The English Language: A Historical Introduction covers the history of the English language from its remote Indo-European origins to the present day. It provides substantial information about the English language at different periods, and introduces the main theoretical and technical concepts of historical linguistics. Chapters on the nature of language and on language change are followed by a chronological survey, beginning in the Prehistoric age and working down from Anglo-Saxon times to the twentieth century. Topics covered include vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, semantics, attitudes to language, and English as a world language. Short passages of English are used to illustrate the state of the language in different periods and all over the world, in a range of contexts. This thoroughly updated edition of Charles Barber's The Story of Language is the ideal introduction to the subject for students of English language and linguistics, accessible to all readers who are curious about language.