Daniel Schreier, Peter Trudgill, Edgar W. Schneider, Jeffrey P. Williams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The structure and use of the English language has been studied, from both synchronic and diachronic perspectives, since the sixteenth century. The result is that, today, English is probably the best researched language in the world. (Kytö, Rydén and Smitterberg 2006: 1). Would anybody dare deny that English has been studied extremely thoroughly? Given the fact that hundreds if not thousands of languages around the world are barely documented or simply not researched at all, the massive body of research on English seems truly without parallel, so this is strong support for Kytö, Rydén and Smitterberg's (2006) claim. Indeed, so many studies have been carried out to enhance our knowledge of all aspects of the English language that it is impossible to attempt even a short summary here: the body of research that has been assembled over the last four centuries is substantial and constantly growing, from the treatises of orthoepists and grammarians produced throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, via English phoneticians (such as Henry Sweet) in the late nineteenth century and dialect geography in the early twentieth century, to variationist sociolinguists in the 1970s and computational linguists in the 1980s and 1990s, at research centres and university institutions throughout the world, on all levels of structure and usage, phonology, syntax, lexicon and discourse, in domains as distinct as syntactic theory, psycholinguistics, language variation and change, historical pragmatics, etc., a list that could be continued at leisure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Lesser-Known Varieties of English
Subtitle of host publicationAn Introduction
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780511676529
ISBN (Print)9780521883962
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


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