The English Language: A Historical Introduction

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 26, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 320 pages
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Where does today's English come from? This new edition of the bestseller by Charles Barber tells the story of the language from its remote ancestry to the present day. In response to demand from readers, a brand new chapter on late modern English has been added for this edition. Using dozens of familiar texts, including the English of King Alfred, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Addison, the book tells you everything you need to know about the English language, where it came from and where it's going to. This edition adds new material on English as a global language and explains the differences between the main varieties of English around the world. Clear explanations of linguistic ideas and terms make it the ideal introduction for students on courses in English language and linguistics, and for all readers fascinated by language.

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User Review  - timspalding - LibraryThing

The "pitch" of this book doesn't interest me enough to plough through all the way. But the warm up—the chapters on linguistics, on Indo-European languages, on the Germanic languages and on the ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Charles Barber was formerly Reader in English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds. He died in 2000.

Joan C. Beal is Professor of English Language in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield.

Philip A. Shaw is Lecturer in Old and Middle English in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield.

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