By Dick Leith
A Social historical past of English is the 1st heritage of the English language to make use of the recommendations, insights and matters of sociolinguistics. Written in a non-technical manner, it takes into 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 severe Linguistic background of English Texts'
* a dialogue of difficulties concerned about writing a heritage 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 should be of curiosity to scholars of Sociolinguistics, English Language, heritage and Cultural reviews.
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Extra info for A social history of English
What these people were ultimately doing was describing their own usage—a tendency not uncommon among linguists of the twentieth century. Other observers are more specific about locale. A famous observer, Puttenham, writing in 1589, may be referring to the LondonOxfordCambridge triangle mentioned earlier when he states that the best speech can be heard within a radius of sixty miles round London. The educated speech of the Court in London was now prestigious, and people like Hart and Puttenham were STANDARDISATION AND WRITING 37 concerned with the speech-habits of aristocratic and wealthy people living in other regions.
Chaucer’s norm was not the norm elsewhere, so his copyists could not appreciate his attempt at deviation. In the course of the sixteenth century, the growing sense of a literary norm can be seen by the numerous attempts to represent the speech of foreigners, the linguistic characteristics of Welsh, Scottish, and Irish people, and the speakers of other dialects of English. It is now that we begin to see the social stereotyping of such speakers. Increasingly, they play the role of buffoon or boor.
The ruling class of England became increasingly Anglicised, but it maintained its contacts with the French of the kings of France, a monarchy which by the end of the thirteenth century had become the strongest and most centralised in Europe. From a sociolinguistic point of view, this second phase of contact with French is probably more interesting than the first. We see language come to be regarded as a social symbol, as it is identified with social groups of declared interests. The old Norman French is seen as provincial and unfashionable, while the language of the French court is seen as the emblem of the most sophisticated and prestigious culture in the contemporary world.
A social history of English by Dick Leith