Contents: Preface. 1. Introduction. 2. History of grammar and composition. 3. Early Linguistic Theory. 4. Languages in contact. 5. The imposition of English. 6. English present and future. 7. Foreign influences on Old English. 8. Relationship of English to other languages. 9. The history of English Inflections. 10. The history of Non-standard varieties of English. Index.
"In this book, with an emphasis on more recent periods, every key stage in the history of the language is discussed, with full accounts of standardisation, names and the distribution of English in its global spread.
New historical surveys of the crucial aspects of the language (sounds, word structure, grammar and vocabulary) are presented, and historical changes that have affected English are treated as a continuing process, helping to explain the shape of the language today.
Inclusive and totally up-to-date, the book will be indispensable to all advanced students, scholars and teachers in this prominent field." (jacket)