The History of the English Language: A Source Book

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Longman, 1992 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 373 pages
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The overall structure of the book sustains the view of the development of the language through successive historical periods towards the present-day standard. The collection of texts emphasizes the stylistic and dialectal variety of English, acknowledging this as important to linguistic change. Among the topics which might arise from this collection are the relationship between dialect speech and the standard at various periods, its social implications, the influence upon English of foreign languages, the occurrence of colloquial expression in writing or the characteristics of Latin-based prose.

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For me, one of the best books out there for learning about the history and evolution of the English Language in accessible form. Great examples and explanation of otherwise obscure historical text. A must for scholars and those interested in how language develops and forms over time.

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A great source for texts like the preface of Johnson's Dictionary and the OED, "The Battle of Brunanburh," "Caedmon's Hymn," parallel passages from English Bibles, etc. Read full review


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