The Metamorphosis of English: Versions of Other Languages

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996 - Foreign Language Study - 143 pages
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Beginning with the motley crew of invaders who mingled with the Gaelic, Norse, Latin, and French speakers to produce a small nation of empire-builders who would carry their language to the far corners of the globe, the story of the birth and migration of the English language is well known to us through the popular works of Robert McNeil, Robert McCrum, and Bill Bryson. Swiderski expands and extends our understanding of the predatory aspects of the language as he shows how English acquires and is transformed by the myriad other languages with which it comes into contact. Swiderski's examples begin with major world languages, especially Spanish and Chinese, and then go on to look at the less considered connections with remote and extinct languages. Through Swiderski's lens, English takes on the look of an agglutinative museum of linguistic artifacts in danger of having no describable identity or common fabric. Each speaker's variety of English is as individual as his or her genetic makeup; it is both so universal and so dissimilar that English as we know it may be endangered as a separate language.

 

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Contents

Receptivity Surface Acceptance
1
Spanish by English
13
Chinese by English
23
Accent
29
Versions
35
Innateness
105
Redesign
111
Reference
117
The Last Native Speaker of English
133
Bibliography
137
Index
141
Copyright

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Page v - ... intelligent glaedmodnes. kindness modlufu. affection unmod, despondency modcaru. sorrow modleast, want of courage madmod, folly ofermod. pride heahmod. proud modhete. hate micelmod. magnanimous swipmod. great of soul (swip, strong) stipmod, resolute gupmod. warlike torhtmod, glorious (torht, shine) modleof, beloved Anglo-Saxon. English (adapted from Baugh and Cable 1978) English, no doubt, is a dynamic language. Writing about the new Collins English Dictionary that incorporates contemporary'...

About the author (1996)

RICHARD M. SWIDERSKI is Education Coordinator at Canal Community Alliance in San Rafael, California. Formerly Professor of Anthropology at Moi University in Kenya, he is the author of seven books, including Voices: An Anthropologist's Dialogue (1986), Teaching Language, Learning Culture (Bergin & Garvey, 1993), and Eldoret: An African Ethnography (1995).

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