The English language in its complex shapes and forms changes fast. This thoroughly revised edition has been refreshed with current examples of change and has been updated regarding archeological research. Most suggestions brought up by users and reviewers have been incorporated, for instance, a family tree for Germanic has been added, Celtic influence is highlighted much more, there is more on the origin of Chancery English, and internal and external change are discussed in much greater detail. The philosophy of the revised book remains the same with an emphasis on the linguistic history and on using authentic texts. My audience remains undergraduates (and beginning graduates). The goals of the class and the book are to come to recognize English from various time periods, to be able to read each stage with a glossary, to get an understanding of typical language change, internal and external, and to understand something about language typology through the emphasis on the change from synthetic to analytic.
This book has a companion website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/z.183.website
1. Preface to the first edition (2006); 2. Preface to the revised edition; 3. Notes to the user and abbreviations; 4. List of tables; 5. List of figures; 6. 1. The English language; 7. 2. English spelling, sounds, and grammar; 8. 3. Before Old English; 9. 4. Old English: 450-1150; 10. 5. From Old to Middle English; 11. 6. Middle English: 1150-1500; 12. 7. Early Modern English: 1500-1700; 13. 8. Modern English: 1700-the present; 14. 9. English around the world; 15. 10. Conclusion; 16. Appendix I: Possible answers to the exercises and some additional information on in-text questions; 17. Appendix II: How to use the OED; 18. Appendix III: Chronology of historical events; 19. References; 20. Index