Inventing English: A Portable History of the Language by Seth LererInventing English: A Portable History of the Language by Seth Lerer

Inventing English: A Portable History of the Language

bySeth Lerer

Paperback | August 25, 2015

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Seth Lerer tells a masterful history of the English language from the age of Beowulf to the rap of Eminem. Many have written about the evolution of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, but only Lerer situates these developments within the larger history of English, America, and literature. This edition features a new chapter on the influence of biblical translation and an epilogue on the relationship of English speech to writing. A unique blend of historical and personal narrative, Inventing English is the surprising tale of a language that is as dynamic as the people to whom it belongs.

Seth Lerer is Distinguished Professor of Literature and the former Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of California, San Diego. He is known nationally for his audio and videotape series, The History of the English Language, for the Teaching Company.
Title:Inventing English: A Portable History of the LanguageFormat:PaperbackPublished:August 25, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231174470

ISBN - 13:9780231174473


Table of Contents

A Note on Texts and Letter FormsPreface to the Revised EditionIntroduction: Finding English, Finding Us1. Caedmon Learns to Sing: Old English and the Origins of Poetry2. From Beowulf to Wulfstan: The Language of Old English Literature3. In This Year: The Politics of Language and the End of Old English4. From Kingdom to Realm: Middle English in a French World5. Lord of This Langage: Chaucer's English6. I Is as Ille as a Millere Are Ye: Middle English Dialects7. The Great Vowel Shift and the Changing Character of English8. Chancery, Caxton, and the Making of English Prose9. I Do, I Will: Shakespeare's English10. A Universal Hubbub Wild: New Words and Worlds in Early Modern English11. Visible Speech: The Orthoepists and the Origins of Standard English12. A Harmless Drudge: Samuel Johnson and the Making of the Dictionary13. Horrid, Hooting Stanzas: Lexicography and Literature in American English14. Antses in the Sugar: Dialect and Regionalism in American English15. Hello, Dude: Mark Twain and the Making of the American Idiom16. Ready for the Funk: African American English and Its Impact17. Pioneers Through an Untrodden Forest: The Oxford English Dictionary and Its Readers18. Listening to Private Ryan: War and Language19. He Speaks in Your Voice: Everybody's English20. Faith in English: Vernacular Devotion and Biblical TranslationEpilogue: The Talk and the TextAppendix: English Sounds and Their RepresentationGlossaryReferences and Further ReadingAcknowledgmentsAcknowledgments to the Revised EditionIndex

Editorial Reviews

An unusual linguistic and literary feast.