The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language / Edition 2

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Overview

Rarely has a book so packed with accurate and well researched factual information been so widely read and popularly acclaimed. This Second Edition of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language has been fully revised for a new generation of language-lovers. The book is longer and includes extensive new material on world English and Internet English, in addition to completely updated statistics, further reading suggestions and other references. First Edition Hb (1995): 0-521-40179-8 First Edition Pb (1997): 0-521-59655-6 David Crystal is a leading authority on language, and author of many books, including most recently Shakespeare's Words (Penguin, 2002), Language and the Internet (Cambridge, 2001) and Language Death (Cambridge, 2000). An internationally renowned writer, journal editor, lecturer and broadcaster, he received an Order of the British Empire in 1995 for his services to the English language.

A superbly written and illustrated exploration of the history, structure, and the use of the English language throughout the world. Crystal allows language to speak for itself by using quotes, photos, newspaper clippings, poems, ads, cartoons, and many other types of illustrative material that complements his narrative. Highly visual with striking color, paneled, and boxed features.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...bedazzles you with an eye-popping presentation of the cluck-clucking of the mother tongue. If you like fireworks with your information, this is a worthwhile language book..." William Safire, The New York Times Magazine

"The Cambridge Encyclopedia of English Language (is) perhaps the most brilliant book of the past ten years..." Globe and Mail

"This is more than an encyclopedia; it is also a compendium of wonderful anecdotes and illustrations. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language should be at the top of the list for purchases in all library language/literature collections." Reference Book Review

"The clear and spirited text is stunning, enhanced with over 500 illustrations, making this a particularly rich reference work and a browser's dream...Crystal has created an attractive and readable work for the lay reader as well as the specialist." Library Journal

"...contains a monstrous amount of information on a fascinating topic arranged in a clear, concise, and, above all, entertaining manner--a dangerous combination indeed, and one that can only lead to uncontrollable reading binges lasting hours or perhaps days." Quill & Quire

Library Journal
Crystal, an author, lecturer, and BBC broadcaster on language, here approaches English with the same combination of scholarly seriousness and inviting visual presentation that made his Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (LJ 5/1/88) so successful. This large, lively, and lavishly illustrated volume is divided into six broad topics that cover the English language's history, vocabulary, grammar, writing and speech systems, usage, and acquisition. Within these major topics, the book is divided into logical subtopics and finally into the basic unit of the text-the two-page spread. Nearly every individual subject is treated without turning a page, and how these pages are packed! The clear and spirited text is stunning, enhanced with over 500 illustrations, making this a particularly rich reference work and a browser's dream. The history part consists of chronological chapters that trace the language's development. It offers a fascinating treatment of the growth of English during Shakespeare's time as well as its adaptation to the needs of international trade and late 20th-century technology. Crystal is attuned to the diversity of English usage around the world, providing a variety of wide-ranging quotations, photographs, newspaper clippings, poems, ads, and cartoons. The text treats controversial topics such as black English, word and place origins, regional English, dialect, the U.S. movement to make English the official language, politically correct language, and the future. The book's layout, three indexes, and glossary will make it useful both at the reference desk and in the circulating collection. Crystal has created an attractive and readable work for the lay reader as well as the specialist. For most academic, public, and school libraries.-Paul D'Alessandro, Portland P.L., Me.
Booknews
A comprehensive general reference on the history, structure, and worldwide use of English. Covers the history of English; vocabulary; English grammar; spoken and written English; using English; and learning about English. Color photographs, advertisements, cartoons, quotations, newspaper cuttings, poems, and anecdotes illustrate the text throughout. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521530330
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/2003
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 506
  • Sales rank: 219,371
  • Product dimensions: 8.62 (w) x 10.87 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

David Crystal is one of the world's foremost authorities on language.
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Table of Contents

Prefaces; 1. Modelling English; Part I. The History of English: 2. The origins of English; 3. Old English; 4. Middle English; 5. Early Modern English; 6. Modern English; 7. World English; Part II. English Vocabulary: 8. The nature of the lexicon; 9. The sources of the lexicon; 10. Etymology; 11. The structure of the lexicon; 12. Lexical dimensions; Part III. English Grammar: 13. Grammatical mythology; 14. The structure of words; 15. Word classes; 16. The structure of sentences; Part IV. Spoken and Written English: 17. The sound system; 18. The writing system; Part V. Using English: 19. Varieties of discourse; 20. Regional variation; 21. Social variation; 22. Personal variation; 23. Electronic variation; Part VI. Learning about English: 24. Learning English as a mother tongue; 25. New ways of studying English; Appendices; Indexes.
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