The History of Early English provides an accessible and student-friendly introduction to the history of the English language from its beginnings until the end of the Early Modern English period. Taking an activity-based approach, this text ensures that students learn by engaging with the fascinating evolution of this language rather than simply reading about it.
The History of Early English:
Written by an experienced teacher and author, this book is the essential course textbook for any module on the history of English.
"Johnson’s History of Early English does not disappoint. He has the knack of presenting difficult material in a refreshingly digestible and interactive style which links up the ancient-and-long-ago to today, and all of that is done without compromising on detail: he includes topics that are abuzz in the research world of the history of English."
Peter Tan, National University of Singapore
"Johnson’s account of the story of Old English is a remarkable achievement. It brings clarity, warmth and humour to a potentially dry topic, and provides a fascinating guide to the evolution of the English language from its beginnings until the end of the 17th century. The activities are integral to the book’s success, drawing the reader into the text while at the same time stimulating discussion and exploration beyond the text. The book will be an invaluable resource and a thoroughly enjoyable read for students of linguistics and lovers of language around the world."
Stephen Andrews, The University of Hong Kong
PART A. PRELIMINARIES AND ANCESTRIES
1. HISTORY, AND HISTORICAL CHANGE
2 LANGUAGES AND THEIR DAUGHTERS
PART B. OLD ENGLISH
3 OLD ENGLISH: A FIRST LOOK
4 OE WRITING, PRONUNCIATION, AND A DEVIL OF A MOUTHFUL
5. THE OLD ENGLISH WORD-HOARD
6 OE GRAMMAR: A ‘JUNGLE OF ENDINGS’
7. OE LITERATURE: ‘A SYZYGY OF DIPODIC HEMISTICHS’
PART C. MIDDLE ENGLISH
8. LO, ENGLAND INTO NORMANDY’S HAND
9. ‘THE ENGLISH TONGUE . . . HONOURABLY ENLARGED AND ADORNED’: ME WORDS AND PRAGMATICS
10. ‘LIGHTER . . . THAN THE OLD AND ANCIENT ENGLISH’
11. ME LITERATURE: INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE ‘FIELD FULL OF FOLK’
PART D. INTERLUDE
12. A SHORT INTERLUDE ABOUT LONG VOWELS: THE GREAT VOWEL SHIFT
PART E. EARLY MODERN ENGLISH
13. ‘MANIE MATTERS OF SINGULAR DISCOURSE’: SOME ENGLISH RENAISSANCE HISTORY
14 ‘WRYTING TREU’ AND ‘SOUNDYING CLEARE’: EModE GRAPHOLOGY, SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION
15 TURNING WATER INTO WINE: RENAISSANCE WORDS
16 ‘TRUE AND WELL-SPEAKING A LANGUAGE’: RENAISSANCE GRAMMAR
17. ‘I THOU THEE, THOU TRAITOR’: SOME RENAISSANCE PRAGMATICS
18 ‘WELL TURNED, AND TRUE FILED LINES’: RENAISSANCE LITERATURE
19. ‘A SETTLED, CERTAIN AND CORRECTED LANGUAGE’: THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
Learning about Language is an exciting and ambitious series of introductions to fundamental topics in language, linguistics and related areas. The books are designed for students of linguistics and those who are studying language as part of a wider course.