Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Biography of the English Language” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
A Biography of the Eng...
 
by
Celia M. Millward
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

...more
Paperback, 0 pages
Published March 1st 1990 by Harcourt Brace College Publishers (first published 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Biography of the English Language, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Biography of the English Language

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sarah
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
...more
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
...more
Jamilah
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
Miriam
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.)

Amanda
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.
Alex
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.
Dave Haskins
Language,English
Erik
Erik marked it as to-read
Sep 30, 2016
Larry
Larry rated it it was amazing
Sep 27, 2016
J Pant
J Pant marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2016
Itzaira
Itzaira marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2016
Victor
Victor is currently reading it
Sep 10, 2016
Yolanda
Yolanda is currently reading it
Aug 22, 2016
David
David rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2016
Alicia  Cronin
Alicia Cronin rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2016
Jennifer Wolf
Jennifer Wolf rated it liked it
Jul 16, 2016
Emmythoukgmail.Com
Emmythoukgmail.Com rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2016
Elisabeth Kinsey
Elisabeth Kinsey marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2016
Kameelah Martin
Kameelah Martin rated it liked it
Jul 04, 2016
Pradeep Goorha
Pradeep Goorha marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2016
Alia
Alia marked it as to-read
May 30, 2016
Ricardo Celis
Ricardo Celis marked it as to-read
May 29, 2016
Leslie
Leslie rated it liked it
May 23, 2016
Ashley
Ashley rated it really liked it
May 22, 2016
Tim Waterfield
Tim Waterfield rated it really liked it
Jun 01, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Old English and Its Closest Relatives: A Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages
  • A Guide to Old English
  • Wheelock's Latin
  • The Quest of the Sacred Slipper
  • Bantam New College Latin and English Dictionary
  • Oxford Latin Course: Part I
  • Bastard Tongues: A Trailblazing Linguist Finds Clues to Our Common Humanity in the World's Lowliest Languages
  • A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi": The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English
  • The Language Wars: A History of Proper English
  • Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary
  • Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare
  • GENKI: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, Vol. II
  • Sayings of the Buddha: New Translations from the Pali Nikayas
  • How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live or Die
  • Cassell's Concise Latin-English, English-Latin Dictionary
  • Mentor: A Memoir
  • Bertram Cope's Year
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction

Share This Book