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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (1995)

de David Crystal

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English is arguably the nearest thing we have to a world language, and yet it is a language with a wealth of varieties, dialects, and traditions, all developing in different ways and at different speeds. This book is a superbly written and illustrated exploration of the history, structure, and use of English throughout the world. World-renowned linguist and author, David Crystal, explores the many facets and varieties of the English language, bringing life to this large and complex subject. He begins with the origins of English in Anglo-Saxon times and follows the growth of the language to the present. Every major English-speaking country is included, and the book abounds with insights into how English evolved and how it works. The author pays particular attention to the use of language in literature and how it permeates humor. He allows language to "speak for itself" by using quotations, photographs, newspaper clippings, poems, advertisements, cartoons, and many other types of illustrative material that vividly complement his narrative. Author Crystal systematically covers the structural features of English, and includes a complete description of grammar, a summary of pronunciation and writing systems, and a thorough treatment of the size and complexity of vocabulary. He explains technical aspects in simple and accessible terms and includes a glossary to assist the reader with unclear language terminology. Highly visual with striking color illustrations, panels and boxed features throughout, this book is fascinating reading for the widest possible audience. David Crystal is the author of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (CUP, 1987) and the editor of The Cambridge Encyclopedia (CUP, 1990, 1994).… (més)
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Frontmatter
Preface
Frontispiece
1. Modelling English
Part I - The History of English
2. The Origins of English
3. Old English
4. Middle English
5. Early Modern English
6. Modern English
7. World English
Part II - English Vocabulary
8. The Nature of the Lexicon
9. The Sources of the Lexicon
10. Etymology
11. The Structure of the Lexicon
12. Lexical Dimensions
Part III - English Grammar
13. Grammatical Mythology
14. The Structure of Words
15. Word Classes
16. The Structure of Sentences
Part IV - Spoken and Written English
17. The Sound System
18. The Writing System
Part V - Using English
19. Varieties of Discourse
20. Regional Variation
21. Social Variation
22. Personal Variation
23. Electronic Variation
Part VI - Learning about English
24. Learning English as a Mother Tongue
25. New Ways of Studying English
Appendices
I. Glossary
II. Special Symbols and Abbreviations
III. References
IV. New Addresses
V. Further Reading
VI. Index of Linguistic Items
VII. Index of Authors and Personalities
VIII. Index of Topics
Acknowledgements ( )
  knoba | Oct 12, 2020 |
David Crystal is/was the specialist of the English language in most of its forms and changes. This is a comprehensive encyclopedia on the English Language and highly recommended. ( )
  nadineeg | Sep 15, 2019 |
I have only read the history of English Language "Old English" and "Middle English" sections and they are very good. It is a great companion so far to someone studying the history of English Literature. For each page having separate information from the next, and being slightly disjointed, there is a lot of information on the origins of the English Language. Also, book used to have a different plural form. It was bek. (Long E) If I had just learned that, I think it would have made this book valuable! ( )
  renardkitsune | Jun 13, 2018 |
Covers everything there is to know
  stevholt | Nov 19, 2017 |
Excellent large format book which examines, in a general way, the subtleties of the English language as it is spoken, written and continues to evolve in England. Later chapters illustrate how English is used in other countries. The author intends to promote identity, continuity, coherence and fluctuations among English speakers themselves. The discovery of linguistic roots is an added bonus. Glossary, Symbols and abbreviations, Bibliography, further reading, Index. ( )
1 vota sacredheart25 | Dec 21, 2010 |
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English is arguably the nearest thing we have to a world language, and yet it is a language with a wealth of varieties, dialects, and traditions, all developing in different ways and at different speeds. This book is a superbly written and illustrated exploration of the history, structure, and use of English throughout the world. World-renowned linguist and author, David Crystal, explores the many facets and varieties of the English language, bringing life to this large and complex subject. He begins with the origins of English in Anglo-Saxon times and follows the growth of the language to the present. Every major English-speaking country is included, and the book abounds with insights into how English evolved and how it works. The author pays particular attention to the use of language in literature and how it permeates humor. He allows language to "speak for itself" by using quotations, photographs, newspaper clippings, poems, advertisements, cartoons, and many other types of illustrative material that vividly complement his narrative. Author Crystal systematically covers the structural features of English, and includes a complete description of grammar, a summary of pronunciation and writing systems, and a thorough treatment of the size and complexity of vocabulary. He explains technical aspects in simple and accessible terms and includes a glossary to assist the reader with unclear language terminology. Highly visual with striking color illustrations, panels and boxed features throughout, this book is fascinating reading for the widest possible audience. David Crystal is the author of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (CUP, 1987) and the editor of The Cambridge Encyclopedia (CUP, 1990, 1994).

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