Course Title: 
History of English Language
Course Code: 
Year Taught: 
Integrated Degree
School of Arts and Sciences

'History of English Language' is a course offered in Fourth Semester of B. A. (Bachelor of Arts) English Language and Literature program at the School of Arts and Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Mysuru campus.

To familiarize students with different stages in the history of English Language, within the larger history of the origin of language; to familiarize them with the varieties of English.

Unit I: 

Introduction-Nature and origin of language – Human languages and animal communicationtheories - History of language –Language Families- Indo-European-Germanic group- Grimm’s Law, Verner’s Law- Centum-Satam languages-Descent of English.

Unit II:

Periods of the English language - Anglo Saxon and Old English- Celtic, Latin and Scandinavian influences-The Norman Conquest: its impact on English-French Influence.

Unit III:

Middle English-Features- Foreign influence- ME Dialects- Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, Milton-Impact of Bible translations-The rise of Standard English.

Unit IV:

Modern English-Printing Press-Changes in pronunciation and grammar-Spelling ReformEvolution of Dictionary-Dr. Johnson-Slang and Standard speech-English dialects.

Unit V:

Evolution of English as a global language-Word formation and growth of vocabulary-SemanticsChanges of Meaning-Processes-Varieties of English.

  1. F T Wood: An Outline History of the English Language, Macmillan.
  2. C L Barber: The Story of Language, ELBS.
  3. George Yule. The Study of Language. CUP, 2016.
  4. Crystal, David. English as a Global Language. London: CUP, 1997.
  1. A C Baugh: A History of the English Language, Appleton-Century-Crafts.
  2. Mario Pei: The Story of Language, Mentor.
  3. Simon Potter. Our Language. Pelican.
  4. Otto Jespersen: Growth and Structure of the English Language, OUP.
  5. Mugglestone. Oxford History of English. OUP, 2009.
  6. Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of English Language. CUP, 2003.