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Milestones in the History of English in America

Overview

A collection of essays by one of the premier historians of American English, Milestones in the History of English in America is a remarkable introduction to Allen Walker Read’s work and the ways in which archival materials can illuminate linguistic history. This volume is divided into four sections: the emergence of American English as a distinct form and the attitudes of both Britons and Americans toward its development; the history of the most distinctive and widespread American coinage, "O.K."; euphemism and ...

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Overview

A collection of essays by one of the premier historians of American English, Milestones in the History of English in America is a remarkable introduction to Allen Walker Read’s work and the ways in which archival materials can illuminate linguistic history. This volume is divided into four sections: the emergence of American English as a distinct form and the attitudes of both Britons and Americans toward its development; the history of the most distinctive and widespread American coinage, "O.K."; euphemism and obscenity; and an autobiographical section that provides a fascinating portrait of a remarkable American scholar.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This collection centers on the work of Allen Walker Read, an employee of the at the University of Chicago in the 1930s. Read's first nine essays pick up themes in Early American English such as the impact of ethnicity on language attitudes, English on both sides of the Atlantic, distinguishing features of American talk, and milestones in the branching of British and American English. Subsequent discussion includes the history of , taboo words (including the history of ), and Read's autobiographical account about his development as a linguist, presented in two addresses to the renegade Linguistic Association of Canada and the US, and to the American Dialect Society. Articles are preceded by introductory remarks from the editor, and the volume includes a bibliography of Read's papers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Allen Walker Read, American Scholar
1 Milestones in the Branching of British and American English 3
2 The Embattled Dominance of English in the United States 22
3 The Impact of "Ethnicity" on Attitudes toward the English Language 30
4 British Recognition of American Speech in the Eighteenth Century 37
5 Amphi-Atlantic English 55
6 The Assimilation of the Speech of British Immigrants in Colonial America 83
7 The Distinguishing Features of American Talk 95
8 Words Indicating Social Status in America in the Eighteenth Century 104
9 The Allegiance to Dictionaries in American Linguistic Attitudes 110
10 The First Stage in the History of O.K. 123
11 The Second Stage in the History of O.K. 149
12 The Folklore of O.K. 171
13 Later Stages in the History of O.K. 192
14 Successive Revisions in the Explanation of O.K. 212
15 Sticking to the Facts: A Letter to Rowland Berthoff 245
16 An Obscenity Symbol 251
17 A Type of Ostentatious Taboo 270
18 Where Does That Word Come From? 277
19 A Personal Journey through Linguistics 303
20 A Life Exhilarated by Language 318
App Bibliography of the Papers of Allen Walker Read 329
Notes 351
References 397
Index 431
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