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The English Languagesurveys the development of the English language from its Indo-European past to the present day. It covers the entire history of the English language beginning with its prehistoric origins in Proto-Indo-European and includes thorough coverage of its four major periods: Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English, and Modern English. The second edition features a convenient quick reference guide for reference and review as well as a comprehensive timeline of the major events in the development of English. In addition to fully updated print and web references directing students to the latest research, the new edition also offers enhanced discussion of a number of topics: the effects of media (radio, television, computers) on the language; the socio-cultural causes of change; the expansion of the vocabulary of Modern English during the Renaissance; and the sources and dialects of Canadian English, including consideration of the effects of immigration on the language (illustrated with maps).
Laurel J. Brinton, professor, University of British Columbia, specializes in English language studies and in the interface between language and literature. In addition to co-authoring The English Language: A Linguistic History, she is currently co-editing the two-volume Handbook of HistoricalEnglish Linguistics (Mouton) and serves as an associate editor of the revision of the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles.
Leslie K. Arnovick, professor, University of British Columbia, published her first book, The Development of Future Constructions in English, in 1991. In addition to co-authoring The English Language: A Linguistic History, she has also written several monographs profiling medieval English.
Table of Contents
1. Studying the History of English Overview Objectives Why Study the History of English? A Definition of Language The Components of Language Linguistic Change in English The Nature of Linguistic Change The Origin of Language Attitudes toward Linguistic Change Resources for Studying the History of English Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 2. The Sounds and Writing of English Overview Objectives The Sounds of English The Writing of English Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 3. Causes and Mechanisms of Language Change Overview Objectives Causes of Change Historical Sociolinguistics Mechanisms of Phonological Change Mechanisms of Morphological and Syntactic Change Mechanisms of Semantic Change Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 4. The Indo-European Language Family and Proto-Indo-European Overview Objectives Classification of Languages Language Families The Indo-European Language Family Proto-Language Reconstruction Proto-Indo-European Nostratic Theory Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 5. Germanic and the Development of Old English Overview Objectives Proto-Germanic Grammatical and Lexical Changes from PIE to Germanic Phonological Changes from PIE to Germanic A Brief History of Anglo-Saxon England The Records of the Anglo-Saxons Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 6. The Words and Sounds of Old English Overview Objectives The Word Stock of the Anglo-Saxons The Orthographic System of Old English The Phonological System of Old English Stress Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 7. The Grammar of Old English Overview Objectives The Nominal System The Verbal System Syntax Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 8. The Rise of Middle English: Words and Sounds Overview Objectives French and English in Medieval England The Word Stock of Middle English The Written Records of Middle English Orthographic Changes Consonant Changes Vowel Changes Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 9. The Grammar of Middle English and Rise of a Written Standard Overview Objectives The Effects of Vowel Reduction Grammatical Developments in Middle English Change from Synthetic to Analytic Middle English as a Creole? The Rise of a Standard Dialect Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 10. The Words, Sounds, and Inflections of Early Modern English Overview Objectives Early Modern English Vocabulary The Great Vowel Shift Changes in the Short Vowels and Diphthongs Changes in Consonants Renaissance Respellings Changes in Nominal Inflected Forms Case Usage Changes in Verbal Inflected Forms Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 11. Early Modern English Verbal Constructions and Eighteenth-Century Prescriptivism Overview Objectives Early Modern English Syntax The Rise of Prescriptivism Aims of the Eighteenth-Century Grammarians Methods of the Eighteenth-Century Grammarians The Question of Usage Dictionaries Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 12. Modern English Overview Objectives Grammatical and Lexical Changes Since Early Modern English Changes in Progress The Effect of the New Media on English Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing 13. Regional Varieties of English Overview Objectives The Development of National Varieties Important Regional Varieties Recommended Web Links Further Reading Further Viewing