Alternative Histories of English: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Alternative Histories of English

1st Edition

Edited by Peter Trudgill, Richard J. Watts


296 pages

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Paperback: 9780415233576
pub: 2001-12-20
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This groundbreaking collection explores the beliefs and approaches to the history of English that do not make it into standard textbooks.

Orthodox histories have presented a tunnel version of the history of the English language which is sociologically inadequate. In this book a range of leading international scholars show how this focus on standard English dialect is to the detriment of those which are non-standard or from other areas of the world. Alternative Histories of English:

* reveals the range of possible 'narratives' about how different varieties of 'Englishes' may have emerged

* places emphasis on pragmatic, sociolinguistic and discourse-oriented aspects of English rather than the traditional grammar, vocabulary and phonology

* considers diverse topics including South African English, Indian English, Southern Hemisphere Englishes, Early Modern English, women's writing, and politeness.

Presenting a fuller and richer picture of the complexity of the history of English, the contributors to Alternative Histories of English explain why English is the diverse world language it is today.


'This book is quite innovative. It seeks to promulgate, and rightly so, the history of nonstandard varieties of English as contributing to our overall knowledge of the development of the language … I can recommend this publication for those interested in English as well as Englishes.' - Alan S. Kaye, Multilingua

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General