A History of the English Language
This book is a comprehensive exploration of the linguistic and cultural development of English, from the Middle Ages to the present day. The book provides students with a balanced and up-to-date overview of the history of the language.
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This is my old college text book, one that all English majors had to read. I still find myself going back to it for reference. I still use anecdotes from this book in my classes when I am talking about language. What was the official language in England from 1066 until about 1250? French of course! When Spaniards came ashore in what is now part of Mexico, they asked the natives there, in Spanish of course, what this land was called. They replied, "Huh?" because they did not understand Spanish. That verbal transaction is still with us today, because the native word for "huh" is yucatan. My high school students love that story because many of them vacation in Yucatan.