This accessible, hands-on introduction to historical linguistics - the study of language change - does not just talk about topics. With abundant examples and exercises, it helps students learn for themselves how to do historical linguistics. Distinctive to the book is its integration of the standard traditional topics with others now considered vital to historical linguistics: explanation of 'why' languages change; sociolinguistic aspects of linguistic change; syntactic change and grammaticalization; distant genetic relationships (how to show that languages are related); areal linguistics; and linguistic prehistory. Examples come from a wide range of languages. Those from the history of more familiar languages such as English, French, German and Spanish make the concepts they illustrate more accessible, while others from numerous non-Indo-European languages help to demonstrate the depth and richness of the concepts and methods they illustrate. With its lucid and engaging style, expert guidance and comprehensive coverage, Historical Linguistics: An Introduction is not only an invaluable textbook for students coming to the subject for the first time, but also an entertaining and engaging read for specialists in the field. Features * Practical hands-on approach including numerous student exercises * Wide range of languages and examples * Accessible writing style aimed at beginning students * Comprehensive and insightful coverage of essential topics * Established textbook author, highly well-known scholar in this field.