By Dick Leith

ISBN-10: 0203992865

ISBN-13: 9780203992869

ISBN-10: 0415097975

ISBN-13: 9780415097970

ISBN-10: 0415164567

ISBN-13: 9780415164566

A Social heritage of English is the 1st background of the English language to make use of the thoughts, insights and matters of sociolinguistics. Written in a non-technical approach, it takes under consideration standardization, pidginization, bi- and multilingualism, the problems of language upkeep and language loyalty, and linguistic variation.
This re-creation has been totally revised. Additions comprise: * new fabric approximately 'New Englishes' around the world
* a brand new bankruptcy entitled 'A serious Linguistic heritage of English Texts'
* a dialogue of difficulties desirous about writing a historical past of English
All phrases and ideas are defined as they're brought, and linguistic examples are selected for his or her accessibility and intelligibility to the final reader.
It could be of curiosity to scholars of Sociolinguistics, English Language, background and Cultural experiences.

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The second concerns the growth, by the end of the fourteenth century, of a class of scribes who were professional. Up to that time, the copying of texts had been undertaken in ecclesiastical institutions; but from then on a young man could be trained in the writing conventions of a particular secular scriptorium, and get paid for it. And by then, of course, it was the written dialect of the East Midlands that could be disseminated from these institutions. STANDARDISATION: THE SELECTION OF A DOMINANT VARIETY The origins of a dominant variety of English—on which notions of the standard were subsequently built—lie with the merchant class based in London.

Thus, while Chaucer wrote in the East Midland dialect as it was spoken in London, he was not yet writing in a national literary standard, since his contemporaries had their own, local norms. By Shakespeare’s time this regional variation in the language of printed literature had all but disappeared, although there have been STANDARDISATION AND WRITING 35 isolated examples since and a reemergence in the industrial north of England in the nineteenth century. The establishment of a national literary norm had crucial repercussions for imaginative literature.

Thus we have at least two different traditions in our spelling—a Germanic one, and a Romance one—and 32 EMERGENCE AND CONSOLIDATION there was, as can be appreciated, an arbitrariness as to which tradition was resorted to in different cases. Other features of scribal practice led to further heterogeneity in the writing system. Before the printing press, spelling habits were characterised by spectacular diversity. When we look up a word in the Oxford English Dictionary, we are immediately confronted by a bewildering range of spellings.

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A social history of English by Dick Leith


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