Resources on Historical Linguistics


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Basic resources on historical linguistics

Additional resources on historical linguistics

Resources on the history of the English language

Links related to long-range comparison

Links related to REALLY long-range comparison

Fun historical links

See also links on Indo-European


Some basic resources on historical linguistics

Is the English Language changing? from the LSA faq

The language museum – information and comparative vocabularies for a variety of language families

Proto-Indo-European demonstration and exhibition site

Lehmann’s Reader – On-line version of A Reader in Nineteenth CenturyHistorical Indo-European Linguistics edited and translated by W.P. Lehmann A great collection of writings in historical linguistics


Hypercard stacks related to historical linguistics – study aids from Michael Barlow historical linguistics page – a brief introduction

Transcripts for In Search of the First Language


Additional resources on historical linguistics

Computational Historical Linguistics Project at the University of Pennsylvania


Linguasphere – a project to classify all of the world’s languages

Comparative and Historical linguistics articles from CogPrints

Society for Mediaeval Languages and Lingusitics

includes an exploration of Indo-European roots and practice with comparative reconstruction

Comparison of Austronesian Languages

Numbers in 4,000 languages – interesting for comparisons across language families

Comparative Indo-European Data Corpus Isidore Dyen at the UPenn Language Data Consortium

Sino-Tibetan Etymological Dictionary

The History of Aramaic

The Evolution of the Maltese Language

Links will go here


Resources on the history of the English language

English borrowings from Amerindian languages

Early Modern English Dictionaries Database

HEL - History of the English Language homepage – a great resource with references on various stages of the language and links to courses, HEL-List archives and information on conferences and 

Old English Pages – Electronic resources on Old English 

Middle English Electronic Texts Collection from the University of Virginia 

See also the language and linguistics pages at the Chaucer website at Harvard 

Melinda Menzer’s Great Vowel Shift page – with audio samples of the sounds involved See also Bill Roger’s site for an overview of the history of English phonemes

English words borrowed from Arabic

Origin of phrases – a fun site about the origins of English phrases

Dictionary of Middle English

OED On-line

1811 Dictionary of Slang

Dictionary of Americanisms

X-Refer on linguistic borrowing – a long list of English borrowings and their probably source languages

Dictionary of Americanisms

H. W. Fowler’s The King’s English – a prescriptive grammar from 1908

1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence (updated after 1811), ed. by Francis Grose and Robert Cromie

A Dissolving View of Punctuation by Wendell Phillips Garrison an article published in The Atlantic in 1906 about the language was in decline 100 years ago.

H.L. Mencken’s The American Language – An Inquiry into the development of English in the United States from 1921

Notes on the origins of some prescriptive rules of Standard English from Pyles and Algeo’s book The origins and development of the English language


Links related to long-range comparison 

Intrab – A comparative linguistics database designed for the study of Nostratic theory

The Nostratic macrofamily – basic introduction to the Nostratic theory by Ilya Yakubovich

An introduction to Nostratic with links

Ural-Altaic, Dravidian, Sumerian Languages papers trying to show relationships between these families as well as others, some dubious things like Penutian/Urgic comparative wordlists.

Deriving Proto-World with Tools You Probably Have at Home

On the relationship between DNA evidence and theories of long-range historical linguistics Genetic distance and language affinities

Also, an article about chance resemblances between languages

Where do languages come from? by Merrit Ruhlen an interactive article on historical linguistics, particularly mass comparison.

The Tower of Babel Project – a project attempting to reconstruct “Proto-World”


Really long range comparison

Earth Mother Sacred Tongue by John W. White, III The names of all the world’s people have derived from EMST

Indo-European linguistics is conscpicuously contrived counterfeit science by Edo Nyland see also his page of Linguistic References including an article Classifying the world’s languages – a possible new approach arguing that all of the world’s lanaguages descended from a language called Saharan (“the first highly evolved and invented language on earth”)

The MacroEusian Homepage– by Glen GordonMacroEusian is a partial acronym for some of its proposed daughter languages, namely, Etruscan, Uralic, Sumerian, IndoEuropean and Altaic (spelling out EUSIA), as well as EskAleut, Yukaghir and Dravidian which all seem to be more closely related” includes a discussion of MacroEusian grammar 

Eskimo-Basque relationship


Fun historical links

A twisted view of The History of the English Language by Owen Alun and Brendan O'Corraidhe (actually written by Corrie Bergeron and Ben Tucker) posted for Michael Pemberton’s course on Descriptive English Grammar at the University of Illinois

The sound change applier – a computer program that applies a set of sound changes to a lexicon

North American Rune Stones

Page on the Rosetta Stone from