The History of English: An Introduction, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The History of English

An Introduction, 2nd Edition

By Stephan Gramley

Routledge

474 pages | 84 B/W Illus.

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Description

The History of English: An Introduction provides a chronological analysis of the linguistic, social, and cultural development of the English language from before its establishment in Britain around the year 450 to the present. Each chapter represents a new stage in the development of the language from Old English through Middle English to Modern Global English, all illustrated with a rich and diverse selection of primary texts showing changes in language resulting from contact, conquest and domination, and the expansion of English around the world.

The History of English goes beyond the usual focus on English in the UK and the USA to include the wider global course of the language during and following the Early Modern English period. This perspective therefore also includes a historical review of English in its pidgin and creole varieties and as a native and/or second language in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Australasia.

This new edition of The History of English has been thoroughly revised and updated throughout, and features:

  • chapter introductions and conclusions to assist in orientation;
  • over 90 textual examples demonstrating linguistic change accompanied, as necessary, by translations and/or glosses;
  • study questions on the social, cultural, and linguistic background of the periods and topics, as well as recommendations for further reading and topics for further study;
  • over 100 figures, tables and maps to support and illuminate the text;
  • 18 pages of colour plates depicting exemplary texts, relevant artifacts, and examples of language usage, including Germanic runes, the opening page of Beowulf, the New England Primer, and the Treaty of Waitangi;
  • a brand-new companion website hosting further articles on linguistic, historical, and cultural phenomena which go beyond the scope of the book, additional sample texts, exercises, and audio clips.

The History of English is essential reading for any student of the English language, and will be of relevance to any course addressing the origins of the English language.

Reviews

"This updated edition contains a wealth of new material and is thus a veritable treasure trove documenting the history and development of the English language. With its global perspective, detailed textual analyses, accessible style and fascinating historical, linguistic and cultural contextualisation, it cannot fail to enthuse and motivate students of the English language and their teachers."

Catherine Watts, University of Brighton, UK

"Stephan Gramley’s book provides a valuable description of the linguistic and sociocultural factors that have influenced the development of English from its origins to its current versions around the world. The variety of examples and material provides students of various academic backgrounds an accessible and thorough source to understand both the development and current state of English."

William J. Crawford, Northern Arizona University, USA

Table of Contents

List of illustrations

List of texts

List of abbreviations

Preface to the first edition

Preface to the second edition

Acknowledgments

Part I Before Britain

Chapter 1 The origins of English (before 450)

Chapter overview

1.1 The origins of human language

1.2 Language change

1.3 Changes in Germanic before the invasions of Britain

1.4 The world of the Germanic peoples

1.5 The Germanic migrations

1.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Part II Early English in Britain

Chapter 2 Old English: Early Germanic Britain (450-700)

Chapter overview

2.1 The first peoples

2.2 The Germanic incursions

2.3 Introduction to Old English

2.4 The Christianization of England

2.5 Literature in the early Old English period

2.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Chapter 3 Old English: The Viking invasions and their consequences (700-1066/1100)

Chapter overview

3.1 The Viking invasions

3.2 Linguistic influence of Old Norse (ON)

3.3 Creolization3.4 Alfred’s reforms and the West Saxon standard

3.5 Monastic reform, linguistic developments, and literary genres

3.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Chapter 4 Middle English: The non-standard period (1066/1100 - 1350)

Chapter overview

4.1 Dynastic conflict and the Norman Conquest

4.2 Linguistic features of Middle English in the non-standard period

4.3 French influence on Middle English and the question of creolization

4.4 English literature

4.5 Dialectal diversity in early ME

4.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Chapter 5 Middle English: The emergence of Standard English (1350-1500)

Chapter overview

5.1. Political and social turmoil and demographic developments

5.2 The expansion of domains

5.3 Chancery English (Chancery Standard)

5.4 Literature in the late ME period

5.5 Variation in late ME

5.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Chapter 6 Early Modern English period (1500-1700)

Chapter overview

6.1 The Early Modern English Period

6.2 Early Modern English

6.3 Regulation and codification

6.4 Religious and scientific prose and belles lettres

6.5 Variation: South and North

6.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Part III Britain and beyond

Chapter 7 The spread of English (since the late sixteenth century)

Chapter overview

7.1 Social-historical background

7.2 European expansion and the slave trade

7.3 North America

7.4 The Southern Hemisphere

7.5 Second- and foreign-language countries (ESL and EFL)

7.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Chapter 8 Standard and non-standard English (Modern English)

Chapter overview

8.1 Standard English and General English

8.2 English in England, Wales, Scotland – and Ireland

8.3 North American English

8.4 Southern Hemisphere English

8.5 Ethnicity and language

8.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Chapter 9 English pidgins, English creoles, and English (since the early seventeenth century)

Chapter overview

9.1 Pidgins

9.2 Creoles

9.3 Pidgin and creole communities

9.4 Theories of origins

9.5 History and textual examples

9.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Chapter 10 Grammatical change in Modern English

Chapter overview

10.1 Grammatical developments and word order

10.2 The noun phrase

10.3 The verb phrase: development of full ModE paradigm

10.4 Other: conjunctions and prepositions

10.5 Substrate influence

10.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Chapter 11 Pronunciation change in Modern English

Chapter overview

11.1. Introduction and principles of pronunciation change

11.2 The reference accents and other national accents

11.3. Consonants in ModE

11.4 Vowels in ModE

11.5 Vowel changes in ModE: chain shifts and mergers

11.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Chapter 12 Vocabulary and spelling change in Modern English

Chapter overview

12.1 New words and old

12.2 Borrowing

12.3 Word formation

12.4 Pragmatics

12.5 Modern English spelling

12.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

 

Part IV Worldwide English

Chapter 13 Global English (since 1945)

Chapter overview

13.1 The beginnings of Global English

13.2 Media dominance

13.3 Features of medialized language

13.4 English in a world-wide context

13.5 Bilingualism, code-switching, and hybrid languages

13.6 Summary

Study questions

Topic of interest for further study

Further reading

The International Phonetic Alphabet

Glossary

General Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Stephan Gramley is Studiendirektor for the Department of Linguistic and Literary Studies at Bielefeld University, Germany.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAN000000
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / General
LAN009000
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LAN009010
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Historical & Comparative