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The English Languages (Canto) Paperback – 5 Mar 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1st ed edition (5 Mar. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9814405949
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814405942
  • ASIN: 0521485827
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 830,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"The English Languages is a fascinating book written in a highly user-friendly style." Word

Book Description

With ever expanding networks of communication, and the increasing globalization of 'English', this timely and broad-ranging book looks at just what this complex of language is, and the variety, implications and options of this vast, pluralistic system that incorporates dialects, creoles, and local variations.

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First Sentence
The Bible is not so widely read as once it was, nor are its stories, laws, admonitions, and prophecies so well known as once they were, but such phrases as Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark, and the Tower of Babel continue to resonate in those languages which have ancient links with Christianity and Judaism. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mario Saraceni on 31 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
"The English Languages" is a classic in the literature about English in the world. It offers a comprehensive description and discussion of many of the most important issues related to the spread of English worldwide and its pluralisation. The book is a must-read for any student and academic interested in the field of "World Englishes". And, just to make sure there's no confusion, it does not contain lists of words and expressions to be used when travelling to Australia.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Elaine O on 3 May 2005
Format: Paperback
At first you think that this book is going to give you insight into the stardard language as spoken in Britain, Australia, and so on. There is a lot on diversity but we never quite get to the practical side of things and it is all left a bit unclear. What I needed was a straightforward guide for my work, when I travel on business, so I avoid misunderstandings and get the language right when I talk. It would be really helpful if this author could write a book with a description of the standard language for each country and vocabulary lists for the most usual words. You could then look across. I am going to Australia, then I say this, I am going to Britain, then I say this, and so on.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is an academic book and an historiographical study, not a phrasebook 1 May 2007
By Uncle Pumblechook - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As the previous review notes, this book is not really a "guide" to the various national varieties of the English language. Nor is it a phrase book. It won't help you very much in your travels.

Rather, this is an historical study about different views on, and attitudes towards, the English language(s). So, for example, McArthur outlines how the English language has come to be periodized ( i.e., as "Old" English, "Middle" English, and "Modern" English). He analyzes different "models" of the language (e.g. "container" models, "organic" models) and how it is viewed globally (as different national "Englishes," or as off-shoots of British or American, or as various regional English standards, etc.). And he critically investigates the unique position of Scots English (dialect of English or separate language?) and the global implications of world English (will English break up into many national languages the way Latin did?).

This is an excellent historiographical survey and it has wonderful excerpts from other sources about the history and contemporary extent of the English language. Taken for what it is intended to be, it's an excellent book. But don't be fooled by the title -- it's not a Berlitz guide.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing 21 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is an intriguing analysis of the modern situation, wherein disparate dialects of English are evolving into increasingly distinct dialects, arguably distinct languages.
1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A bit disappointing 3 May 2005
By Elaine O - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
At first you think that this book is going to give you insight into the stardard language as spoken in Britain, Australia, and so on. There is a lot on diversity but we never quite get to the practical side of things and it is all left a bit unclear. What I needed was a straightforward guide for my work, when I travel on business, so I avoid misunderstandings and get the language right when I talk. It would be really helpful if this author could write a book with a description of the standard language for each country and vocabulary lists for the most usual words. You could then look across. I am going to Australia, then I say this, I am going to Britain, then I say this, and so on.
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