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A History of the English Language (1951)

av Albert C. Baugh

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7861221,014 (3.96)10
KEY BENFIT: Comprehensive and balanced, this classic exploration of the history of the English language combines internal linguistic history and external cultural history--from the Middle Ages to the present. Readers will develop an understanding of present-day English and an enlightened attitude toward questions affecting the language today.   New-Chapter 12, "English in the Twenty-first Century," that looks to the future of English and other global languages. Attention to cross-linguistic influence and the relative difficulty of languages. An assessment of Chinese as a global language. More on India and "the second circle."    For anyone interested in the history of the English language. … (mer)
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Visa 1-5 av 12 (nästa | visa alla)
This was a good book; I wish I had the latest edition rather than this edition from the early 1990's. The language has changed since the introduction of the Internet and texting which wasn't an issue at the time this version came out. I think I may have had this version since it was new, though. I just now got around to reading it in it's entirety.

Very informative. Some chapters were more interesting than others. I liked the chapters on Old English and also on American English.

Always something to learn, so I keep expanding my knowledge of my own langauge. Languages are alive and amazing.

( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
Have you ever wondered how grammar and vocabulary have evolved over time? This book is for those (like me) who wish to understand the history of the English language. This textbook is perhaps the greatest work of its kind. It covers the evolution from Old English to Middle English, from the Renaissance to modern usage worldwide.

Baugh and Cable’s tale is not simple, but then again, neither is English’s. The language, rooted in the British isles, borrowed heavily from French after the Norman Invasion in 1066. Under the influence of academic scholarship in conversation with the European continent, it also borrowed heavily from Latin. More recently, worldwide, post-colonial use in far-flung places like America, India, and Egypt have decentralized use so that each region borrows from the other. (In other words, there is currently no one group, even in England, that can claim to hold “true English” usage.)

There are several nuggets that I found interesting in this book. Many of the regional differences in American pronunciation stem from where in England colonists immigrated from. English dialects vary more dramatically from region to region than do American dialects – presumably because Americans interact with each other more and migrate more often. Spelling reforms continued until into the twentieth century and were seen as a form of efficiency. English is known for having a liberal policy towards vocabulary but conservative towards grammar. No matter how much they are hated, language purists seem to haunt every age in every region.

Because it is written as a critical historical examination, this work is most used pedagogically as a textbook in classrooms. Only the occasional lifelong student would read this book cover-to-cover for mere self-education. Nonetheless, it reads well and breaks down the subject matter into short numbered sections in each chapter. This work has helped me make sense of the diverse world that the English language provides to us in literature and over the Internet. ( )
  scottjpearson | Apr 1, 2020 |
Excellent mix of history and the technical evolution of the English language. The accompanying workbook provided helpful exercises to understand the linguistic aspect of the language. ( )
  Amellia_Fiske | Jan 24, 2020 |
This thorough and informative history of our language is an excellent choice for those interested in the topic, fitting the history of the language into the context of the history of its speakers. It is academically solid, with copious notes and extensive bibliographies: in fact, it would be an excellent text for a course in the history of English. But this is also a useful book for the general reader with an interest in the topic. It is clear, jargon free, and interesting to read. For me, the most interesting part of the book were the sections on Old English and Middle English, where the author shows very clearly how the entry of various words into English reflected a changing political climate. ( )
  annbury | Jul 20, 2015 |
It gives a really in-depth view of all the cultural and political influences that shaped the English language to what it is today. Kind of nice to read if you have the time and interest for these kind of things. ( )
  truth_of_spirit | Aug 29, 2010 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Albert C. Baughprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Cable, Thomashuvudförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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English Present and Future
1. The History of the English Language a Cultural Subject. It was observed by that remarkable twelfth-century chronicler Henry of Huntington that an interest in the past was one of the distinguishing characteristics of humans as compared with the other animals.
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KEY BENFIT: Comprehensive and balanced, this classic exploration of the history of the English language combines internal linguistic history and external cultural history--from the Middle Ages to the present. Readers will develop an understanding of present-day English and an enlightened attitude toward questions affecting the language today.   New-Chapter 12, "English in the Twenty-first Century," that looks to the future of English and other global languages. Attention to cross-linguistic influence and the relative difficulty of languages. An assessment of Chinese as a global language. More on India and "the second circle."    For anyone interested in the history of the English language. 

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