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. This work introduces many key debates relating to the English language, illustrated by specific examples of data in context.
Is English changing? To what degree is it changing? Is this change good or bad? In answering these questions, Is English Changing? provides a lively and concise introduction to language change, refuting commonly held misconceptions about language evolution as we understand it. Showing that English, like all living languages, has historically changed and continues to change, this book: analyzes developments in the lexicon, the way words are spoken or written, and the way in which speakers and writers use words; offers a basic overview of the major subfields of linguistics, including phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics, all viewed through the prism of language change; discusses change over time with examples from Old English, Middle English, and Modern English; reinforces important concepts with examples from other languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and Czech; clearly defines key terms and includes advice on rules, usage, and style, as well as ample annotated further reading and activities throughout. Aimed at undergraduate students with little or no prior knowledge of linguistics, this book is essential reading for those studying this topic for the first time.
This book examines the special nature of English both as a global and a local language, focusing on some of the ongoing changes and on the emerging new structural and discoursal characteristics of varieties of English. Although it is widely recognised that processes of language change and contact bear affinities, for example, to processes observable in second-language acquisition and lingua franca use, the research into these fields has so far not been sufficiently brought into contact with each other. The articles in this volume set out to combine all these perspectives in ways that give us a better understanding of the changing nature of English in the modern world.
Bringing together experts from both historical linguistics and psychology, this volume addresses core factors in language change from the perspectives of both fields. It explores the potential (and limitations) of such an interdisciplinary approach, covering the following factors: frequency, salience, chunking, priming, analogy, ambiguity and acquisition. Easily accessible, the book features chapters by psycholinguists presenting cutting edge research on core factors and processes and develops a model of how this may be involved in language change. Each chapter is complemented with one or several case study in the history of the English language in which the psycholinguistic factor in question may be argued to have played a decisive role. Thus, for the first time, a single volume provides a platform for an integrated exchange between psycholinguistics and historical linguistics on the question of how language changes over time.
Glocal English compares the usage patterns and stylistic conventions of the world’s two dominant native varieties of English (British and American English) with Nigerian English, which ranks as the English world’s fastest-growing non-native variety courtesy of the unrelenting ubiquity of the Nigerian (English-language) movie industry in Africa and the Black Atlantic Diaspora. Using contemporary examples from the mass media and the author’s rich experiential data, the book isolates the peculiar structural, grammatical, and stylistic characteristics of Nigerian English and shows its similarities as well as its often humorous differences with British and American English. Although Nigerian English forms the backdrop of the book, it will benefit teachers of English as a second or foreign language across the world. Similarly, because it presents complex grammatical concepts in a lucid, personal narrative style, it is useful both to a general and a specialist audience, including people who study anthropology and globalization. The true-life experiential encounters that the book uses to instantiate the differences and similarities between Nigerian English and native varieties of English will make it valuable as an empirical data mine for disciplines that investigate the movement and diffusion of linguistic codes across the bounds of nations and states in the age of globalization.
The story of English is often presented as one of progress. The emphasis in this book is on the diversity of English throughout its history and the changing social meanings to different varieties of English.
"The history and wide distribution of the English language - originally an Anglo-Frisian dialect first taken to Southern Britain by Germanic settlers in the 5th century and spoken by only a few - has been a most remarkable and unparalleled one. Nowadays, English is the world language, influencing each and every single aspect of the daily and professional lives of millions of people on an international scale. The metaphor of the Global Village often represents the ubiquitous process of globalisation - a phenomenon that has shaped the existence of mankind in the last couple of decades. Communication in all areas is ensured mostly through the use of the English language. It is remarkable, though, that English is only in the fourth place in terms of native speaker ranking and that its proportion is decreasing steadily. Yet what makes English so important is its use as a lingua franca - an international language that is used for communication by speakers of different languages. Estimates claim that about 1 billion people - that is about one sixth of the world population - have at least some knowledge of English and in most countries it has become one of the basic necessities in professional life. Does this development have any influence on the way we as future professionals explore, describe and - above all - teach the English language? Do native speakers still 'own' English or is it rather 'Globish', 'Franglais' or 'Denglisch' that should be taught? In this term paper I aim to offer some answers to these questions and examine different theories of teaching English as a global language."--p. 1, Introduction.
English in the World: History, Diversity, Change examines the English language as it has developed through history and is used across the globe today. The first half of the book outlines the history of the language from its fifth-century roots through its development as a national, a colonial, and now a global language. In the second half, the focus shifts to the diversity of the language today. The book explores varieties of English across the English-speaking world, as well as English-related varieties such as pidgins and creoles. It also examines complex processes of variation, hybridity and change in English, and in the shifting styles of individual speakers. Throughout, the focus is on the international nature of English and its use alongside other languages in a diverse range of communities. Drawing on the latest research and The Open University’s wide experience of writing accessible and innovative texts, this book: explains basic concepts and assumes no previous study of English or linguistics contains a range of source material and commissioned readings to supplement chapters includes contributions from leading experts in their fields including Joan Beal, Suresh Canagarajah, David Crystal, Jonathan Hope, Kay McCormick, Miriam Meyerhoff, Rajend Mesthrie, Robert Podesva and Jennifer Smith has a truly international scope, encompassing examples and case studies from the UK and North America, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Asia, and Africa is illustrated in full colour to bring the fascinating study of the English language alive includes a comprehensive index as well as useful appendices showing the historical timeline of English and a brief introduction to the description of linguistic features English in the World: History, Diversity, Change is essential reading for all students of English language studies.
