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A Brief History of the English Language and Literature, Vol. 2

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Published: 1887
Language: English
Wordcount: 74,415 / 236 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 75.7
LoC Category: D
Downloads: 5,875
Added to site: 2007.06.04
mnybks.net#: 17176
Genres: Language, History

The book, which is worthy of the wide reputation and ripe experience of the eminent author, is distinguished throughout by clear, brief, and comprehensive statement and illustration. It is especially suited for private students or for classes desiring to make a brief and rapid review, and also for teachers who want only a brief text as a basis for their own instruction.

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and is in no respect of one kind or of one fibre all through.

CHAPTER I.

THE PERIODS OF ENGLISH.

1. +Dead and Living Languages.+-- A language is said to be dead when it is no longer spoken. Such a language we know only in books. Thus, Latin is a dead language, because no nation anywhere now speaks it. A dead language can undergo no change; it remains, and must remain, as we find it written in books. But a living language is always changing, just like a tree or the human body. The human body has its periods or stages. There is the period of infancy, the period of boyhood, the period of manhood, and the period of old age. In the same way, a language has its periods.

2. +No Sudden Changes-- a Caution.+-- We divide the English language into periods, and then mark, with some approach to accuracy, certain distinct changes in the habits of our language, in the inflexions of its words, in the kind of words it prefe

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