Article

History of the English Language

Ans van Kemenade and Bettelou Los

in Linguistics

ISBN: 9780199772810
Published online April 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0069
History of the English Language

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  • Linguistics
  • Anthropological Linguistics
  • Language Families
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The study of the history of the English language has a long and rich tradition, starting with a range of editions of important Old and Middle English texts in the middle of the 19th century, many of which are still available as reprints from the early English Text Society (see Text Editions). The linguistic study of the history of English took off in the 20th century with a range of traditional grammars usually concerned with the phonology and morphology of Old and Middle English and a further range of detailed studies of the language of particular texts and of particular dialects areas. Since the 1970s and in the wake of the development of functionalist and formalist models of language structure, language use, and diachronic change, the various historical stages of English and the diachronic changes in the domains of phonology, morphology, syntax, and pragmatics have also become a favorite playground of historical linguists. The study of these aspects has been greatly enhanced by the recent boost of computerized corpora, including text corpora as well as corpora enriched with various types of linguistic information. The history of English in all its breadth has thus become a field of study that draws both on rich documentation and on linguistic and methodological sophistication.

Article.  11320 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Anthropological Linguistics ; Language Families ; Psycholinguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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