This book describes the earliest reconstructable stages of the prehistory of English, focusing specifically on linguistic structure. It outlines the grammar of Proto-Indo-European, considers the changes by which one dialect of that prehistoric language developed into Proto-Germanic, and provides a detailed account of the grammar of Proto-Germanic. In the course of his exposition Don Ringe draws on a long tradition of work on many languages, including Hittite, Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Slavic, Gothic, and Old Norse. This second edition has been significantly revised to provide a more in-depth account of Proto-Indo-European, with further exploration of disputed points; it has also been updated to include new developments in the field, particularly in the reconstruction of the Proto-Indo-European verb and nominal inflection. The author also reconsiders some of his original approaches to specific linguistic changes and their relative chronology based on his recent research.
This new edition of the first volume in A Linguistic History of English will be of central interest to all scholars and students of comparative Indo-European and Germanic linguistics, the history of English, and historical linguistics more generally. The second volume, The Development of Old English by Don Ringe and Ann Taylor, was published by OUP in 2014 (paperback 2016)
About the Author
Don Ringe is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. He was educated at the Universities of Kentucky, Oxford, and Yale and has taught classical studies and linguistics at university level since 1983. His numerous publications on comparative Indo-European linguistics, historical linguistics, and computational cladistics include On the Chronology of Sound Changes in Tocharian (American Oriental Society 1996) and Historical Linguistics: Towards a Twenty-First Century Reintegration (with Joseph F. Eska; CUP 2013).
Table of Contents
List of abbreviations
Note on transcription
3. The development of Proto-Germanic