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By Peter Trudgill

Within the final years or so, the English language has passed through impressive geographical enlargement, bringing it into touch with different languages in new destinations. It additionally prompted various nearby dialects of the language to return into touch with one another in colonial events. This e-book is made of a couple of attention-grabbing stories of historical-sociolinguistic detection. those are tales of origins - of a specific number of English or linguistic characteristic - which jointly inform a compelling normal tale. In every one case, Trudgill offers an exciting puzzle, locates and examines the proof, detects clues that resolve the secret, and at last proposes an answer. The options are all unique, usually fabulous, occasionally hugely debatable. offering a special perception into how language touch shapes different types of English, this unique but rigorous account may be welcomed by way of scholars and researchers in linguistics, sociolinguistics and old linguistics.

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Ahlqvist stresses that this resemblance€– or indeed identity€– is even more remarkable because the short vowel of Old English bið is difficult to account for in that it is not a regular development from earlier Germanic, while the Welsh form actually is a regular development. Laker (2002) agrees that this is an extraordinary parallel, but states that the present-tense verb paradigms of the verb be in other West Germanic languages also have two different stems. This could suggest that there were also two functionally distinct paradigms of be earlier in continental West Germanic.

However, there was one obvious question which nobody in the 1960s and 1970s ever thought to ask, and which has never been asked since:€why is it that the dialects of East Anglia lack present-tense -s? That is the puzzle that this chapter now addresses. east anglian dialects Third-person singular present-tense zero is currently a well-known feature of the traditional dialects of an area which includes the East Anglian English and the Spanish Inquisition 39 counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex (see Map 2, from Trudgill 2001).

Post-threshold learners have difficulty in coping with irregularity and opacity; redundancy adds to the burden for learner-speakers. Highly irregular and non-transparent features are 5 But it is not necessarily identical with this€– see Dahl’s (2004:€39) discussion of complexity versus cost and difficulty. What really happened to Old English? 21 harder to learn and remember:€ arbitrariness in grammar produces material which has to be learnt without any generalisations being possible. And high redundancy means that there is more to learn (see Bakker 2003).

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