This volume, first published in 1988, represents in its papers the wide-ranging yet coherent linguistic interests of the late Barbara Strang (1925-1982). For her, the history of English and its current state were two sides of the same coin, and the principle theme of this collection is that neither one may be properly understood without invoking the other. It is a ‘real-data’ collection, in that its contributors share the view that the facts of language, patiently gathered, recorded and collated, must govern the theory within which they are described, and not vice versa. This philosophy may be seen to operate in all the contributions, and to result in a truly three-dimensional picture of English: data; distribution (temporal, geographical, situational and social); and description. This book will be of interest to students of English language and linguistics.
Contributors; Preface; Foreword; In Memoriam Barbara Strang; Part 1: Old to Middle English Period; 1. The Difficulty of Establishing Borrowings Between Old English and the Continental West Germanic Languages 2. Cyn(e)wulf Revisted: The Problem of the Runic Signatures 3. Snuck: The Development of Irregular Preterite Forms 4. Ambiguous Negations in Chaucer and Queen Elizabeth 5. Goodbye to All ‘That’? The History and Present Behaviour of Optional ‘That’ 6. The Rise of the For NP to V Construction: An Explanation 7. Negation in Shakespeare 8. Englishmen and Their Moods: Renaissance Grammar and the English Verb; Part 2: Middle to Modern English Period; 9. The Great Vowel-Shift and Other Vowel-Shifts 10. Thematic Genitives 11. The Discourse Properties of the Criminal Statute 12. Varietas Delectat: Forms and Functions of English Around the World 13: ‘Talking Proper’: Schooling and the Establishment of English ‘Received Pronunciation’ 14. The Methods of Urban Linguistics Surveys 15. A Bibliography of Barbara Strang