- Tapa blanda: 320 páginas
- Editor: Cambridge University Press; Edición: 2 (26 de octubre de 2011)
- Colección: Cambridge Approaches to Linguistics
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0521670012
- ISBN-13: 978-0521670012
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº387.561 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
- Ver el Índice completo
The English Language: A Historical Introduction (Cambridge Approaches to Linguistics) (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 26 oct 2011
|Nuevo desde||Usado desde|
Descripción del producto
Reseña del editor
Where does today's English come from? This new edition of the bestseller by Charles Barber tells the story of the language from its remote ancestry to the present day. In response to demand from readers, a brand new chapter on late modern English has been added for this edition. Using dozens of familiar texts, including the English of King Alfred, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Addison, the book tells you everything you need to know about the English language, where it came from and where it's going to. This edition adds new material on English as a global language and explains the differences between the main varieties of English around the world. Clear explanations of linguistic ideas and terms make it the ideal introduction for students on courses in English language and linguistics, and for all readers fascinated by language.
Descripción del libro
This new edition of the bestseller by Charles Barber tells the story of the English language from its remote ancestry to the present day. A brand new chapter on late modern English has been added and there is new material on English as a global language.Ver Descripción del producto
No es necesario ningún dispositivo Kindle. Descárgate una de las apps de Kindle gratuitas para comenzar a leer libros Kindle en tu smartphone, tablet u ordenador.
Obtén la app gratuita:
Detalles del producto
Opiniones de clientes
Opiniones de clientes más útiles en Amazon.com (beta)
I fit the above category, and I loved this book. Probably the best I've read on the subject so far.
Being Dutch but living in the U.S., I usually tell my American friends that for Anglophones Dutch is the most related language (actually Frisian is even more related but that mini-language is Holland's second language, and I don't want to make things too complicated). The funny thing is that even well-educated Americans normally are not aware of this fact. Some even told me that Celtic, being the second language of the U.K., was probably more related (this book makes clear, by the way, that Celtic is related to the Germanic languages but only remotedly, as another member of the Indo-European family), or French (because of the many loan words).
Well, this book confirms what I tell my Anglophone friends. The funny thing is that I am quite convinced that the Old and even Middle English texts, which Barber quotes, are probably more comprehensible to Dutch readers than to Anglophones. Dutch remained a fully West-Germanic language but English, though at its core still very much a West-Germanic language, was heavily influenced by North Germanic (Scandinavian) and especially French, due to the invasions of Vikings and Normands. It's curious how the Old English texts use words that still are current in Dutch but (more or less) lost in modern English: "onfeng" is "ontvangen" in Dutch but became "receive" (i.e. a French loan word) in English. "Niman" is "nemen" in Dutch but "take" (Scandinavian) in modern English. "Witan" is "weten" in Dutch but became "to know" in modern English. I found endless other examples in this book ("Ic dorste" = Ik dorst (in Dutch) = I dared (in English). In fact, I guess that an old question I had can now be answered. I was always curious to know what the Anglosaxon missionaries Willibrord and Bonifatius in the 7th and 8th century spoke when they brought the Gospel to the Lowlands. Well, it seems pretty sure that they just used there own language that was still intelligible to the Low Landers (something like Dutch and Afrikaander these days: it takes a little bit of effort only to understand it). Some of the Old English texts read like a modern Dutch dialect.
I have, though, the feeling that Barber does not know much Dutch (nor Frisian). We hear something about Dutch loan words that ended up in English in later centuries. I wonder, however, whether some of the modern English words, that according to Barber have Scandinavian roots, are not just West-Germanic. Why is "give" Scandinavian, if the Dutch cognate is "geven". Same for "loose" ("los" in Dutch), "smile" ("smuilen" in Dutch, with a slightly different meaning), "call" ("kallen" is common in many Dutch dialects, meaning "to talk"), "though" (is "doch" in Dutch), "hoast" (in some English dialects = "cough", = "hoesten" in Dutch: maybe the root is not Scandinavian but just West-Germanic). By the way, it is not mentioned in this book but the sound shift from "kerk" (Dutch) to "church" does English have in common with Frisian.
Anyway, I like books of this kind. I can assure my Anglophone friends now with even more conviction that Dutch is for them the most related language though I am afraid that that fact helps Dutch more when they read Old English than Anglophones when they want to learn modern Dutch. The days of Willibrord and Bonifatius are beyond any doubt far behind us...
This book is a mess. The authors want to tell a story in a friendly manner, but first they spend over 50 pages of a 300-page book describing the basics of linguistics (phonology, syntax, language change). This will scare away readers wanting a friendly introduction, and for readers wanting a more meaty text these linguistic concepts are presented in far too sketchy a fashion to really prepare them for serious study. After that introductory chapter, the actual description of English over time is little more than the authors throwing out trivia without forming a coherent, smoothly flowing text. It feels like something cobbled together.
The chapter on Late Modern English is interesting. While anyone can notice that e.g. Jane Austen was writing from a different time due to her quaint vocabulary, I had never noticed some syntactic changes that had occurred in English only after her time. Still, there must be better historical introductions to English out there.