The Metamorphosis Of English

Overview

Beginning with the motley crew of invaders who mingled with the Gaelic, Norse, Latin, and French speakers to produce a small nation of empire-builders who would carry their language to the far corners of the globe, the story of the birth and migration of the English language is well known to us through the popular works of Robert McNeil, Robert McCrum, and Bill Bryson. Swiderski expands and extends our understanding of the predatory aspects of the language as he shows how English acquires and is transformed by ...

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Overview

Beginning with the motley crew of invaders who mingled with the Gaelic, Norse, Latin, and French speakers to produce a small nation of empire-builders who would carry their language to the far corners of the globe, the story of the birth and migration of the English language is well known to us through the popular works of Robert McNeil, Robert McCrum, and Bill Bryson. Swiderski expands and extends our understanding of the predatory aspects of the language as he shows how English acquires and is transformed by the myriad other languages with which it comes into contact. Swiderski's examples begin with major world languages, especially Spanish and Chinese, and then go on to look at the less considered connections with remote and extinct languages. Through Swiderski's lens, English takes on the look of an agglutinative museum of linguistic artifacts in danger of having no describable identity or common fabric. Each speaker's variety of English is as individual as his or her genetic makeup; it is both so universal and so dissimilar that English as we know it may be endangered as a separate language.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Samples some of the ways English speakers have represented other languages in their own, either when learning a second language or when referring to a foreign concept or item. Covers the receptivity of the English language, Spanish and Chinese examples, accent, versions, innateness, redesign, and reference. Also identifies the last native speaker of English. Distributed in the US by Greenwood. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897894685
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/23/1996
  • Pages: 162
  • Lexile: 1290L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

RICHARD M. SWIDERSKI is Education Coordinator at Canal Community Alliance in San Rafael, California.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Receptivity: Surface Acceptance 1
2 Spanish by English 13
3 Chinese by English 23
4 Accent 29
5 Versions 35
6 Innateness 105
7 Redesign 111
8 Reference 117
9 The Last Native Speaker of English 133
Bibliography 137
Index 141
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