A Historical Syntax of English, Paperback / softback Book


This book explores the many factors that influenced syntactic change in English.

Aimed at advanced students, this book discusses a number of approaches to charting the major developments in the syntax of English.

It does not assume any knowledge of Old or Middle English or of formal syntax, although students should be familiar with traditional syntactic concepts such as verbs and nouns, subjects and objects, and linguistic concepts such as morphology and case.

Bettelou Los draws on explanations from both formal and functional approaches to explore how syntactic changes are the product of the interaction of many internal and external factors.

It discusses internal factors such as the loss of morphology and pressure from analogy.

It covers external factors such as the sociolinguistic impact of language and dialect contact.

It strikes a balance between theoretical explanation and accessibility to readers with no background in formal syntax.

It contains 26 tables and 5 figures. It features 2 old English text extracts as appendices.

Each chapter finishes with a summary of main points.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Grammar, syntax
  • ISBN: 9780748641437

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops

Also in the Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language - Advanced series   |  View all