Linguistic Epidemiology: Semantics and Grammar of Language Contact in Mainland Southeast Asia

1st Edition

Nick Enfield

Routledge
Published August 15, 2014
Reference - 416 Pages
ISBN 9780415868334 - CAT# Y153191
Series: Routledge Studies in Asian Linguistics

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Summary

This important new study examines in detail a semantic-pragmatic pattern surrounding the basic verb 'acquire' in nearly 30 Southeast Asian languages, concentrating on Lao, Vietnamese, Khmer, Kmhmu, Hmong, and varieties of Chinese.
The book makes a significant contribution to empirical work on semantic and grammatical change in a linguistic area, as well as representing theoretical advances in cognitive semantics. Gricean pragmatics, semantic change, grammaticalization, language contact, and areal linguistics. The book also examines how changes in the speech of individuals actually become changes in large-scale public convention, 'language contact' is reconsidered, and traditional distinctions such as that between 'internal' and 'external' linguistic mechanisms are challenged.
This groundbreaking new book is for specialists in Southeast Asian linguistics as well as scholars of descriptive semantics and pragmatics, grammaticalisation, linguistic change and evolution, areal linguistics and language contact, history and linguistic anthropology.

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