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Synopsis

English in the World: History, Diversity, Change examines the English language as it has developed through history and is used across the globe today. The first half of the book outlines the history of the language from its fifth-century roots through its development as a national, a colonial, and now a global language. In the second half, the focus shifts to the diversity of the language today.

The book explores varieties of English across the English-speaking world, as well as English-related varieties such as pidgins and creoles. It also examines complex processes of variation, hybridity and change in English, and in the shifting styles of individual speakers. Throughout, the focus is on the international nature of English and its use alongside other languages in a diverse range of communities.

Drawing on the latest research and The Open University’s wide experience of writing accessible and innovative texts, this book:

  • explains basic concepts and assumes no previous study of English or linguistics
  • contains a range of source material and commissioned readings to supplement chapters
  • includes contributions from leading experts in their fields including Joan Beal, Suresh Canagarajah, David Crystal, Jonathan Hope, Kay McCormick, Miriam Meyerhoff, Rajend Mesthrie, Robert Podesva and Jennifer Smith
  • has a truly international scope, encompassing examples and case studies from the UK and North America, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Asia, and Africa
  • is illustrated in full colour to bring the fascinating study of the English language alive
  • includes a comprehensive index as well as useful appendices showing the historical timeline of English and a brief introduction to the description of linguistic features

English in the World: History, Diversity, Change is essential reading for all students of English language studies.

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