Showing 1-7 of 7 entries tagged

history of English

Early modern English – an overview

Fresh perspectives: Old English and new science Old English (or Anglo-Saxon) began to be studied during this period. Manuscripts were collected and Old English texts published. The first Old English dictionary (edited by William Somner) appeared in 1659 and the first grammar of the language (edited by George Hickes) in 1689. The original motivations for [...]

Grammar in early modern English

This article provides a selection of the main grammatical differences between early modern and late modern English; many more can be found within the OED entries for individual words. Where next with the OED Online? there’s more on the development of early modern English in this overview article, also written by Edmund Weiner. A growing [...]

Middle English–an overview

Further reading on Middle English Simon Horobin and Jeremy Smith, An Introduction to Middle English (2002) Roger Lass, ‘Phonology and morphology’, in Norman Blake, ed. The Cambridge History of the English Language, vol. ii: 1066–1476 (1992), 23–155. Roger Lass and Margaret Laing, A Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English,1150–1325: Introduction. Angus McIntosh, M. L. Samuels, [...]

Nineteenth-century English—an overview

For many people the nineteenth century was a time of profound and accelerated change, one in which, as the poet and writer Thomas Arnold remarked, it seemed possible to live ‘the life of three hundred years in thirty’ (Letters on the Social Conditions of the Operative Classes, 1831-2). Industrialization, urbanization, as well as the emergence [...]

Old English—an overview

Old English is the name given to the earliest recorded stage of the English language, up to approximately 1150AD (when the Middle English period is generally taken to have begun). It refers to the language as it was used in the long period of time from the coming of Germanic invaders and settlers to Britain—in [...]

Old English in the OED

Old English (or Anglo-Saxon, as it is sometimes called) is the term used to refer to the oldest recorded stage of the English language, i.e. from the earliest evidence in the seventh century to the period of transition with Middle English in the mid-twelfth century. Where next with the OED Online? learn more about Old [...]

The rise of global English

‘Globish’ is not my word. In the best traditions of the English language, I borrowed it from a Frenchman who first coined it in 1995. Jean-Paul Nerriere was a senior executive with IBM. Posted to Japan in the 1990s, he made one simple, but brilliant, observation. In his work for IBM, Nerriere noticed in meetings [...]