Language Creation
and Language Change

Michel De Graff

Language Creation and Language Change

March 2001
ISBN 0-262-54126-2
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press

Research on creolization, language change over time, and language acquisition has been converging toward a triangulation of the constraints along which grammatical systems develop within individual speakers--and (viewed externally) across generations of speakers. The originality of this volume is in its comparison of various sorts of language growth from a number of linguistic-theoretic and empirical perspectives, using data from both speech and gestural modalities and from a diversity of acquisition environments. In turn, this comparison yields fresh insights on the mental bases of language creation. The paperback edition contains a new preface.

The book is organized into five parts: creolization and acquisition; acquisition under exceptional circumstances; language processing and syntactic change; parameter setting in acquisition and through creolization and language change; and a concluding part integrating the contributors' observations and proposals into a series of commentaries on the state of the art in our understanding of language development, its role in creolization and diachrony, and implications for linguistic theory.

Michel DeGraff is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.