A Historical Morphology of English, Paperback / softback Book

A Historical Morphology of English Paperback / softback

Part of the Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language - Advanced series


This introduction to English inflectional and derivational morphology shows how language change is more systematic if looked at from a long-range perspective than short-term changes might suggest.

The author makes such long-range developments visible and shows how the interaction between phonology and morphology gradually leads to a typological restructuring of the morphological system.Since language is constantly changing, every synchronic stage will necessarily contain remnants of a previous stage.

Existing historical descriptions tend to emphasise this retrospective aspect.

Thus, there is a tendency to interpret Old English in terms of its Germanic or even Indo-European origin, and Middle English in terms of its Old English predecessor.

This book focuses more strongly on ongoing morphological reanalyses and will therefore also look at what English will eventually become rather than simply where it came from.

The first chapter will discuss the morphology of Modern English as the point of arrival of the historical development that will make up the rest of the book.

This is followed by a chapter on the basic morphological properties of Indo-European as far as these are relevant for the understanding of the historical development as the point of departure, and subsequent chapters are arranged chronologically: Germanic, Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Grammar, syntax
  • ISBN: 9780748636877

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