The English Language: A Historical Introduction
Cambridge University Press, May 4, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 299 pages
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
LibraryThing ReviewUser 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
What is language?
The flux of language
The IndoEuropean languages
The Germanic languages
Norsemen and Normans
Early Modern English
Other editions - View all
accent adjectives Africa allophones American English Anglo-Saxon auxiliary became become borrowed British English called Celtic changes in pronunciation common consonant corresponding creoles culture developed dialect diphthong Early Modern English East East Midland eighteenth century ending England English language English word especially example French fricatives front mutation Germanic languages Gothic grammar Greek Indian Indo-European languages inflections influence kind large numbers Latin lengthening linguistic loan-words loans lost meaning Middle English Midland morphemes normal North northern nouns number of words Old English Old Norse originally passage past tense phoneme phonology pidgin plural prepositions present-day English pronounced Proto-Germanic Proto-Indo-European pure vowels Received Pronunciation regional Sanskrit Scandinavian Scots seen sentence seventeenth century Shakespeare's short vowels singular sixteenth century sounds South speakers speech spelling Standard English standard language stress suffix Swedish symbols thou tongue unstressed syllables usage variant varieties of English verb vocabulary voiceless West Saxon word-order