First published in 1937, this book supplies a history of the living growth of the English language from Old English to the medieval period. It offers an in-depth study of the growth of vocabulary through literature and social interaction, bringing out the fact that it is chiefly words that foreign influence has affected — leaving sentence structure almost unaltered. Isolative and combinative changes in phonology, the accidence of nouns and plurals, pronouns and adverbs, and verbs are also examined in detail, along with a general overview of the features Middle English and a brief outline of each dialect’s most striking characteristics.
Preface; I. General Features of the Middle English Period II. Vocabulary, The Foreign Element in Middle English III. Phonology A. Isolative Changes IV. B. Combinative Changes V. Accidence, Nouns and Adjectives VI. Pronouns and Adverbs VII. Verbs; Table of Characteristics of the Dialects; Index; Map, Position of Middle English Dialects