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Taylor & Francis
The History of English: An Introduction / Edition 1

The History of English: An Introduction / Edition 1

by Stephan Gramley


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The History of English: An Introduction / Edition 1

A History of English: Language Contact and Change provides a chronological analysis of the linguistic, social and cultural development of the English language from before its establishment in Britain around the year 350 to the present. Each chapter represents a new stage in the development of the language from Old English through Middle English to Modern Global English, all illustrated with a rich and diverse selection of primary texts showing changes in language resulting from contact, conquest and domination, and the expansion of English around the world. A History of English goes beyond the usual focus on English in the UK and the US to include the wider global course of the language during and following the Early Modern English period. This perspective therefore also includes a historical review of English in its pidgin and creole varieties and as a Native and/or Second Language in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Australasia.

Designed to be user-friendly, A History of English contains:

    • Chapter introductions and conclusions to assist study
    • Over 80 textual examples demonstrating linguistic change accompanied by translations and/or glosses where appropriate
    • Study questions on the social, cultural and linguistic background of the chapter topics
    • Further reading from key texts to extend or deepen the focus
    • Just under a hundred supporting figures, tables and maps to support and illuminate the text
    • A 16-page colour plate section of exemplary texts, relevant artefacts, or examples of language usage including Germanic runes, the opening page of Beowulf, the New England Primer, and the Treaty of Waitangi
    • An extensive glossary of linguistically relevant terms
    • An index for easy access to the topics covered in the book

A companion website supports the textbook and features:

    • Links to supporting websites which enhance and explain material introduced in the book
    • An extended view of some of the aspects of language development as well as synopses of material dealt with in more than one chapter
    • Further sample texts including examples from Chaucer, eighteenth-century pamphlet literature, and twenty-first century novels
    • Additional exercises to help users expand their insights and apply background knowledge
    • Sample answers to study questions in the textbook
    • An interactive timeline of important historical events and developments and interactive maps for each period

A History of English is essential reading for any student of the English Language.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415566407
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 02/02/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 367,892
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.75(h) x 2.30(d)

About the Author

Stephan Gramley is Studiendirektor at Bielefeld University in the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies.

Table of Contents

1 Origins

2 OE: Early Germanic Britain

3 OE: The Viking Invasions

4 ME: The Non-Standard Period

5 The Late ME Period

6 Early Modern English

7 The Spread of English

8 English in Great Britain and Ireland

9 English Pidgins, English Creoles and English

10 English in North America

11 English in the Settler Countries of the Southern Hemisphere

12 English in the Non-Settler Countries of Africa and Asia

13 Global English

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

" 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

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