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In the last five hundred years or so, the English language has undergone remarkable geographical expansion, bringing it into contact with other languages in new locations. It also caused different regional dialects of the language to come into contact with each other in colonial situations. This book is made up of a number of fascinating tales of historical-sociolinguistic detection. These are stories of origins – of a particular variety of English or linguistic feature – which together tell a compelling general story. In each case, Trudgill presents an intriguing puzzle, locates and examines the evidence, detects clues that unravel the mystery, and finally proposes a solution. The solutions are all original, often surprising, sometimes highly controversial. Providing a unique insight into how language contact shapes varieties of English, this entertaining yet rigorous account will be welcomed by students and researchers in linguistics, sociolinguistics and historical linguistics.Read more
- Written by the world's leading dialectologist of English and one of its leading sociolinguists
- Addresses a series of unsolved linguistic questions to intrigue those with an interest in solving historical-linguistic puzzles
- Data is taken from a wide range of varieties of English, which will be informative for readers with an interest in lesser-known Englishes
Reviews & endorsements
“Trudgill has done it again, producing a provocative and interesting book on a subject on which he is a recognized authority. This work will be read with interest by all concerned with language contact, language change, and the history of English.” --Brian D. Joseph, The Ohio State University
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- Date Published: October 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521132930
- length: 232 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 138 x 12 mm
- weight: 0.32kg
- contains: 3 maps 5 tables
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Prologue: colonisation and contact
1. What really happened to Old English?
2. East Anglian English and the Spanish Inquisition
3. On Anguilla and The Pickwick Papers
4. The last Yankee in the Pacific
5. An American lack of dynamism
6. Colonial lag?
7. 'The new non-rhotic style'
8. What became of all the Scots?
Epilogue: the critical threshold and interactional synchrony.
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