An Historical Study of English: Function, Form and Change

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Routledge, Sep 2, 2003 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 248 pages
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Through his analysis of selected major developments in the history of English, Jeremy Smith argues that the history of the language can only be understood from a dynamic perspective. He proposes that internal linguistic mechanisms for language change cannot be meaningfully explained in isolation or without reference to external linguistic factors.
Smith provides the reader with an accessible synthesis of recent developments in English historical linguistics. His book:   Looks at the theory and methodology of linguistic historiography . Considers the major changes in writing systems, pronunciation and grammar.  Provides examples of these changes, such as the standardisation of spellings and accent and the origins of the Great Vowel Shift Focuses on the origins of two non-standard varieties; eighteenth century Scots and twentieth century British Black English.This book makes fascinating reading for students of English Historical linguistics, and is an original, important and above all, lively contribution to the field.
 

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Contents

Part
Linguistic evolution
Part
Two varieties in context
Conclusion
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Jeremy Smith is Professor of Russian History and Politics at the Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland, having lectured in Russian history at the University of Birmingham for eleven years. He has been a Visiting Researcher at Helsinki's Aleksanteri Institute and a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively on the non-Russian nationalities of the Soviet Union, including two books, The Bolsheviks and the National Question, 1917 1923 and The Fall of Soviet Communism, 1985 1991. He has received major research grants for projects on social unrest in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, the politics and government of the USSR in the Khrushchev era, and Georgian nationalism and Soviet power in the 1950s, and is one of the organisers of the EU-Central Asia Monitoring programme. In 2001 he was elected to the International Commission on the Russian Revolution.

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