The English Language: A Historical Introduction

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, May 4, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 299 pages
9 Reviews
The English Language: A Historical Introduction covers the history of the English language from its prehistoric Indo-European origins to the present day. Assuming no previous knowledge of the subject, Charles Barber describes the nature of language and language change, and presents a history of the English language at different periods, dealing with key topics such as grammar, pronunciation and semantics. Where necessary, he introduces and explains the main theoretical and technical concepts of historical linguistics. There are also chapters on English in the scientific age, English as a world language and the future of the language. Charles Barber uses dozens of familiar texts, including the English of King Alfred, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Addison, to illustrate the state of the English language through time in a range of contexts. This is a fascinating book for anyone with an interest in language.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
3
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
1

Review: The English Language: A Historical Introduction

User Review  - Patty - Goodreads

Okay, so I didn't actually finish this one. Life is too short to waste on sub par books. This one is so technical it reads like stereo instructions. Read full review

Review: The English Language: A Historical Introduction

User Review  - Nicole - Goodreads

This book is great fun if you're a language geek. Maybe even if you aren't. Barber goes through all the major stages of English's development, talking about sound, vocabulary and grammar change in ... Read full review

Contents

V
1
VI
32
VII
58
VIII
81
IX
100
X
127
XI
151
XII
175
XIII
199
XIV
234
XV
262
XVI
279
XVII
283
XVIII
292
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2000)

Barber is the Michael P. Grace Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design at the University of Notre Dame.

Bibliographic information