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A Biography of the Eng...
Celia M. Millward
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A Biography of the English Language

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews

The second edition of A BIOGRAPHY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE continues to examine the structure of language. The textbook discusses three important issues: languages and language change are systematic; the inner history of a language is profoundly affected by its outer history of political and culural events; and the English of the past has everywhere left its traces on prese

Paperback, 0 pages
Published March 1st 1990 by Harcourt Brace College Publishers (first published 1988)
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Jun 11, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Extremely boring, extremely fascinating. I've never been so intrigued while snoring. It's like reading your own family history--not particularly impressive, but it's your own and every minutia is grand because it's so much a part of your day to day existence.
Aurel Mihai
Aug 30, 2015 Aurel Mihai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As a textbook, A Biography makes a great read. It isn't just a dry analysis of the language. It places the English language in context among other languages that evolved with it. It gives a good amount of related history. There are many, many fun and interesting facts interspersed throughout the book.

As casual reading, A Biography is sometimes tough to swallow. There are a few long stretches of highly technical grammar lingo and after referring to the glossary four or five times I just gave up
Anatha Latshaw
Dec 01, 2011 Anatha Latshaw rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
8/26/2011 - I'm treating this as a textbook for my History of the English Language class, and we're officially beginning readings today. :) Whether I like this book or not, it's my constant companion until the end of the semester.

12/1/2011 - Though we did not get to go through the entire book this semester for class, I intend to use it for future reference as I pursue my various degrees. It is informative, but I hardly think that it's as readable as an introductory linguistics book. Several top
Mar 05, 2013 Jamilah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little tedious to read at times, but full of fascinating information nonetheless. (I especially loved the little anecdote about the nickname the French gave the British during the Hundred-Years' War... XD) This book covers Early English, Futhorc, Middle English, Early Modern English, and Present-Day English. I didn't know that we had so many French words in English. o_O
The history of spoken English and what dialect, pidgin and creole mean. It ends with the recipe for Oyster Mush in Gullah, the last of it is "Mus' don' was' oshtuh mush 'long de chillun. Gib' de chillun aig en' hom'ny." (Children won't appreciate oyster mush. Cook eggs and hominy for them.)

Jul 21, 2007 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Word freaks
Shelves: college, nonfiction
This is another really great book on language but obviously deals more specificially with English and it's development over time so there's a lot more specific history and details in it. Still really interesting.
Mar 20, 2011 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Great for people interested in a beginner's book on linguistics.
John Miller
Dec 05, 2007 John Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: linguistics
everything about english, ever.
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