A Companion to the History of the English Language

A Companion to the History of the English Language

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A Companion to the History of the English Language addresses the linguistic, cultural, social, and literary approaches to language study. The first text to offer a complete survey of the field, this volume provides the most up-to-date insights of leading international scholars.* An accessible reference to the history of the English language* Comprises more than sixty essays written by leading international scholars* Aids literature students in incorporating language study into their work* Includes an historical survey of the English language, from its Germanic and Indo- European beginnings to modern British and American English* Enriched with maps, diagrams, and illustrations from historical publications* Introduces the latest scholarship in the field
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Product details

  • Hardback | 728 pages
  • 185 x 247 x 44mm | 1,418g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1405129921
  • 9781405129923
  • 1,757,770

Back cover copy

This Companion brings together more than 60 distinguished contributors to offer a wide-ranging survey of the history of the English language, from its Indo-European and Germanic past, through British and American usage, to the rise of colonial and post-colonial English. Many of the essays investigate regional and ethnic varieties and take up issues of class and gender.


The book explores the many diverse approaches to the study of English in one volume, ranging from linguistics and etymology to the philosophy of language and literary history. Concise introductions place individual essays within larger contexts; notes on phonetics, a chronological list of events, and a glossary of linguistic terms facilitate use and connect the reader to the uses of the English language over the centuries.




A meeting ground for students of language and literature, this broad-ranging volume considers cultural, social, literary, material, and theoretical approaches to the study of language.
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Table of contents

List of Figures xi Notes on Contributors xiii Acknowledgments xxii Note on Phonetic Symbols and Orthography xxiv A Timeline for HEL xxix Part I Introduction 1 1 History, English, Language: Studying HEL Today 3 Michael Matto and Haruko Momma 2 History of the History of the English Language: How Has the Subject Been Studied? 11 Thomas Cable 3 Essential Linguistics 18 Mary Blockley Part II Linguistic Survey 25 4 Phonology: Segmental Histories 29 Donka Minkova and Robert Stockwell 5 History of English Morphology 43 Robert McColl Millar 6 History of English Syntax 57 Olga Fischer 7 A History of the English Lexicon 69 Geoffrey Hughes 8 History of English Prosody 81 Geoffrey Russom Part III English Semantics and Lexicography 89 9 Dictionaries Today: What Can We Do With Them? 93 Reinhard R. K. Hartmann 10 English Onomasiological Dictionaries and Thesauri 103 Werner Hullen 11 Johnson, Webster, and the Oxford English Dictionary 113 Charlotte Brewer Part IV Pre-history of English 123 12 English as an Indo-European Language 127 Philip Baldi 13 English as a Germanic Language 142 R. D. Fulk Part V English in History: England and America 151 Section 1 Old English in History (ca. 450-1066) 153 14 Early Old English (up to 899) 156 Daniel Donoghue 15 Late Old English (899-1066) 165 Mechthild Gretsch 16 Topics in Old English Dialects 172 Lucia Kornexl Section 2 Middle English in History (1066-1485) 181 17 Early Middle English (1066-ca. 1350) 184 Thorlac Turville-Petre 18 Late Middle English (ca. 1350-1485) 191 Seth Lerer 19 Varieties of Middle English 198 Jeremy J. Smith Section 3 Early Modern English in History (1485-1660) 207 20 Early Modern English (1485-1660) 209 Terttu Nevalainen 21 Varieties of Early Modern English 216 Jonathan Hope Section 4 Modern British English in History (1660-present) 225 22 British English in the Long Eighteenth Century (1660-1830) 228 Carey McIntosh 23 British English Since 1830 235 Richard W. Bailey 24 The Rise of Received Pronunciation 243 Lynda Mugglestone Section 5 American English in History 251 25 American English to 1865 254 David Simpson 26 American English Since 1865 263 Walt Wolfram 27 American English Dialects 274 Gavin Jones Section 6 Topics in History 281 28 Early Modern English Print Culture 284 John N. King 29 Issues of Gender in Modern English 293 Deborah Cameron 30 Class, Ethnicity, and the Formation of "Standard English" 303 Tony Crowley 31 The Transplantation of American English in Philippine Soil 313 Br. Andrew Gonzalez, FSC 32 English, Latin, and the Teaching of Rhetoric 323 Michael Matto 33 English in Mass Communications: News Discourse and the Language of Journalism 334 Philippa K. Smith and Allan Bell Part VI English in History: English Outside England and the United States 345 Section 1 British Isles and Ireland 347 34 English in Wales 350 Marion Loffler 35 English in Scotland 358 J. Derrick McClure 36 English in Ireland 366 Terence Patrick Dolan Section 2 English in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand 377 37 English in Canada 380 John Edwards 38 Australian and New Zealand English 389 Pam Peters Section 3 Colonial and Post-colonial English 401 39 South Asian English 404 Kamal K. Sridhar 40 English in the Caribbean 413 Donald Winford 41 English in Africa 423 Alamin M. Mazrui Part VII Literary Languages 431 42 The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Tradition 435 Fred C. Robinson 43 "In swich englissh as he kan": Chaucer's Literary Language 445 John F. Plummer 44 Shakespeare's Literary Language 455 Adam N. McKeown 45 Jane Austen's Literary English 464 Mary Poovey 46 Joyce's English 471 Laurent Milesi 47 Faulkner's Language 479 Noel Polk 48 Twixt the Twain: East-West in Rushdie's Zubaan-Tongue 487 Tabish Khair 49 Toni Morrison: The Struggle for the Word 495 Justine Tally Part VIII Issues in Present-Day English 505 50 Migration and Motivation in the Development of African American Vernacular English 509 Mary B. Zeigler 51 Latino Varieties of English 521 Robert Bayley 52 Teaching English to Native Speakers: The Subject Matter of Composition (1970-2005) 531 Mary Soliday 53 Earning as well as Learning a Language: English and the Post-colonial Teacher 541 Eugene Chen Eoyang 54 Creoles and Pidgins 553 Salikoko S. Mufwene 55 World Englishes in World Contexts 567 Braj B. Kachru Part IX Further Approaches to Language Study 581 56 Style and Stylistics 585 David L. Hoover 57 Corpus-Based Linguistic Approaches to the History of English 596 Anne Curzan 58 Sociolinguistics 608 Robin Tolmach Lakoff 59 Cognitive Linguistics 618 Dirk Geeraerts Glossary of Linguistic Terms 630 Haruko Momma Index 646
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Review Text

