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A History of the English Language
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A History of the English Language

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  671 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews

Comprehensive and balanced, this classic exploration of the history of the English language combines internal linguistic history and external cultural history�from the Middle Ages to the present. Emphasis is on the political, social and cultural forces that affect language. Reflects the latest trends and statistics of the last ten years in a revised and updated chapter

Hardcover, 4th, 464 pages
Published December 18th 1992 by Prentice Hall College Div (first published 1951)
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ANUPAM GHOSH It is belived that Shakespeare created more than 2000 words in english language
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Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic, highly detailed overview of the history of the English language in which I learned some surprising things, such as:

--"they," "their," and "them," our plural pronouns, were a Scandinavian (specifically Danish) import. Old English conjugated them as "hie," "hiera," "him."

--In fact, the Danish invasions of England prior to the Norman Conquest probably contributed a lot more to our loss of inflection (word endings) than the French influence on our language ever did. While we "bo
Jul 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who speaks English
This book cycles through the entire history of the English language, from the proto-Indo European start to its modern day variations. For everyone who thinks that our language is as simple as "English is a mix of German and French," you have SO much to learn. A favorite non-fiction.
unlike my professor, this book actually makes sense
Marcella C
10% informative, 90% snooze fest.
Oct 13, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a good book; I wish I had the latest edition rather than this edition from the early 1990's. The language has changed since the introduction of the Internet and texting which wasn't an issue at the time this version came out. I think I may have had this version since it was new, though. I just now got around to reading it in it's entirety.

Very informative. Some chapters were more interesting than others. I liked the chapters on Old English and also on American English.

Always something t
Jessica Hatchigan
Read this for a college course (and basically had to memorize the contents). It was one of my most challenging - and rewarding - classes. Baugh shows how language is elastic, bending and changing and morphing as time, history and cultural influences force and/or influence written and verbal exchanges.
I'm putting this on here because it may be one of the first honest-to-god textbooks that I actually read all the way through. It feels like an accomplishment.
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly easy-to-read but detailed account of the whole history of the English language, divided into three parts: Old, Middle, and Modern English.
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book three times in one semester as an undergrad in the 1980s for a really hard class. I LOVED IT--both the class and the book.
Erin Riggio
Sep 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: word nerds
I read this in a college class and really enjoyed it. It might be a bit dry to read in its entirety, but pick it up for some fascinating anecdotes about the history of our language.
George King
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My college text--and still the standard by which others must be measured. The complexity of the English language is a thing of beauty.
Jun 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
It gives a really in-depth view of all the cultural and political influences that shaped the English language to what it is today. Kind of nice to read if you have the time and interest for these kind of things.
English language,linguistics
Rao Javed
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Syllabus book...always hate them.
Erica Walsh
Dec 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Leaners...
Shelves: fantastic-reads
Totally a book I had to read for college - but if you ever said, "Why is this a word?" then this book is fun. And if you are nerdy - this book is fun.
Ashley Holstrom
One of the few history books I've actually enjoyed. It starts at the very beginning of English language and goes up to today-ish and English in America. A wonderful read.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic
এইটা একটা পাঠযবই, আর পাঠযবইয়ের শাসন-বারণ কি আসলে ঐভাবে করা যায়? সমালোচনার সমালোচনা করাই ত কঠিন, পাঠযবইয়ের কষেতরে ত এইসব পরায় অসমভব ঠেকে আমার -

এমনিতে ভালো বই। কিছু গুরূতবপূরণ আলোচনা আসছে, যেমন ইংরেজি যে আসতে আসতে সিনথেটিক বিষয়াশয়, মানে কি না বিভকতিগুলিরে, ছেটে ফেলে একটু একটু করে অযানালিটিক হয়ে গেছে, বাকযবিনযাসরে পুরা সুসথিত করে ফেলেছে - বাংলায় যেটার বালাই নাই - এই বিষয়টার ইতিহাস ভালো লাগার মতই। এই সমসত কারণেই পরথম দিকটা, মোটামুটি ষোড়শ শতাবদী পরযনত, আমার জনয একটা দণডবৎ থরিলার। পুরান ইংরিজি আর মধযয
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even to one who is not a student of history or linguistics, this book is accessible, and from it I learnt a lot. It is unsurprising that it is known as a standard text of the history of the English Language. Its chronological approach is appropriate, and feels very much like a well-crafted narrative that takes you on a flight from Celtic times, roaming over Beowulf, to Chaucer's Cantebury Tales, to Shakespeare. A highly enjoyable read which I would recommend to anyone who possesses the slightest ...more
Shahidul Nahid
Feb 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
মাথা নষট, তালগোল পাকায়া দেওয়া এক বই :/ ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea why I marked this to read while I actually read and studied it four years ago. Wonderful book
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent mix of history and the technical evolution of the English language. The accompanying workbook provided helpful exercises to understand the linguistic aspect of the language.
Clay Kallam
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
As textbooks go, this was a pretty good read -- though I confess I skipped the lists of words borrowed from specific languages or areas.

"A History of the English Language" is also a bit dated, but really, not much has changed in terms of the development of the language in recent decades. And really what you're reading this book is the history of English, which goes back to the 5th century AD or so.

I was put off a bit by the odd characters used to designate certain sounds, as I didn't know what t
May 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: assigned
If, for any reason, you find yourself wanting or needing to read Baugh and Cable's A History of the English Language, I'd advise you against using the Sixth Edition. It blurs details that earlier editions are much more clear about, re-arranges chapters that were better organized before, and since it doesn't address really recent evolutions in the language, you really aren't missing anything by using an earlier, clearer edition. The sixth one just isn't great.
Fachrurozy Dientara
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fachrurozy by: Lecturer
Buku ini bikin kepala keputer puter walaupun isinya berguna (untuk kegiatan kuliah). Bahsa yang digunakan diluar kebiasaan saya. Tapi dilain sisi isi buku ini emang menarik buat di baca buat kamu yg curious tentang sejarah bahasa inggris atau emang kamu mahasiswa sastra inggris
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had this as a textbook for my all-time favorite class at university. Its the most in depth examination of the English language that I have seen. It's equal parts history and linguistics and it's thoroughly readable.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, school
This is one of the few textbooks that I have read in its entirety in a long time. It was fantastic, though, offering an expansive and entertaining look at just what the title describes, a history of the English language from early Germanic roots through modern dialogues.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most consistently interesting and engaging "textbook" I've had to read. History and linguistics meshed together.
good stuff. suitable for an undergraduate course. works through the basic periodizations with rigor.
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Dr. Albert Croll Baugh, College 1912; Ph.D. English, 1916; and Honorary Doctorate in 1961, Chaired the University of Pennsylvania Department of English, and received many accolades, including the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Dr. Baugh's scholarship is still much in use at the Penn Library—from his 1935 study of the history of the English language to his 1968 bibliography of Chaucer st
More about Albert C. Baugh

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