The History of the Ancient Hebrew Modal System and Labov’s Rule of Compensatory Structural Change
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The ideas which I hat presented here are related to Labov' s research in a number of obvious ways, but there is an additional, less obvious, relationship which ought to be noted. They are inspired by the grand program set forth in Labov et al. (1972). Al the end of that work (p. 272), Labov writes eloquently of "the uses of the present to explain the past." Here are the concluding lines (p. 275): The basic direc1tion of this report is towards establishing a symmetrical relationship between the studies of the present and the studies of the past.. .. There is of course a natural relationship between historical linguists and investigators of language in its social context.. .. It is hoped that the close association of these two interests will open up new avenues for linguistic investigation anti the understanding of linguistic change. (from Conclusion)
“The History of the Ancient Hebrew Modal System and Labov’s Rule of Compensatory Structural Change.” In Towards a Social Science of Language: Papers in Honor of William Labov, vol. 1, edited by Gregory R. Guy,
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