STORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE by William Sparke

STORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The gradual reduction of the English language to near order makes for an interesting history that should prove of supplemental value on the bibliographies of those teaching English and foreign languages at the highschool level. After introducing the pre-history of oral communication and then the early forms of writing, the author traces the changes from Old, Middle, Elizabethan to modern English. Mr. Sparke discusses the great age of the dictionary makers with lively information about Samuel Johnson's monumental contribution in England and Noah Webster's in the New World. The ideas of definition by context and uniformity in spelling and grammar are outlined and an account of the compilation of the OED is excellent background material on that fascinating reference. The attitude toward dialect and the use of intonation to change or emphasize meaning is very well handled and these chapters form a basic introduction to the vocabulary and methods of comparative linguistics. The necessary presentation of the effects of modern mass communications on a living, growing language is thoroughly, if briefly, detailed. Mr. Sparke uses his English very well.

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 1966
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman