Overview

Where does today's English come from? This book describes the nature of language and language change, and presents a history of the English language from prehistory to the present day, dealing with key topics such as grammar, pronunciation and semantics. The main theoretical and technical concepts of historical linguistics are also explained. Charles Barber uses familiar texts, including the English of King Alfred, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Addison, to illustrate the state of the English language through time. ...
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The English Language

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Overview

Where does today's English come from? This book describes the nature of language and language change, and presents a history of the English language from prehistory to the present day, dealing with key topics such as grammar, pronunciation and semantics. The main theoretical and technical concepts of historical linguistics are also explained. Charles Barber uses familiar texts, including the English of King Alfred, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Addison, to illustrate the state of the English language through time. This is a fascinating book for anyone with an interest in language.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'A clear, readable introduction to language … the layers of vocabulary are dealt with brilliantly …' Good Book Guide
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107387119
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2013
  • Series: Canto Classics
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Sales rank: 502,648
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

List of figures
Preface
1 What is language? 1
2 The flux of language 32
3 The Indo-European languages 58
4 The Germanic languages 81
5 Old English 100
6 Norsemen and Normans 127
7 Middle English 151
8 Early Modern English 175
9 English in the scientific age 199
10 English as a world language 234
11 English today and tomorrow 262
Notes and suggestions for further reading 279
Bibliography 283
Index 292
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