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Prefaces; 1. Modelling English; Part I. The History of English: 2. The origins of English; 3. Old English; 4. Middle English; 5. Early Modern English; 6. Modern English; 7. World English; Part II. English Vocabulary: 8. The nature of the lexicon; 9. The sources of the lexicon; 10. Etymology; 11. The structure of the lexicon; 12. Lexical dimensions; Part III. English Grammar: 13. Grammatical mythology; 14. The structure of words; 15. Word classes; 16. The structure of sentences; Part IV. Spoken and Written English: 17. The sound system; 18. The writing system; Part V. Using English: 19. Varieties of discourse; 20. Regional variation; 21. Social variation; 22. Personal variation; 23. Electronic variation; Part VI. Learning about English: 24. Learning English as a mother tongue; 25. New ways of studying English; Appendices; Indexes.
David Crystal is one of the world's foremost authorities on language.
'A delight and a treasure ... David Crystal does a brilliant job of satisfying our curiosity about our mother tongue while illuminating the deepest questions of who we are and where we come from. A magnificent achievement.' Steven Pinker 'David Crystal is phenomenal ... This is a prodigious achievement ... The book contains breadth of range, imaginative insight, and deep understanding ... It is pervasively readable and stimulating.' Professor the Lord Quirk, FBA '... a superb work that manages to be both scholarly and vastly entertaining ... This is a deeply impressive book, for it packs between two covers virtually everything any normal person might care to know about English.' The Washington Post Book World '... bedazzles ... with an eye-popping presentation of ... the mother tongue.' The New York Times '... scholarly and entertaining ... the range, scholarly value, interest, attractiveness and (often) humour of the tables, graphics, illustrations, photographs, colour plates, maps, and quoted material is quite stunning. rarely has serious information been presented so colourfully, so strikingly. A splendid work, essential in all libraries and destined to live a long and useful life.' Reference Reviews 'I have been unable to think of a question this book cannot answer ... I will risk predicting that Professor Crystal will not be superseded much before the message sent into space on Voyager I... receives an answer.' The Times Literary Supplement '... it gives ... the whole history and grammar, all the theory and practice of English with precision, panache and wit.' The Observer '... without a doubt one of the most beautiful and enlightening volumes I have handled in some years.' Western Australia Sunday Times '... an outstanding work ... The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language will surely remain the definite text in the field for some time to come.' fun-with-words.com '...the most diverting, delightful, imaginative and altogether entertaining compilation ever assembled about spoken and written English.' Parade Magazine '... bedazzles you with an eye-popping presentation of the cluck-clucking of the mother tongue. If you like fireworks with your information, this is a worthwhile language book..." William Safire, The New York Times Magazine '... this remarkable book is a goldmine of learning and knowledge ... All readers ... should find great value, and great pleasure, in this amazing reference book.' Cambridge '... contains a monstrous amount of information on a fascinating topic arranged in a clear, concise, and, above all, entertaining manner - a dangerous combination indeed, and one that can only lead to uncontrolable reading binges lasting hours or perhaps days.' Quill and Quire 'You can open it to any page and be enthralled.' Indianapolis News 'the Encyclopedia is, of course, a serious work of scholarship, but it is eminently readable.' The Hindu '... offers a wealth of enlightening entertainment. You can't turn a page without learning some fascinating tidbit about our common tongue.' Houston Chronicle 'Fully illustrated in colour throughout, this readable, stimulating reference book will appeal not only to teachers and students of English, but also to anyone who uses, and loves, the language.' The Good Book Guide 'A delight for language lovers. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language provides a comprehensive overview of the language.' The Guardian '... a marvellous, dip-in, refer to cornucopia of a book ...'. Writers' Forum 'For the love of English! Linguistic fanatics will delight in this new edition of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language ... Written with great wit, flair and fluency, the encyclopaedia is a truly enjoyable read. It will develop in the reader a whole new appreciation of the English language.' The Star, Malaysia