"An essential introduction for students and an invaluable resource for teachers of this subject. It is written in an accessible style, includes many detailed examples and study questions and is well supported by extensive resources on its website." - Sebastian Rasinger, Anglia Ruskin University, UK
"An extremely useful resource ... It is up-to-date, both in content and the technology it employs ... the narrative is clear and straightforward, difficult concepts are suitably elucidated and glossed, the selection of illustrative texts is excellent and the accompanying apparatus works very well." - Lister Matheson, Michigan State University, USA
"An indispensable resource for undergraduate students of the history of English." - Peter K.W. Tan, National University of Singapore, Singapore
"The history of English continues to be a fascinating area of study within Linguistics, especially Historical linguistics and Sociolinguistics. The field has undergone further renewal in the age of globalisation. Here is a textbook that does full justice to the early history of what were a group of Germanic dialects crossing over into what would become England. The language that gelled into English was to undergo enormous domestic changes over the centuries and to undertake many subsequent crossings. Stephan Gramley covers this complex history with an admirable blend of breadth and depth, striking a balance between structural aspects of language and sociolinguistic developments. This is an accessible student-friendly text which I wholeheartedly recommend." Rajend Mesthrie, University of Cape Town, South Africa
"So much more than a textbook par excellence for students enrolled in university courses on the history of English, this multi-layered history of one of the world’s richest and most widely spoken languages "does not treat English as a monolithic entity, but the product of use by diverse speakers through the ages, in differing levels of society, and over a wide geographic spread".
In other words, the focus isn’t just on the UK and US there are also substantial sections on pidgin and creole varieties, as well as on English as a native and/or second language in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Australasia.
As we move from 450 to the present, from Beowulf to Bollywood, the changes wrought on English by migration and social, political and cultural innovation and upheaval are explained in clear, concise language.
There are copious examples from real texts, as well as maps, diagrams, colour plates and even free access to a supporting website featuring an interactive time line and audio clips. How did we get from "A Frere ther was, a wantown and a merye, a limitour, a ful solempne man" (Canterbury Tales, 1385) to "I think ibo gurls is sexy, kedu ka odi? All my fine ibo thoroughbreds" (Nigerian blog Igbo Girls Like Money a Lot, 2006)? Work your way through this brilliant history and you’ll not only know the answer you’ll have enriched your understanding of, and ability to use, the English language beyond measure." The West Australian.
'[The History of English will]... have enriched your understanding of, and ability to use, the English Language beyond measure.' - The West Australian