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Old English and Its Closest Relatives: A Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages

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Old English and Its Closest Relatives: A Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages Cover

ISBN13: 9780804722216
ISBN10: 0804722218
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At first glance, there may seem little reason to think of English and German as variant forms of a single language. There are enormous differences between the two in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar, and a monolingual speaker of one cannot understand the other at all. Yet modern English and German have many points in common, and if we go back to the earliest texts available in the two languages, the similarities are even more notable.

How do we account for these similarities? The generally accepted explanation is that English and German are divergent continuations of a common ancestor, a Germanic language now lost. This book surveys the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of the earliest kown Germanic languages, members of what has traditionally been known as the English family tree: Gothic, Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old English, Old Frisian, Old Low Franconian, and Old High German.

For each language, the author provides a brief history of the people who spoke it, an overview of the important texts in the language, sample passages with full glossary and word-by-word translations, a section on orthography and grammar, and discussion of linguistic or philological topics relevant to all the early Germanic languaes but best exemplified by the particular language under consideration. These topics inclued the pronunciation of older languages; the runic inscriptions; Germanic alliterative pietry; historical syntax, borrowing, analogy, and drift; textual transmission; and dialect variation.

Synopsis:

“What makes the book so useful for a variety of readers and classes is the fact that each of these seven units covers (in brief compass) the history of the speakers, the important extant texts, sample passages with glossaries and literal translations, and a section on spelling and grammar. Extremely useful for linguistics and medieval literature courses at all levels.”—Choice

Synopsis:

The author surveys the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of the earliest known Germanic languages, members of what has traditionally been known as the English family tree: Gothic, Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old English, Old Frisian, Old Low Franconian, and Old High German.

Synopsis:

This book surveys the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of the earliest known Germanic languages

Synopsis:

“The task of writing a book like Robinsons is very difficult. His contains much to be admired and is a worthy handbook. . . . Good students can learn much from the wealth of information in the present work, and it is to be recommended to them.”—Journal of English and Germanic Philology

“This generally engaging work is well-thought out and well-organized. . . . Robinson has written [a book] that deserves attention.”—Colloquia Germanica

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Jason Straight, April 6, 2009 (view all comments by Jason Straight)
Robinson's guide is an excellent and accessable introduction to the oldest members of the Germanic language family (including Old English, the precusor of the language used in this review) and to Germanic linguistics in general. The book will not teach you all 7 languages but will introduce you to them and their most unique features and explain the similarities of the various languages. Even the expert long in the tooth of Germanic linguistics will find Robinson's section on the relationships of the languages useful and worth refering back to.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780804722216
Author:
Robinson, Orrin W.
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Author:
Robinson, Orrin W.
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
German
Subject:
Linguistics
Subject:
General Language Arts & Disciplines
Subject:
Foreign Languages-German
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
19931031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 half-tones
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.94x5.97x.67 in. .93 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Linguistics
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups

Old English and Its Closest Relatives: A Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages Used Trade Paper
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$19.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Stanford University Press - German 9780804722216 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , “What makes the book so useful for a variety of readers and classes is the fact that each of these seven units covers (in brief compass) the history of the speakers, the important extant texts, sample passages with glossaries and literal translations, and a section on spelling and grammar. Extremely useful for linguistics and medieval literature courses at all levels.”—Choice
"Synopsis" by ,
The author surveys the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of the earliest known Germanic languages, members of what has traditionally been known as the English family tree: Gothic, Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old English, Old Frisian, Old Low Franconian, and Old High German.
"Synopsis" by , This book surveys the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of the earliest known Germanic languages
"Synopsis" by ,
“The task of writing a book like Robinsons is very difficult. His contains much to be admired and is a worthy handbook. . . . Good students can learn much from the wealth of information in the present work, and it is to be recommended to them.”—Journal of English and Germanic Philology

“This generally engaging work is well-thought out and well-organized. . . . Robinson has written [a book] that deserves attention.”—Colloquia Germanica

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