By C. M. Millward, Mary Hayes

The 3rd version of A BIOGRAPHY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE keeps to ascertain the constitution of English, from its Indo-European pre-history, throughout the invasions that formed previous and heart English, via its audio system' unsleeping efforts to police it within the Early glossy interval, via its present-day ameliorations show up in city slang and text-messaging. The textbook explores 3 vital matters: how languages and language switch are systematic; how the internal historical past of a language is profoundly suffering from its outer heritage of political and culural occasions; and the way the English of the prior has far and wide left its lines on present-day English. through uncovering the language's earlier, you could higher use it to speak in addition to speculate approximately its destiny use in ever-changing globalized media.

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Extra info for A Biography of the English Language - 3e

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There are multiple reasons for this relative conservatism of writing systems, most of them external to language itself. First, although speech is ephemeral, writing provides a permanent reference; we can go back to check what was written. Digital texts survive even longer than printed ones. We can save computer files and emails forever. In some ways, though, writing has also become less permanent. Digital files can be “eaten” by an untrustworthy computer. We can change schools or businesses and lose all of the items in our inbox.

Due to electronic rights, some third party content may be suppressed from the eBook and/or eChapter(s). Editorial review has deemed that any suppressed content does not materially affect the overall learning experience. Cengage Learning reserves the right to remove additional content at any time if subsequent rights restrictions require it. 20 CHAPTER 1 words or structures appear only in translations, evidence that Old English translators had the same difficulty; still, because most of the available texts are translations, the scholar has no alternative but to use them.

Still other changes fall on the borderline between internal and external. British English still uses stone as a unit of weight for human beings and large animals, although the weight of other commodities is normally expressed in pounds. American English uses the pound as a measure for both large animals and other items. One of the reasons why stone has remained in British English may be that pound is semantically “overloaded” by being both a unit of weight and the national monetary unit. Similarly, in some parts of Great Britain, at least, a small storage room—the American English closet—is referred to as a cupboard.

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