Twentieth-Century English

Twentieth-Century English : History, Variation and Standardization

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Standard English has evolved and developed in many ways over the past hundred years. From pronunciation to vocabulary to grammar, this concise survey clearly documents the recent history of Standard English. Drawing on large amounts of authentic corpus data, it shows how we can track ongoing changes to the language, and demonstrates each of the major developments that have taken place. As well as taking insights from a vast body of literature, Christian Mair presents the results of his own cutting-edge research, revealing some important changes which have not been previously documented. He concludes by exploring how social and cultural factors, such as the American influence on British English, have affected Standard English in recent times. Authoritative, informative and engaging, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in language change in progress, particularly those working on English, and will be welcomed by students, researchers and language teachers alike.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 152 x 224 x 22mm | 439.98g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 maps 71 tables
  • 0521115833
  • 9780521115834
  • 825,409

Review quote

'Mair's thoroughness is illustrated in the responsible argumentation which leaves hardly any claim untested. ... a very welcome addition to the literature available.' Manfred Gorlach
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Table of contents

1. Setting the scene; 2. Ongoing language change: problems of detection and verification; 3. Lexical change in twentieth-century English; 4. Grammatical changes in twentieth-century English; 5. Pronunciation; 6. Language change in context: changing communicative and discourse norms in twentieth-century English; 7. Conclusion.
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About Christian Mair

Christian Mair is Chair in English Linguistics at the Universitat Freiburg, Germany.
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