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English - One Tongue, Many Voices


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Table of Contents

1 English the working tongue of the global village. -PART I: History of an island language.- 2 The first 500 years.- 3 1066 and All That.- 4 Modern English in the making.- PART II: The spread of English around the world.- 5 English goes to the New World. -6 English transplanted.- 7 English varieties in the British Isles.- 8 American and British English.- 9 English, pidgins and creoles.- PART III: A changing language in changing times.- 10 The standard language today.- 11 Linguistic change in progress: Back to the Inner Circle.- 2 Electronic English.- 13 English into the future.- Notes: Comments and References.- References.- Index of people.- Index of topics.- Pronunciation.

About the Author

Jan Svartvik is Emeritus Professor at the University of Lund, Sweden. He is co-author of A Communicative Grammar of English (with Geoffrey Leech) and A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (with Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum and Geoffrey Leech). He has published on other varied aspects of English linguistics, such as corpus linguistics, forensic linguistics, contrastive grammar and nautical terminology. He is a Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, The Royal Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities and Academia Europaea.
Geoffrey Leech (1935-2014) was Research Professor of Linguistics at Lancaster University, UK. Author, co-author, or co-editor of some 25 books and 100 papers or articles on varied aspects of linguistics and the English language, he was a Fellow of the British Academy and a Member of Academia Europaea. He was the author of widely used introductions to Semantics and Pragmatics, co-author with Mike Short of A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry, and co-author with Margaret Deuchar and Robert Hoogenraad of English Grammar for Today: A New Introduction.
David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Bangor. He is the author or editor of over a hundred books on aspects of linguistics and the English language, such as The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, The Stories of English, Language and the Internet, and Evolving English. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and in 1995 was awarded an OBE for services to the English Language.


'If you read only one book on the English language-read this one. English - One Tongue, Many Voices covers all aspects of the English language: its global spread, international and local varieties, history from obscurity to primacy, usage and uses, standards and creoles, style and change in progress, politics and controversy. The scope of the book is vast, its depth impressive, and its balance admirable. Elegantly written, with serious content lightheartedly presented, abundantly illustrated with samples and pictures, informative and entertaining, accessible to all, this is a book by two fine scholars who love the language and know how to convey their enthusiasm to readers. The reader will come away from this book with a deep understanding of the English language and an appreciation of its marvels and mysteries'. - John Algeo, Professor Emeritus of English, University of Georgia, USA 'I am delighted that Jan Svartvik and Geoffrey Leech have put their hands to this great venture. As experienced collaborators, they bring to the story of English a rare combination of deep scholarly learning and a flair for lively writing.' - Randolph Quirk, University College London, UK 'Jan Svartvik and Geoffrey Leech are brilliant story tellers about the English language. This book will benefit teachers and learners of English all over the world, giving vivid pictures of where the language came from, what it is now, and where it will be going.' - Yukio Tono, Meikai University, Japan '...there is no doubt that this will be a highly successful book, and rightly so. It is authored by two great names in the discipline...It is written lightheartedly and appealingly...Overall the presentation of information is effective, concise, and accessible, connecting with what may be expected to be an average reader's background...it will educate and inform novice readers and raise interest in the English language in all of its richness and variability' - Edgar W. Schneider, English Word-Wide

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