Trees, waves and linkages: models of language diversification

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The number of languages spoken in the planet has oscillated up and down throughout the history of mankind. Because no natural language appears ex nihilo, one has to explain how new languages emerge out of older ones. Some result historically from the encounter of two populations who were driven, under very special conditions, to combine elements of their respective languages and create a new one. Yet this pattern, whereby a language is born of two parents, is not the typical scenario. New languages also commonly arise from the internal diversification of a single language as it evolves into separate daughter languages over time, following processes where external input does not necessarily play the central role. This phenomenon of internal diversification is the object of the present chapter.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics
    Editors Claire Bowern and Bethwyn Evans
    Place of PublicationAbingdon, UK and New York, USA
    PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)9780415527897
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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