The English Language by R.W. Burchfield
"Burchfield's brilliant book on the English language is both scholarly and human. It is the best brief survey I have read of the development of English ...it conveys an authentic sense of the great mystery of language. It instructs, but it also compels wonder." Anthony Burgess Dr Burchfield stresses both the flexibility and the resilience of the language as he describes the sweeping changes that have transformed it from the relative uniformity of Anglo-Saxon to the many varieties of English spoken throughout the world today. He gives special prominence to the recording of the language in dictionaries and grammars, and to the linguistic importance of migration from the homeland. He pays close attention to particular areas such as pronounciation, dialect, slang, the formation of words, the language of literature, and the language of the English Bible. He also examines and questions the attitudes and methods of some modern scholars. The reader is left in no doubt about the extraordinary richness of the language. As to the future, Dr Burchfield believes that, whatever changes the language may undergo, English will remain a splendidly endowed communicative force for centuries to come. This book is intended for students of English language, linguistics, and literature (A-level and above); general readers interested in the development of the English language, and collectors of the OPUS series.