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English Words

History and Structure

by Robert Stockwell and Donka Minkova

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Book Review

The subject of this book is the origin of words in the English language, primarily those borrowed from the classical languages, namely Latin and Greek, either directly, or via French. A secondary theme is the internal structure of English words. Exercises to accompany each of the ten chapters are available to download from the web. The text is very accessible to all levels of reader; no knowledge of linguistics or linguistic terminology is assumed. For the reader unfamiliar with historical linguistics, or the influences which have shaped the English language, it will bring a new dimension to the understanding of the words that form the basis of our language. The once-baffling relationships between pronunciation, spelling, and meaning will become a source of enjoyment in themselves in the light of what can be learned from this book.

Read our full review article of English Words here.

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