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The History of the English Language: A Sourcebook Paperback – 20 Jan 1992

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Product details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 1 edition (20 Jan. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582025214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582025219
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'... he provides 50 or so texts, attractively presented, well edited and in the case of earlier texts helpfully translated...'
Times Literary Supplement


--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

'... he provides 50 or so texts, attractively presented, well edited and in the case of earlier texts helpfully translated...'
Times Literary Supplement

This second edition of The History of the English Language- A Sourcebook provides a comprehensive and accessible guide to the origins and development of the English language. First published in 1992, the book contains over fifty illustrative passages, drawn from the oldest English to the twentieth century. The passages are contextualised by individual introductions and grouped into the traditional periods of Old English, Early Middle English, Later Middle English, Early Modern English and Modern English. These periods are connected by brief essays explaining the major linguistic developments associated with each period, to produce a continuous outline history.
For this new edition Professor Burnley has expanded the outline of linguistic features at each of the main chronological divisions and included more selections and illustrations. A new section has also been included to illustrate the language of advertising from the 18th century to the present. The book will be of general interest to all those interested in the origins and development of the English language, and in particular to students and teachers of the history of the English language at A-level and university.
David Burnley is Head of the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield. His academic career has focused on the languages and literature of the medieval period, making a special point of the connections between language, literature and culture. His previous publications include the books- Chaucer's Language and the Philosopher's Tradition (1979), The Language of Chaucer (1989), An Annotated Bibliography of the Language of Middle English Literature (with Matsuji Tajima, 1994), Courtliness and Literature in Medieval England (1998). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
If you have aleays been interested in how languages develop and change and how English came to be be the language it is now, then this book is a good introduction to the study of linguistics in relation to the English language. It has lots of information about how language came about, and how the European all came from a base language and the roots of words. Basically it is a very good introduction to the study of socio - linguistics for those with no previous ewxcperience of this relativly new area of science.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good 4 Feb. 2009
By Howard Doyle - Published on
Format: Paperback
Lots of great sources, background and commentary. Eclectic and almost unusable index, good variety of texts (not just the seminal ones) up to 190s. Perhaps it is best on Old and Middle English. Translations given up to and after Chaucer (thank God!). Some useful reproductions of original texts. A wonderful reference and resource.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 18 Sept. 2014
By Nicole Day - Published on
Format: Paperback
My book arrived in great condition. Thank you!
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