The Handbook of the History of English / Edition 1

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The Handbook of the History of English is a collection of articles written by leading specialists in the field that focus on the theoretical issues behind the facts of the changing English language.
  • organizes the theoretical issues behind the facts of the changing English language innovatively and applies recent insights to old problems
  • surveys the history of English from the perspective of structural developments in areas such as phonology, prosody, morphology, syntax, semantics, language variation, and dialectology
  • offers readers a comprehensive overview of the various theoretical perspectives available to the study of the history of English and sets new objectives for further research
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This ground-breaking book includes insightful and thorough analyses of a large number of features in the history of English, offering numerous new starting-points and theoretical considerations. Indispensable for all students and scholars of English historical linguistics and philology.” Matti Rissanen, University of Helsinki, Finland

“A wonderful encapsulation of the field by cutting-edge scholars, inspired by the fin de siècle burst of research success in English historical linguistics. A must-read for all English language historians interested in how far we have come toward resolving the issues left open by Jespersen, Luick, Wyld, Sweet, and the other great philologists. It offers vastly deeper access to these problems, both through computer corpora and through new theoretical insights. Brilliant and often definitive.” Robert Stockwell, UCLA

"As with The Handbook of English Linguistics, I enjoyed different insights and would also use it for state-of-the-art summaries and additional reading."
Elly Van Gelderen, Arizona State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631233442
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/29/2006
  • Series: Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 672
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.05 (h) x 1.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Ans van Kemenade is Professor in the Department of English at the Radboud University Nijmegen, and is author of Syntactic Case and Morphological Case in the History of English (1987), and The Syntax of Early English (2000; with O. Fischer, W. Koopman, and W. van der Wurff). 

Bettelou Los is a lecturer in the Department of English at the Radboud University Nijmegen. She is author of Infinitival Complementation in Old and Middle English (1999) and The Rise of the to-infinitive (2005). 

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Table of Contents

1 Change for the better? : optimality theory versus history 3
2 Cuing a new grammar 24
3 Variation and the interpretation of change in periphrastic Do 45
4 Evolutionary models and functional-typological theories of language change 68
5 Old and Middle English prosody 95
6 Prosodic preferences : from Old English to early modern English 125
7 Typoligical changes in derivational morphology 151
8 Competition in English word formation 177
9 Case syncretism and word order change 201
10 Discourse adverbs and clausal syntax in Old and Middle English 224
11 The loss of OV order in the history of English 249
12 Category change and gradience in the determiner system 279
13 Pathways in the development of pragmatic markers in English 307
14 The semantic development of scalar focus modifiers 335
15 Information structure and word order change : the passive as an information-rearranging strategy in the history of English 360
16 Old English dialectology 395
17 Early Middle English dialectology : problems and prospects 417
18 How English became African American English 452
19 Historical change in synchronic perspecitve : the legacy of British dialects 477
20 The making of Hiberno-English and other "Celtic Englishes" 507
21 Eighteenth-century prescriptivism and the norm of correctness 539
22 Historical sociolinguistics and language change 558
23 Global English : from island tongue to world language 589
Useful corpora for research in English historical linguistics 609
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