From Dialect to Standard: English in England 11541776 is the second volume of a set of three offering a comprehensive survey of what by the author is seen as the most interesting aspects of the long history of English from its embryonic stages to the language spoken today in England and America.The present book spans the period up to 1776, the year of the American Declaration of Independence and the year in which Adam Smith published his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. The title of the first volume from 1998 was The Continental Backgrounds of English and its Insular Development until 1154, the third and final volume being scheduled for publication later under the title The Development of American and British English from 1776 to the Present Day.
This volume contains revised and, in some cases, extended versions of twelve of the fourteen lectures read at the conference on “Early Germanic Languages in Contact” held at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense on 22-23 August 2013 – with a paper and a review article added at the end on themes pertaining to the aim and scope of the symposium. All papers cover central aspects of the early contact between Germanic and some of its Indo-European and non-Indo-European linguistic neighbours; and, in certain cases, aspects involving internal Germanic language contact.
This book, which appeared first in a Danish version in 1980 and subsequently in an English translation in 1986, reverses the history of the English language: it takes present-day English irregularities in grammar and spelling as its point of departure, providing historical explanations only to the extent that they illustrate modern forms. A number of comparisons with developments in other Germanic languages are given, not only with Danish phenomena as in the original Danish edition, but also with Dutch and German ones. The authors believe that such comparisons shed light on English language history as well as contribute to make the book more interesting also to students of other Germanic languages.
This is the first book to give a comprehensive view of the work of Otto Jespersen (1860-1943), the Danish linguist who is perhaps best known for his monumental work A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles. The articles in this volume show the wide range of Jespersen's interests and discuss the influence of his contribution to the study of language.