Guide The Cambridge History of the English Language, Vol. 4: 1776-1997 (Volume 4)

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Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Notify me. Its authoritative coverage extends from areas of central linguistic interest and concern phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, dialectology to more specialised topics such as personal and place names, literary language and slang. The volumes dealing with earlier periods are chronologically based, whilst those dealing with more recent periods are geographically based, thus reflecting the spread of English over the last years. Each volume is edited by a leading expert on the period in question, heading an international team of contributors, and contains a glossary of linguistic terms and and extensive bibliography and index.

The History has been written with both specialists and students in mind and provides an essential reference resource for those interested in the development of English from its beginnings in Anglo-Saxon England to its present-day role as a multifaceted global language. Other books in this series. Add to basket. Table of contents Volume 1: 1.

By Keith Brown and Jim Miller

Introduction Richard M. Hogg; 2.

HISTORY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE 4 This Earth, This Realm, This England doc series 10Youtube com

Phonology and morphology Richard M. Hogg; 4.

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Syntax Elizabeth Closs Traugott; 5. Semantics and vocabulary Dieter Kastovsky; 6. Old English dialects Thomas E. Toon; 7. Onomastics Cecily Clark; 8. Literary language Malcolm R. Introduction Norman Blake; 2. Phonology and morphology Roger Lass; 3.

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Middle english dictionary James Milroy; 4. Syntax Olga Fischer; 5. Lexis and semantics David Burnley; 6. The literary language Norman Blake; 7. Volume 3: 1. Introduction Roger Lass; 2. Orthography and punctuation Vivian Salmon; 3. Phonology and morphology Roger Lass; 4.


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Syntax Matti Rissanen; 5. Lexis and semantics Terttu Nevalainen; 6. Regional and social variation Manfred Goerlach; 7. It thus draws very much on historical sociolinguistic and historical pragmatics studies, which provide indeed very interesting insights. Sometimes it seems a more clear-cut distinction could have been made between language usage and language system, however, and it is a bit of a shame, in my view, that the concentration on the very necessary discussion of individual usage and social variation sometimes leaves very little room to the discussion of the latter.

Research in Language

This is in particular notable in chapter 5 on 'Grammar and Grammars', which would have been a great place to illustrate that indeed, as stated on the back cover, it is ''far from true'' ''that nothing much happened to the English language since the beginning of the eighteenth century'', by showing fundamental changes in the system of the language e. While true innovations are indeed rare, as is pointed out, the obligatorification of some major grammatical constructions in the period under consideration constitutes a significant type of change that, to my mind, would have deserved to have been highlighted.

Another issue that I would have liked to have seen addressed in more detail in an introduction to the Late Modern period would have been the development of English into a world language - a development for which the period is crucial. Some comments are made on divergence of British and American use and on attitudes towards e. Irish speakers of English, but the split-up of different national Englishes is not systematically treated.

If one uses this introduction as a textbook for a seminar, I would therefore suggest to provide additional reading to students with these points in mind e. Denison , excerpts from Burchfield ed. A particular benefit of the book is that at many different points it draws attention to interesting research questions readers could pursue and provides information on available resources. Another positive feature of the book lies in the research questions for students. These research tasks listed at the end of each chapter are generally very well construed, feasible and likely to engender interest in students.

Some can be used for larger research projects, others are suitable as shorter exercises, or for take-home-exams. The tasks presented at the end of chapter 6 stand out a bit in that they seem all in all rather difficult and time-consuming e. To conclude, despite some gaps almost inevitable in writing a short introduction and possibilities for improvement, this is a recommendable book that will allow readers a good insight into the language use and the social background of speakers of Late Modern English.

The Cambridge History of the English Language. VI: English in North America.


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Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Biber, Douglas. Variation across Speech and Writing. Burchfield, Robert ed. V: English in Britain and Overseas. Origin and Development. Denison, David. In Romaine, Suzanne ed.

The Cambridge History of the English Language, Vol. 4: 1776-1997 (Volume 4)

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, De Smet, Hendrik. A corpus of Late Modern English. Hundt, Marianne. A good range of examples are given to demonstrate differences between British and American varieties.


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A well-explained overview of syllable structure follows, along with discussions of the difference between orthography and phonetic realisation, and types and causes of phonological change. Unlike other books in the general ETOTEL series, this one contains no glossary, though terms are explained when they are introduced. Chapter 3 locates English among its related Indo-European and Germanic languages by way of cognate word-pairs.

Moving forward chronologically, chapter 4 deals with consonantal changes in Old English. Building on the previous chapter, a consonant inventory is given for Old English, then the chapter turns to case studies dealing with the palatalisation and affrication of velars and fricative voicing. Chapter 5 continues the exploration of consonant development in the second millennium, with detailed case studies on velar and glottal fricatives and rhotics.

Together these two chapters trace the major changes in the consonants of English through the last years. Vowel developments are discussed in chapter 6, which starts with a clear, nuanced discussion of orthography and the reconstruction of Old English vowels. The developments discussed in chapter 6 are those with most relevance for the future shape of English, such as i-mutation and homorganic cluster lengthening.

The second half of the chapter discusses short and long vowels, diphthongs and unstressed vowels in late Old English, as a precursor to Middle English changes. Chapter 7 begins by discussing the problems of dealing with the unstandardised languages of Old and Middle English; the patchy geographical survival of manuscript evidence means that it is sometimes not possible to trace continuity from Old English, through Middle English, to Present Day English forms. A detailed section outlines the varied letter-to-vowel correspondences of Middle English, alongside case studies of qualitative changes such as the development of high front rounded vowels and the monophthongisation of Old English diphthongs.

Innovations and influences from Old Norse and Anglo-Norman are also covered. Early Modern English and later changes are covered by chapter 8. It begins with a survey of the new sources of phonological reconstruction available to scholars working in this period, before summarising the qualitative and quantitative changes to short vowels.

The mechanisms of the shift are presented in a way which challenges the traditional models of chain shift attributed to Early Modern English vowel changes. Chapter 9 is concerned with the stress system in English. A brief overview of the stress system in Present Day English provides an accessible introduction to the topic, followed by a recap of syllable structure and weight. The remainder of the chapter deals with stress at word and phrase level and the prosodic adaptation of loanwords, and comments throughout on the uses and limitations of the available evidence.