This exceptionally clear text focuses on internal changes in the English language. It outlines the history of English from pre-Old English times to the present. Not only does it present the traditional morphological descriptions of the various stages of the language, it provides many example sentences, texts, and cartoons that are analyzed for the benefit of the student and which make this book ideal for class use. Some language-external topics are covered such as early printing and authorship debates. Tables and figures complement the material covered and exercises review the main points as well as ask further, more challenging, questions. Answers to the exercises are provided, as is a time line listing some of the external events, and some guidance on how to use the OED. Complementary web site information is provided throughout the book, and a companion web site accompanies the book.
This book has a companion website: www.historyofenglish.net
This textbook is a very fine, clearly presented, and well organized introduction to the history of the English language. It includes, perhaps, the finest collection of authentic texts located at the end of each chapter of any textbook available. The exercises that follow each chapter are a useful way for students to review the main points covered in each chapter, and the step-by-step guide to using the electronic version of the OED at the end of the book is a useful inclusion in a textbook of this sort. The tables and figures, examples and analyses presented in each chapter provide additional resources for students in their studies.This textbook is a worthy addition to an already fine group of textbooks on the history of English. The book is well written and surprisingly accessible to the reader, and the author does a fine job of presenting the complexities of the subject in a student-friendly way. I can enthusiastically recommend it for undergraduate courses in the history of the English language.
Without doubt, the best short introduction to the history of English: lucid, clearly exemplified, theoretically sophisticated but subdued. A delightful textbook in every way.
Great research, many options for additional information for research as you read. Diagrams, tables, and figures which add to the learning process. Lots of activities to strengthen what was just explained. Appendices very useful -- this book is not dry as so many others are - plainly written and easy to understand but extensively informative.
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