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Title: Review of Smith, J., 'An Historical Study of English: Function, form and change', London, Routledge, 1996, xvii, 225pp., £14.99 paper.
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S (author)
Publication Date: 1997
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Abstract: This is a speculative "history of the language" text of real difference from most of the standard books in this traditional field. The writer has chosen to "talk" his reader through various selected major developments in the history of English. These may be said to be selected and treated in such a way that they will expand in stimulating and research-based fashion on a student's previous experience of standard collections of texts (as listed on p. 202) or some of the histories/depth treatments of problems also listed (p. 200, ff.) in the categories of "suitable for beginners" or "of special importance/usefulness". Quite clearly the central concern is to treat meaningfully various issues only touched on in "histories" in a fashion that is exciting, luminous and memorable. Throughout, the language's internal changes "can not be meaningfully accounted for without reference to extralinguistic contexts". And so the emphasis is ever on "the dynamic and open relationship between users and systems" (p. 11).
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Lore and Language, 15(1-2), p. 214-215
Publisher: National Centre for English Cultural Tradition (NATCECT), University of Sheffield
Place of Publication: Sheffield, United Kingdom
ISSN: 0307-7144
Field of Research (FOR): 200301 Early English Languages
200302 English Language
210305 British History
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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Appears in Collections:Review

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