This book, the second volume in A Linguistic History of English, describes the development of Old English from Proto-Germanic. Like Volume I, it is an internal history of the structure of English that combines traditional historical linguistics, modern syntactic theory, the study of languages in contact, and the variationist approach to language change.
The first part of the book considers the development of Northwest and West Germanic, and the northern dialects of the latter, with particular reference to phonological and morphological phenomena. Later chapters present a detailed account of changes in the Old English sound system, inflectional system, and syntax. The book aims to make the findings of traditional historical linguistics accessible to scholars and students in other subdisciplines, and also to adopt approaches from contemporary
theoretical linguistics in such a way that they are accessible to a wide range of historical linguists.
Don Ringe was educated at the University of Kentucky, Oxford, and Yale and has taught Classical studies and linguistics at the university level since 1983. He is Kahn Endowed Term Professor in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of numerous publications on comparative Indo-European linguistics, historical linguistics, and computational cladistics, including On the Chronology of Sound Changes in Tocharian and From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (OUP 2006) the forerunner of the present volume. Ann Taylor is Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of York. Her main research area is variation and change in the history of English with a primary focus on syntax. She works within a framework that applies quantitative methodology first developed within variationist sociolinguistics to the structural analysis of historical data, and combines formal syntactic analysis, statistical methods, and techniques of corpus linguistics.
1. Introduction ; 2. The development and diversification of Northwest Germanic ; 3. The development and diversification of West Germanic ; 4. A grammatical sketch of Proto-West Germanic ; 5. The northern West Germanic dialects ; 6. The separate prehistory of Old English: Sound changes ; 7. The separate prehistory of Old English: Morphological changes ; 8. Old English syntax ; Addenda and corrigenda to Volume I