PDF Send by e-mail 1This introductory textbook into the history of the English language is divided into ten chapters. The first three are an introduction to some of the general linguistic principles that will be of importance throughout the text, such as phonetics and sound change, reconstruction methods and the place of English among the other Indo-European language families. There then follow five chapters tracing, in chronological order, the history of English from the Old English period through to Modern English, before the last two chapters look at the spread of English around the world and take a wider perspective by looking at how changes in English fit into theories about language change more generally. There are three appendices containing answers and tips to the questions posed at the end of each chapter, and an extremely interesting and useful explanation of OED research methods. The reason for this is that the author of this review feels that such comments are necessary, but that they must not detract from the laudative comments to be made further on, and with which it would be preferable to finish the review.
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A History of the English Language
A History of the English Language: Revised edition