History of English textbook
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Some time ago (actually, quite some time ago, I apologize for the delay)
I asked for advice on a textbook that could be used for a one-semester,
3-hour course on the history of English.
Thanks to all those who responded:
The input was very helpful, particularly because many respondents
supplied comments on their recommendations. The most frequently
recommended textbook was
Pyles, T. & Algeo, J., 1993, The origins and
developments of the English language: NY: HBJ (currently in its
fourth edition, first published 1964)
A very strong point in favor of this book is the workbook that
accompanies it. I have used it previously and found it an excellent
source for exercises. The one reason why I never used Pyles & Algeo
is its structure: It covers the history of English by periods, which
is somewhat disruptive to the way I like to present the development
in each of the areas (phonetics & phonology, morphosyntax, lexicon)
separately over the whole history of English.
There were four more books that were also recommended with some
Millward, L., 1989, A biography of the English language.
Freeborn, D., 1992, From Old English to Standard English.
Barber, C., 1993, The English language: A historical introduction.
Baugh, A. C. & Cable, T., 1993, A history of the English language.
London: Routledge (currently in its fourth edition, first published
Another six books were recommended by one respondent each.
Apart from Strang (1970), these are not textbooks that could be used
for the type of course I am teaching. However, they do contain
material which could be used to supplement a textbook.
Strang, 1970, A history of English. London: Routledge
Leith, D., 1998, A social history of English. London: Routledge
Machan, & Scott, English in it social contexts. Cambridge: CUP
Trask, R., Language change. London: Routledge
Crystal, D., 1995, The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English laguage.
Thanks again and godt nytaar
Prof. Dr. Ocke-Schwen Bohn
PLEASE NOTE NEW PHONE AND FAX NUMBER AS OF 20 AUGUST 1999
Institut for Engelsk Filologi
DK-8000 Aarhus C
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