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A better title for this book would have been "An Introduction to Middle English Linguistics." It is not an introduction to reading the language of Chaucer and the Gawain poet, which is what I thought I was buying. On the contrary, the book seems to assume the reader can already read Middle English. The book is well-written and well formatted, so if historical linguistics does happen to be your focus, Horobin and Smith is probably a good choice. But if merely reading the literature, not studying linguistics, is your goal, don't get this book.
An Introduction to Middle English (Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language) OverviewAn Introduction to Middle English is designed to provide undergraduate students of English historical linguistics with a concise description of the language during the period 1100-1500. Middle English, the language of Chaucer, is discussed in relation to both earlier and later stages in the history of English, and in relation to other languages with which it came into contact. Features: * the historical and geographical contexts of Middle English * the evidence for Middle English * the principal features of Middle English spelling, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary * an introduction to Middle English textual studies * selected Middle English texts, both literary and non-literary * notes, glossaries and annotated bibliographies * questions for review Most other introductory books on Middle English focus on literary rather than linguistic matters; this book is designed to redress the balance, by providing students of English language with an up-to-date, authoritative survey which takes account of recent trends in historical linguistics.
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