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. Students are encouraged to develop both an understanding of present-day English and an enlightened attitude toward questions affecting the language today.
Table of Contents
1 English Present and Future
1.·The History of the English Language a Cultural Subject.··2. Influences at Work on Language.··3. Growth and Decay.··4. The Importance of a Language.··5. The Importance of English.··6. The Future of the English Language: Demography.··7. External and Internal Aspects of English.··8. Cosmopolitan Vocabulary.··9. Inflectional Simplicity.··10. Natural Gender.
2 The Indo-European Family of Languages
11. Language Constantly Changing.··12. Dialectal Differentiation. 13. The Discovery of Sanskrit.··14. Grimm’s Law.··15. The Indo-European Family.··16. Indian.··17. Iranian. 18. Armenian.··19. Hellenic.··20. Albanian.··21. Italic.· 22. Balto-Slavic.··23. Germanic.··24. Celtic.··25. Twentieth-century Discoveries. 26. The Home of the Indo-Europeans.
3 Old English
27. The Languages in England before English.··28. The Romans in Britain.··29. The Roman Conquest.··30. Romanization of the Island.··31. The Latin Language in Britain.··32. The Germanic Conquest.··33. Anglo-Saxon Civilization.··34. The Names “England” and “English.”··35. The Origin and Position of English.··36. The Periods in the History of English.··37. The Dialects of Old English.··38. Old English Pronunciation.··39. Old English Vocabulary.··40. Old English Grammar.··41. The Noun.··42. Grammatical Gender.··43. The Adjective.··44. The Definite Article.··45. The Personal Pronoun.··46. The Verb.··47. The Language Illustrated.··48. The Resourcefulness of the Old English Vocabulary.··49. Self-explaining Compounds.··50. Prefixes and Suffixes.··51. Syntax and Style.··52. Old English Literature.
4 Foreign Influences on Old English
53. The Contact of English with Other Languages.··54. The Celtic Influence.··55. Celtic Place-Names and Other Loanwords.··56. Three Latin Influences on Old English.··57. Chronological Criteria.··58. Continental Borrowing (Latin Influence of the Zero Period).··59. Latin through Celtic Transmission (Latin Influence of the First Period).··60. Lat in Influence of the Second Period: The Christianizing of Britain.··61. Effects of Christianity on English Civilization.··62. The Earlier Influence of Christianity on the Vocabulary.··63. The Benedictine Reform.··64. Influence of the Benedictine Reform on English.··65. The Application of Native Words to New Concepts.··66. The Extent of the Influence.··67. The Scandinavian Influence: The Viking Age.··68. The Scandinavian Invasions of England.··69. The Settlement of the Danes in England.··70. The Amalgamation of the Two Peoples.··71. The Relation of the Two Languages.··72. The Tests of Borrowed Words.··73. Scandinavian Place-Names.··74. The Earliest Borrowing.··75. Scandinavian Loanwords and Their Character.··76. The Relation of Borrowed and Native Words.··77. Form Words.··78. Scandinavian Influence outside the Standard Speech.··79. Effect on Grammar and Syntax.··80. Period and Extent of the Influence.
5 The Norman Conquest and the Subjection of English, 1066—1200
81. The Norman Conquest.··82. The Origin of Normandy.··83. The Year 1066.··84. The Norman Settlement.··85. The Use of French by the Upper Class.··86. Circumstances Promoting the Continued Use of French.··87. The Attitude toward English.··88. French Literature at the English Court.··89. Fusion of the Two Peoples.··90. The Diffusion of French and English.··91. Knowledge of English among the Upper Class.··92. Knowledge of French among the Middle Class.
6 The Reestablishment of English, 1200—1500
93. Changing Conditions after 1200.··94. The Loss of Normandy.··95. Separation of the French and English Nobility.··96. French Reinforcements.··97. The Reaction against Foreigners and the Growth of National Feeling.··98. French Cultural Ascendancy in Europe.··99. English and French in the Thirteenth Century.··100. Attempts to Arrest the Decline of French.··101. Provincial Character of French in England.··102. The Hundred Years’ War.··103. The Rise of the Middle Class.··104. General Adoption of English in the Fourteenth Century.··105. English in the Law Courts.··106. English in the Schools.··107. Increasing Ignorance of French in the Fifteenth Century.··108. French as a Language of Culture and Fashion.··109. The Use of English in Writing.··110. Middle English Literature.
