Changing English, Paperback
1.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Changing English examines the history of English from its origins in the fifth century to the present day.

It focuses on the radical changes that have taken place in the structure of English over a millennium and a half, detailing the influences of migration, colonialism and many other historical, social and cultural phenomena.

Expert authors illustrate and analyze dialects, accents and the shifting styles of individual speakers as they respond to changing circumstances.

The reader is introduced to many key debates relating to the English language, illustrated by specific examples of data in context.

Including key material retained from the earlier bestselling book, English: History, Diversity and Change, this edition has been thoroughly reorganized and updated with entirely new material.

Changing English: * explains basic concepts, easily located through a comprehensive index * includes contributions by experts in the field, such as David Crystal, David Graddol, Dick Leith, Lynda Mugglestone and Joan Swann * contains a range of source material and commissioned readings to supplement chapters. Changing English makes an essential contribution to the field of English language studies.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages, 42 colour illustrations
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical & comparative linguistics
  • ISBN: 9780415376792



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I got this book out of the library because I was hoping that it would serve as a good general introduction (or in my case, refresher course) on the English language. It is an OU course book and I was aware of that when I took it out. Unfortunately, as a book for a general reader, it left quite a lot to be desired and it didn't really inspire me to take the course. For general English language writing, David Crystal's books are as informative and more palatable to the casual reader. For more specific interest areas, I would recommend taking out a specialist text on sociolinguistics or history of English. There are many that are better written than this offering.