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How Do Languages Change? (More on "Aberrant" Languages)
George W. Grace
Vol. 31, No. 1 (Summer, 1992), pp. 115-130
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3622968
Page Count: 16
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Language, Linguistics, Community structure, Comparative linguistics, Ethnolinguistics, Language change, Standard languages, Online communities, Academic communities, Vowels
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"Aberrant" languages are languages which have proved relatively intractable by the comparative method. Within the Austronesian family, such intractable languages are particularly common in Melanesia. The question is how certain languages have become aberrant and certain others not. The reasons are sought in what recent sociolinguistic studies have revealed about the roles of the communities in which languages are spoken in relation both to language structure and to linguistic change. A mainly speculative account is offered of possible patterns of linguistic variation and of the structures of interpersonal links in communities in which tractable and intractable languages are spoken.
Oceanic Linguistics © 1992 University of Hawai'i Press