2nd Edition

History of English A Resource Book for Students

By Dan McIntyre Copyright 2020
    288 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Routledge English Language Introductions cover core areas of language study and are one-stop resources for students.

    Assuming no prior knowledge, books in the series offer an accessible overview of the subject, with activities, study questions, sample analyses, commentaries and key readings – all in the same volume. The innovative and flexible ‘two-dimensional’ structure is built around four sections – introduction, development, exploration and extension – which offer self-contained stages for study. Each topic can also be read across these sections, enabling the reader to build gradually on the knowledge gained. This revised second edition of History of English includes:

    ❑ a comprehensive introduction to the history of English covering the origins of English, the change from Old to Middle English, and the influence of other languages on English;

    ❑ increased coverage of key issues, such as the standardisation of English;

    ❑ a wider range of activities, plus answers to exercises;

    ❑ new readings of well-known authors such as Manfred Krug, Colette Moore, Merja Stenroos and David Crystal;

    ❑ a timeline of important external events in the history of English.

    Structured to reflect the chronological development of the English language, History of English describes and explains the changes in the language over a span of 1,500 years, covering all aspects from phonology and grammar, to register and discourse. In doing so, it incorporates examples from a wide variety of texts and provides an interactive and structured textbook that will be essential reading for all students of English language and linguistics.




    Common abbreviations

    Phonetic symbols


    How to use this book


    An external history of English

    A1 Origins of English

    A2 The history of English or the history of Englishes?

    A3 Language contact in the Middle Ages

    A4 From Middle English to Early Modern English

    A5 The process of standardisation

    A6 Colonialism, Imperialism and the spread of English

    A7 Moves towards Present Day English

    A8 Global English and beyond


    A developing language

    B1 Understanding Old English

    B2 Varieties of Old English

    B3 The emergence of Middle English

    B4 Sound shifts

    B5 Writing in Early Modern English

    B6 The development of American English

    B7 International English

    B8 The globalisation of English


    Exploring the history of English

    C1 The roots of English

    C2 Regions and dialects

    C3 From Old English to Middle English

    C4 Codification and attitudes towards English

    C5 Further elements of grammar in Early Modern English

    C6 English in the New World

    C7 Present Day Englishes

    C8 The future of English


    Readings in the history of English

    D1 Vocabulary and meaning in Old English

    D2 Changes in grammatical gender

    D3 Medieval multilingualism

    D4 Shifting sounds

    D5 The development of a written standard

    D6 The beginnings of global English

    D7 Studying recent change in English

    D8 English in the future

    Commentary on activities

    Glossary of linguistic terms

    Further reading

    General histories of English

    Old English

    Middle English

    Early Modern English

    Eighteenth-century English to the present day

    World Englishes

    Timeline of external events in the history of English




    Dan McIntyre is Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Huddersfield, UK.

    'Offering a lively and detailed account of the history of the English language from its origins to the present-day, informed by the latest linguistic theory, Dan McIntyre's History of English is an excellent introduction to the subject. Engaging with contemporary debates and with the language in all its fascinating variety, this book is an essential resource for students, teachers and all lovers of language.'

     Simon Horobin, Magdalen College, University of Oxford

    'This is a highly accessible and comprehensive textbook on the history of the English language. It allows students to explore all the major aspects of linguistic development in clearly related consecutive stages. Clearly, it is essential reading for university courses on the history of English and highly to be recommended.'

    Thomas Kohnen, The University of Cologne