Drawing on the theoretical work of Jacques Lacan, Marshall W. Alcorn Jr. formulates a systematic explanation of the function and value of desire in writing instruction. Alcorn argues that in changing the subject matter of writing instruction in order to change student opinions, composition instructors have come to adopt an insufficiently complex understanding of subjectivity. This oversimplification hinders attempts to foster cultural change. Alcorn proposes an alternative mode of instruction that makes effective use of students’ knowledge and desire. The resulting freedom in expression—personal as well as political—engenders the recognition, circulation, and elaboration of desire necessary for both human communication and effective politics. Responding to James Berlin’s reconception of praxis in the classroom, Theresa Ebert’s espousal of disciplined instructions, and Lester Faigley’s introduction of a postmodern theory of subjectivity, Alcorn follows both Lacan and Slavoj Žižek in insisting desire be given free voice and serious recognition. In composition as in politics, desire is the ground of agency. Competing expressions of desire should generate a dialectic in social-epistemic discourse that encourages enlightenment over cynicism and social development over authoritarian demands. With clarity and personal voice, Alcorn explains how discourse is rooted in primitive psychological functions of desire and responds to complex cultural needs. In its theoretical scope this book describes a new pedagogy that links thought to emotion and the personal to the social.
This up-close look at Chinese ESL teachers documents undertakings at formal and informal levels to support and sustain their expertise in ways that balance collaborative and competitive efforts, situated and standards-based programs, ethnically responsive and government-based efforts, and traditional and 21st-century teaching visions. English is a mandated subject for approximately 400 million Chinese public school students. Making transparent the training and professional development received respectively by pre-service and in-service teachers, this book provides a rare window into how Chinese English Language teachers (ELTs) reconcile the two needs with the responsibility to teach large numbers of students while also navigating societal, cultural, and institutional cross currents. It also explores the range of ways China invests in the training and professional development of its English language teachers.
A bestselling linguist takes us on a lively tour of how the English language is evolving before our eyes -- and why we should embrace this transformation and not fight it Language is always changing -- but we tend not to like it. We understand that new words must be created for new things, but the way English is spoken today rubs many of us the wrong way. Whether it’s the use of literally to mean “figuratively” rather than “by the letter,” or the way young people use LOL and like, or business jargon like What’s the ask? -- it often seems as if the language is deteriorating before our eyes. But the truth is different and a lot less scary, as John McWhorter shows in this delightful and eye-opening exploration of how English has always been in motion and continues to evolve today. Drawing examples from everyday life and employing a generous helping of humor, he shows that these shifts are a natural process common to all languages, and that we should embrace and appreciate these changes, not condemn them. Words on the Move opens our eyes to the surprising backstories to the words and expressions we use every day. Did you know that silly once meant “blessed”? Or that ought was the original past tense of owe? Or that the suffix -ly in adverbs is actually a remnant of the word like? And have you ever wondered why some people from New Orleans sound as if they come from Brooklyn? McWhorter encourages us to marvel at the dynamism and resilience of the English language, and his book offers a lively journey through which we discover that words are ever on the move and our lives are all the richer for it.
In the 1960s and 1970s, a number of British musicians rediscovered traditional folk ballads, fusing the old melodies with rock, jazz, and blues styles to create a new genre dubbed "electric folk" or "British folk rock." This revival featured groups such as Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, and Pentangle and individual performers like Shirley & Dolly Collins, and Richard Thompson. While making music in multiple styles, they had one thing in common: they were all based on traditional English song and dance material. These new arrangements of an old repertoire created a unique musical voice within the popular mainstream. After reasonable commercial success, peaking with Steeleye Span's Top 10 album All Around My Hat, Electric Folk disappeared from mainstream notice in the late 1970s, yet performers continue to create today. In Electric Folk: The Changing Face of English Traditional Music, Britta Sweers provides an illuminating history and fascinating analysis of the unique features of the electric folk scene, exploring its musical styles and cultural implications. Drawing on rare historical sources, contemporary music journalism, and first-hand interviews with several of electric folk's most prominent artists, Sweers argues that electric folk is both a result of the American folk revival of the early 1960s and a reaction against the dominance of American pop music abroad. Young British "folk-rockers," such as Richard Thompson and Maddy Prior, turned to traditional musical material as a means of asserting their British cultural identity. Yet, unlike many American and British folk revivalists, they were not as interested in the "purity" of folk ballads as in the music's potential for lively interaction with modern styles, instruments, and media. The book also delves into the impact of the British folk rock movement on mainstream pop, American rock music, and neighboring European countries. Ultimately, Sweers creates a richly detailed portrait of the electric folk scene--as cultural phenomenon, commercial entity, and performance style.
Studying English Literature and Language is unique in offering both an introduction and a companion for students taking English Literature and Language degrees. Combining the functions of study guide, critical dictionary and text anthology, this is a freshly recast version of the highly acclaimed The English Studies Book. This third edition features: fresh sections on the essential skills and study strategies needed to complete a degree in English—from close reading, research and referencing to full guidelines and tips on essay-writing, participating in seminars, presentations and revision an authoritative guide to the life skills, further study options and career pathways open to graduates of the subject updated introductions to the major theoretical positions and approaches taken by scholars in the field, from earlier twentieth century practical criticism to the latest global and ecological perspectives extensive entries on key terms such as ‘author, ‘genre’, ‘narrative’ and ‘translation’ widely current in debates across language, literature and culture coverage of both local and global varieties of the English language in a range of media and discourses, including news, advertising, text messaging, rap, pop and street art an expansive anthology representing genres and discourses from early elegy and novel to contemporary performance, flash fiction, including writers as diverse as Aphra Behn, Emily Dickinson, J.M. Coetzee, Angela Carter, Russell Hoban, Adrienne Rich and Arundhati Roy a comprehensive, regularly updated companion website supplying further information and activities, sample analyses and a wealth of stimulating and reliable links to further online resources. Studying English Literature and Language is a wide-ranging and invaluable reference for anyone interested in the study of English language, literature and culture.

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