A visual volume which traces the development of the language from Old English, through Middle and Early Middle English to the establishment of Standard English in the 18th century. The core of the book is a series of nearly 200 historical texts, of which more than half are reproduced in facsimile, exemplifying the progressive changes in the language. The book is firmly based upon linguistic description, with commentaries forming a series of case studies which demonstrate the evidence for language change at every level - handwriting, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, grammar and meaning.
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Dennis Freeborn was Head of Language Studies at York St John College until 1984, and then Director of York English Language Studies Associates, providing in-service courses and teaching materials. He was Chief Examiner in English Language Studies A-level for the former London University Schools Examinations Board, and is the author of Varieties of English, A Course Book in English Grammar and Style: Text Analysis,and Linguistic Criticism, all published by Palgrave Macmillan.
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