7 Middle English
111. Middle English a Period of Great Change.··112. From Old to Middle English.··113. The Decay of Inflectional Endings.··114. The Noun.··115. The Adjective.··116. The Pronoun.··117. The Verb.··118. Losses among the Strong Verbs.··119. Strong Verbs That Became Weak.··120. Survival of Strong Participles.··121. Surviving Strong Verbs.··122. Loss of Grammatical Gender.··123. Middle English Syntax.··124. French Influence on the Vocabulary.··125. Governmental and Administrative Words.··126. Ecclesiastical Words.··127. Law.··128. Army and Navy.··129. Fashion, Meals, and Social Life.··130. Art, Learning, Medicine.··131. Breadth of the French Influence.··132. Anglo-Norman and Central French.··133. Popular and Literary Borrowings.··134. The Period of Greatest Influence.··135. Assimilation.··136. Loss of Native Words.··137. Differentiation in Meaning.··138. Curtailment of OE Processes of Derivation.··139. Prefixes.··140. Suffixes.··141. Self-explaining Compounds.··142. The Language Still English.··143. Latin Borrowings in Middle English.··144. Aureate Terms.··145. Synonyms at Three Levels.··146. Words from the Low Countries.··147. Dialectal Diversity of Middle English.··148. The Middle English Dialects.··149. The Rise of Standard English.··150. The Importance of London English. ··151. The Spread of the London Standard.··152. Complete Uniformity Still Unattained.
8 The Renaissance, 1500—1650
153. From Middle English to Modern.··154. The Great Vowel Shift··155. Weakening of Unaccented Vowels.··156. Changing Conditions in the Modern Period.··157. Effect upon Grammar and Vocabulary.··158. The Problems of the Vernaculars.··159. The Struggle for Recognition.··160. The Problem of Orthography.··161. The Problem of Enrichment.··162. The Opposition to Inkhorn Terms.··163. The Defense of Borrowing.··164. Compromise.··165. Permanent Additions.··166. Adaptation.··167. Reintroductions and New Meanings.··168. Rejected Words.··169. Reinforcement through French.··170. Words from the Romance Languages.··171. The Method of Introducing the New Words.··172. Enrichment from Native Sources.··173. Methods of Interpreting the New Words.··174. Dictionaries of Hard Words.··175. Nature and Extent of the Movement.··176. The Movement Illustrated in Shakespeare.··177 . Shakespeare’s Pronunciation.··178. Changes Shown through Corpus Linguistics.··179. Grammatical Features··180. The Noun.··181. The Adjective.··182. The Pronoun.··183. The Verb.··184. Usage and Idiom.··185. General Characteristics of the Period.
9 The Appeal to Authority, 1650—1800
186. The Impact of the Seventeenth Century.··187. The Temper of the Eighteenth Century.··188. Its Reflection in the Attitude toward the Language.··189. “Ascertainment.”··190. The Problem of “Refining” the Language.··191. The Desire to “Fix” the Language.··192. The Example of Italy and France.··193. An English Academy.··194. Swift’s Proposal, 1712.··195. Objection to an Academy.··196. Substitutes for an Academy.··197. Johnson’s Dictionary.··198. The Eighteenth-century Grammarians and Rhetoricians.··199. The Aims of the Grammarians.··200. The Beginnings of Prescriptive Grammar.··201. Methods of Approach.··202. The Doctrine of Usage.··203. Results.··204. Weakness of the Early Grammarians.··205. Attempts to Reform the Vocabulary.··206. Objection to Foreign Borrowings.··207. The Expansion of the British Empire.··208. Some Effects of Expansion on the Language.··209. Development of Progressive Verb Forms. ··210. The Progressive Passive.
10 The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
211. Influences Affecting the Language.··212. The Growth of Science.··213. Automobile, Film, Broadcasting, Computer.··214. The World Wars.··215. Language as a Mirror of Progress.··216. Sources of the New Words: Borrowings.··217. Self-explaining Compounds.··218. Compounds Formed from Greek and Latin Elements.··219. Prefixes and Suffixes.··220. Coinages.··221. Common Words from Proper Names.··222. Old Words with New Meanings.··223. The Influence of Journalism.··224. Changes of Meaning.··225. Slang.··226. Register.··227. Accent.··228. British and Irish English.··229. English World-Wide.··230. Pidgins and Creoles.··231. Spelling Reform.··232. Purist Efforts.··233. Gender Issues and Linguistic Change.··234. The Oxford English Dictionary.··235. Grammatical Tendencies.··236. Verb-adverb Combinations.··237. A Liberal Creed.
11 The English Language in America
238. The Settlement of America.··239. The Thirteen Colonies.··240. The Middle West.··241. The Far West.··242. Uniformity of American English.··243. Archaic Features in American English.··244. Early Changes in the Vocabulary.··245. National Consciousness··246. Noah Webster and an American Language.··247. Webster’s Influence on American Spelling. ··248. Webster’s Influence on American Pronunciation.··249. Pronunciation.··250. The American Dialects.··251. The Controversy over Americanisms.··252. The Purist Attitude.··253. Present Differentiation of Vocabulary.··254. American Words in General English.··255. Scientific Interest in American English.··256. American English and World English.
12 The Twenty-first Century
257. The Future of English: Three Circles.··258. How Many Speakers?··259. Cross-linguistic Influence and the Spread of Languages.··260. The Relative Difficulty of Languages.··261. Chinese as a Competitor.··262. India and the Second Circle.··263. The Expanding Circle.··264. Coming Full Circle.
Appendix A··Specimens of the Middle English Dialects
Appendix B··English Spelling
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