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A History of English provides an intelligent and accessible synthesis of modern sociolinguistic approaches to the development of the English language. Beginning with the pre-history of English, each chapter provides sociohistorical context, an overview of the major structural changes at each stage of the language and discussion of topics of particular sociolinguistic interest. Textual examples are given from a number of genres of writing including classical literature, letters, prose writings, modern popular literature and software documentation. The volume concludes with a discussion of the future of English language.