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The Oxford Guide to Etymology


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Table of Contents

About this book 1: Introduction 2: What is a Word? Which Words Need Etymologies? 3: Are Words Coherent Entities? 4: Word Formation 5: Lexical Borrowing 6: The Mechanisms of Borrowing 7: Change in Word Form 8: Semantic Change 9: Etymology and Names 10: Conclusion Glossary Suggested for Further Reading References General Index Index of Word Forms

About the Author

Philip Durkin is Principal Etymologist of the Oxford English Dictionary. He trained as a medievalist and historian of the English language at the University of Oxford, where he completed a doctorate on previously unedited Middle English prose texts. He is a well-known speaker on English etymology. His publications include articles in scholarly journals, such as Transactions of the Philological Society, Dictionaries, and Critical Quarterly. He is Honorary Treasurer of the Philological Society, the oldest learned society in Great Britain for the study of language and languages


`Deftly introduces the modern student to this discipline' Seth Lerer, Times Literary Supplement `Review from previous edition A valuable and readable book. It offers a lucid, careful discussion of the main principles of etymology, and illustrates them with copious examples. It also nicely contextualizes etymology within the field of historical linguistics as a whole.... Deserves a place on every etymologist's shelves.' LinguistList, `I am very impressed by the thoroughness of its coverage and the scholarly yet accessible style in which it is written. There is a real need for a book of this kind, which will appeal to the interested and informed general public as well as students and scholars.' Joan Beal, Professor of English University of Sheffield `Not only is this book truly excellent, it is unique in at least two ways. First, because it is the only dedicated textbook on the market as far as I know entirely devoted to etymology; and second because it is by an etymologist working on the OED, the best and fullest etymological dictionary of any language currently available.' Roger Lass, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University of Cape Town

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