizabeth Closs Traugott, Stanford University, California
    Elizabeth Closs Traugott is Professor of Linguistics and English at Stanford University. Her previous books include A History of English Syntax (1972), Linguistics for Students of Literature (with Mary L. Pratt, 1980) and Grammaticalization (with Paul J. Hopper, Cambridge, 1993).

    Richard B. Dasher, Stanford University, California
    Richard B. Dasher is Director of the US-Japan Technology Center, Executive Director of the Center for Integrated Systems and Consulting Associate Professor at the School of Engineering, Stanford University. His previous publications include historical work on Japanese honorifics in Papers in Linguistics, other research in Papers from the 7th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL), and various scholarly journals.

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