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EN 200 - History of the Language: Home

Language Change Overview

"All languages change through time, but how they change, what drives these changes, and what kinds of changes we can expect may not be obvious."

Vedrana Mihalicek and Christina Wilson (Eds.) 2011. Language Files: Materials for an Introduction to Language and Linguistics. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 522.

The History of the English Language (detailed)

Sabio Lantz. "The History of the English Language (detailed).", 30 September 2014. <>


Internet Resources

  • Anglo Saxon Aloud
    • "A daily reading of the entire Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records,which includes all poems written in Old English. By Michael D. C. Drout, Prentice Professor of English at Wheaton College, Norton, MA."
  • B-Rhymes
    • "B-Rhymes is a rhyming dictionary that's not stuck up about what does and doesn't rhyme. It gives you words that sound good together even if don't technically rhyme."
  • British Library - English Timeline
    • An "Interactive timeline allows you to explore the evolution of English language and literature, from the 11th century to the present day."
  • British Library - Evolving English
    • "Between November 2010 and April 2011 we asked people all over the world to submit a recording of their voice. Contributors either read a children's story, Mr. Tickle by Roger Hargreaves, or a list of six words."
  • British Library Learning - Sounds Familiar?
    • "The UK is a rich landscape of regional accents and dialects, each evidence of our society’ s continuity and change, our local history and our day-to-day lives. This site captures and celebrates the diversity of spoken English in the second half of the twentieth century."
  • Electronic Beowulf
    • "The Fourth Edition of Electronic Beowulf is designed to meet the needs of general readers, who require a full, line by line, translation; of students, who want to understand the grammar and the meter and still have time in a semester to study and appreciate other important aspects of the poem; and of scholars, who want immediate access to a critical apparatus identifying the nearly 2000 eighteenth-century restorations, editorial emendations, and manuscript-based conjectural restoration."
  • English Handwriting 1500 - 1700 from Cambridge University
    • "This resource has been designed for students and scholars of early modern English letters, history, theology, and philosophy--for anyone whose research will embrace original English manuscript sources in this period."
  • Forvo
    • "All the words of the world. Pronounced."
  • Google Ngram Viewier
    • "When you enter phrases into the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it displays a graph showing how those phrases have occurred in a corpus of books (e.g., "British English", "English Fiction", "French") over the selected years."
  • International Dialects of the English Archive
    • "Created in 1997 as the internet’s first archive of primary-source recordings of English-language dialects and accents as heard around the world. With roughly 1,300 samples from 120 countries and territories, and more than 170 hours of recordings, IDEA is now the largest archive of its kind. IDEA’s recordings are principally in English, are of native speakers, and include both English-language dialects and English spoken in the accents of other languages."
  • The Speech Accent Archive
    • "The speech accent archive uniformly presents a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English read the same paragraph and are carefully transcribed. "
  • Thesaurus of Old English - University of Glasgow
    • "A Thesaurus of Old English is conceptually arranged, and presents the vocabulary of Anglo-Saxon England within ordered categories."

Materials On Hold at the Circulation Desk


  • The Story of English (MacNeil-Lehrer Productions/BBC, 1986)
  • American Tongues (The Center for New American Media, 1986)
  • Adventure of English (2002)
  • Do You Speak American? (2005)
  • The History of the English Language (Teaching CO., 2008)
  • The Adventure of English


  • A National Map of the Regional Dialects of American English


  • Crystal, David. 2004. The Stories of English. Woodstock: Overlook Press.
  • Labov, William. 2006. The Atlas of North American English. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Macneil, Robert; and William Cram. 2005. Do You Speak American? New York CIty: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday.
  • McCrum, Robert; William Cram; and Robert MacNeil.  1986. The Story of English. New York City: Viking Press.