Sound Change

Salmons, J. Sound Change. Edinburgh University Press, 2021.

Understanding sound change through contemporary theory and historical evidence

  • Offers broad linguistic coverage with examples from a wide range of world language families including Germanic, Romance, Mixtec, Tibetan, Hmong, Hebrew, Chinese, Kikuyu, Svan and Menominee
  • Explores sound change from structural, historical, sociolinguistic and acquisitional perspectives
  • Takes a data led approach with worked examples in each chapter
  • Includes questions and suggestions for further study at the end of each chapter

Drawing examples from a range of world languages, this textbook introduces the ways in which speech sounds become different over time. It explores how we produce and hear particular sounds and how overall word shapes and the pronunciation of individual words change. The roles of phonetics and phonology, morphology and syntax, traditional formal models and recent exemplar-based work in sound change are all examined. In covering both structural and societal issues, the book integrates different kinds of historical evidence and different theories into a coherent understanding of the full process of sound change.