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.