"In conclusion, this book succeeds in doing what itintended, to provide linguistic grounding for readers primarilyinterested in the literature and culture of English past andpresent. It deserves a place in libraries and classrooms, to beread cover to cover or dipped into for specific topics . . .Because it is readable and has good chapter bibliographies and adetailed index, it might also serve as a reference for studentsresearching a topic within the history of English." ( Linguist , 20 January 2013)
"Readers will find clear guides to basic information.... Editorialintroductions to the various sections clarify and summarise thematerial. Each chapter ends with extensive lists of references andfurther reading. A glossary of linguistic terms, reflecting theterms as used by the authors, is included. As with all theBlackwell Companions, the presentation of this substantial volumeis of the highest standard." ( Reference Reviews , November2009)
"Anyone with even a passing interest in the history of thelanguage, whether an old-fashioned description of Middle Englishmorphology or an au courant discussion of global Englishes,will be glad to have [this] Companion on the shelf."( Times Literary Supplement , May 2009)

Momma (New York Univ.) and Matto (Adelphi Univ.) draw on aninternational cast of scholars to present 59 essays on the historyof the English language. Part of the "Blackwell Companions toLiterature and Culture" series, this substantial volume isorganized in nine sections and certainly covers the field. Thefirst three sections provide essential linguistic concepts and asurvey of the history of words, sounds, and grammar. Sections 4-6deal with the Indo-European and Germanic roots of English, thehistory of English in England and the US, and English in Britishcolonies and the postcolonial world. The last three sections coverliterary language (including Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and ToniMorrison), language variation and language teaching, and approachesto language study such as stylistics and cognitive linguistics. Theeditors provide brief contextual commentary for each section, andeach essay has its own bibliography to facilitate further reading.All the contributions are readable and concise. This comprehensivepicture of English and its history is a must for scholars. Summing Up : Highly recommended. Graduate students,researchers, faculty. -- E. L. Battistella, Southern OregonUniversity ( Choice , February, 2009)
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Review quote

"Readers will find clear guides to basic information... Editorial introductions to the various sections clarify and summarise the material. Each chapter ends with extensive lists of references and further reading. A glossary of linguistic terms, reflecting 'the terms as used by the authors,' is included. As with all the Blackwell Companions, the presentation of this substantial volume is of the highest standard." (Reference Reviews, November 2009) "Anyone with even a passing interest in the history of the language, whether an old-fashioned description of Middle English morphology or an au courant discussion of global Englishes, will be glad to have [this] Companion on the shelf." (Times Literary Supplement, May 2009) Momma (New York Univ.) and Matto (Adelphi Univ.) draw on an international cast of scholars to present 59 essays on the history of the English language. Part of the "Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture" series, this substantial volume is organized in nine sections and certainly covers the field. The first three sections provide essential linguistic concepts and a survey of the history of words, sounds, and grammar. Sections 4-6 deal with the Indo-European and Germanic roots of English, the history of English in England and the US, and English in British colonies and the postcolonial world. The last three sections cover literary language (including Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Toni Morrison), language variation and language teaching, and approaches to language study such as stylistics and cognitive linguistics. The editors provide brief contextual commentary for each section, and each essay has its own bibliography to facilitate further reading. All the contributions are readable and concise. This comprehensive picture of English and its history is a must for scholars. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. -- E. L. Battistella, Southern Oregon University (Choice, February, 2009)
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About Haruko Momma

Haruko Momma is Associate Professor of English at New York University. She is the author of The Composition of Old English Poetry (1997) and From Philology to English Studies: Language and Culture in the Nineteenth Century (2009). Michael Matto is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Adelphi University. He has published articles on Old English language, literature, and culture, and is currently editing (with Greg Delanty) a collection of new literary translations of Old English poems (2009).
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