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English Dialects from the Eighth Century to the Present Day (1911)

af Walter W. Skeat

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252934,679 (3.8)1
Originally published during the early part of the twentieth century, the Cambridge Manuals of Science and Literature were designed to provide concise introductions to a broad range of topics. They were written by experts for the general reader and combined a comprehensive approach to knowledge with an emphasis on accessibility. Published in 1911, W. W. Skeat's English Dialects from the Eighth Century to the Present Day offers a sketch of the beginnings of dialects in England, the elements of Scandinavian and French influence on them, and their gradual development over a period of twelve hundred years.… (mere)
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English Dialects from the Eighth Century to the Present Day by W.W. Skeat is a slim volume (only about 120 small pages). The main part of the book discusses the 4 major dialects of Old English, giving many examples and many citations to published texts. The remainder of the book looks at how the dialects changed until the beginning of the 20th century, but in much less detail.

The comments and discussion on the Old English dialects constitute a very important part of the study of Old English. Dr. Skeat was eminently qualified to studied the dialects. One of the most valuable, although now a bit dated, parts is the references to various published manuscripts or collections of Old English writings.

Unfortunately, the book is a slim volume. It does not present a comparative grammar of the dialects, but word lists and a few brief comparisons. Dr. Skeat seemingly assumes the reader will be familiar with Old English and only needs to have some of the differences pointed out, which is a bit frustrating if one's Old English is rusty.

Overall, this is a useful book, but not a thorough one. It whetted my appetite to look at the early history of English, but left much of the work to be done on my own. ( )
1 stem LMHTWB | Jan 10, 2015 |
Formerly owned by Louis Kronenberger; gift fr. Ben?
  ajapt | Dec 30, 2018 |
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PREFACE
The following brief sketch is an attempt to present, in a popular form, the history of our English dialects, from the eighth century to the present day.
CHAPTER I
DIALECTS AND THEIR VALUE
According to the New English Dictionary, the oldest sense, in English, of the word dialect was simply "a manner of speaking" or "phraseology," in accordance with its derivation from the Greek dialectos, a discourse or way of speaking, from the verb dialegesthai, to discourse or converse.
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Originally published during the early part of the twentieth century, the Cambridge Manuals of Science and Literature were designed to provide concise introductions to a broad range of topics. They were written by experts for the general reader and combined a comprehensive approach to knowledge with an emphasis on accessibility. Published in 1911, W. W. Skeat's English Dialects from the Eighth Century to the Present Day offers a sketch of the beginnings of dialects in England, the elements of Scandinavian and French influence on them, and their gradual development over a period of twelve hundred years.

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