A Social History of English

A Social History of English

A Social History of English

A Social History of English

Synopsis

A Social History of English is the first history of the English language to utilize the techniques, insights and concerns of sociolinguistics. Written in a non-technical way, it takes into account standardization, pidginization, bi- and multilingualism, the issues of language maintenance and language loyalty, and linguistic variation.This new edition has been fully revised. Additions include: * new material about 'New Englishes' across the world* a new chapter entitled 'A Critical Linguistic History of English Texts'* a discussion of problems involved in writing a history of EnglishAll terms and concepts are explained as they are introduced, and linguistic examples are chosen for their accessibility and intelligibility to the general reader.It will be of interest to students of Sociolinguistics, English Language, History and Cultural Studies.

Excerpt

This short introduction to the history of English is the product of teaching a subject that is often daunting to the student. It is intended to be as clear and simple as possible and therefore assumes no technical knowledge on the part of the reader.

Inevitably the debt to numerous works of scholarship is too heavy to acknowledge in copious notes and references. The book has drawn extensively on the work of historians of English like C.L. Barber, M.L. Samuels, and Barbara Strang; of linguists and language scholars like A.C. Gimson, Geoffrey Leech, Frank Palmer, Randolph Quirk, and R.A. Waldron; and of sociolinguists like Joshua Fishman, Einar Haugen, William Labov, and Peter Trudgill. And the work of Raymond Williams has proved an invaluable supplement. The more specific contributions of others have been acknowledged in the Notes and Bibliography at the end of the book.

The book is divided into three parts. Parts 1 and 2 trace the history of English within England, first by outlining a 'historical sociology' of the language and then by exploring some case studies of linguistic change. Part 3 concerns the history of English in other areas of the British Isles and in different parts of the world.

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