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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language
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  • 189 b/w illus. 430 colour illus. 53 maps 27 tables
  • Page extent: 506 pages
  • Size: 276 x 219 mm
  • Weight: 1.87 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521530330 | ISBN-10: 0521530334)

  • There was also a Hardback of this title but it is no longer available
  • Published August 2003

Replaced by 9781108437738

$61.95 (G)

Rarely has a book so packed with accurate and well researched factual information been so widely read and popularly acclaimed. This Second Edition of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language has been fully revised for a new generation of language-lovers. The book is longer and includes extensive new material on world English and Internet English, in addition to completely updated statistics, further reading suggestions and other references. First Edition Hb (1995): 0-521-40179-8 First Edition Pb (1997): 0-521-59655-6 David Crystal is a leading authority on language, and author of many books, including most recently Shakespeare's Words (Penguin, 2002), Language and the Internet (Cambridge, 2001) and Language Death (Cambridge, 2000). An internationally renowned writer, journal editor, lecturer and broadcaster, he received an Order of the British Empire in 1995 for his services to the English language.


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.

Prize Winner

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2004


"...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

"The Cambridge Encyclopedia of English Language (is) perhaps the most brilliant book of the past ten years..." Globe and Mail

"This is more than an encyclopedia; it is also a compendium of wonderful anecdotes and illustrations. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language should be at the top of the list for purchases in all library language/literature collections." Reference Book Review

"The clear and spirited text is stunning, enhanced with over 500 illustrations, making this a particularly rich reference work and a browser's dream...Crystal has created an attractive and readable work for the lay reader as well as the specialist." Library Journal

"...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 uncontrollable reading binges lasting hours or perhaps days." Quill & Quire

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