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The English Languages


  • 12 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 272 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.35 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 427
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: PE2751 .M38 1998
  • LC Subject headings:
    • English language--Variation--English-speaking countries
    • English language--Variation--Foreign countries
    • English language--Variation--Great Britain
    • Communication, International

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521485821 | ISBN-10: 0521485827)

DOI: 10.2277/0521485827

  • Published March 1998

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 02:10 GMT, 30 November 2015)


Hundreds of millions of people use English every day everywhere in the world, but may or may not succeed in understanding each other. Despite the success of its standard form (or forms) in many countries, the complex called 'English' is immensely diverse - probably more diverse than any single language has ever been - and is likely to become even more so. This book is a compelling and broad-ranging invitation to consider the variety, the options and the implications of this vast system. The English Languages looks at the 'pluralism' of English, the 'Englishes', that have arisen in the last few decades, and addresses the question of whether or not English can be considered a family of languages in its own right, like the Romance languages.

• Topical and popular subject, especially in a millennial context, handled in a fresh, engaging and broad-ranging way • Clear and compelling, without sacrificing any academic credibility • Enormous range of examples drawn from the author's wide-ranging experience


Introduction; Acknowledgements; 1. Organized Babel; 2. A universal resource; 3. Cracks in the academic monolith; 4. Models of English; 5. Standardness; 6. Scots and Southron; 7. Substrates and superstrates; 8. The Latin analogy; 9. The shapes of English; Index.

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