Jay Jasanoff

Diebold Professor of Indo-European Linguistics and Philology
Department of Linguistics
Harvard University

Historical Linguistics

Historical linguistics, the study of language change, is the oldest subfield of modern linguistics. The success of historical linguistics in the nineteenth century was a major force behind the growth of synchronic linguistics in the twentieth. This page gives a short overview of the classical theory of linguistic change, the comparative method, modern perspectives on language change, and the use of language as a tool in the study of prehistory. A few reading suggestions are given as well.

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