How English Became the Global Language

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9781137303066: How English Became the Global Language

From its dim origins among Germanic speakers in the British Isles, the English tongue spread for over a millennium through commerce, cultural exchange, and military conquest to become the de facto language of our modern, globalized world. From the Shanghai stock exchange to the United Nations to Internet message boards, whenever people reach out to one another across culture and geography, they do so overwhelmingly in English. Yet the remarkable story of its rise to global dominance has been curiously neglected by historians.

In this compact and engaging narrative - the first on the subject to be written by a professional historian - the tale of English's rise to global ascendancy is given its proper historical due. Moving beyond the familiar, Western-centric histories of the language's native speakers, author David Northrup explores how and why English has been so thoroughly embraced across the world. Refreshingly, he also reestablishes simple human agency as a critical historical factor, showing that individuals acting in their own self-interest - rather than abstractions such as 'capitalism' or 'imperialism' - are what account for English's unprecedented worldwide reach.

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"The global rise of English is a complex topic, and it deserves the kind of careful treatment found in Northrup's exceptional book. It will light the path for future studies of global English." - Muscat Daily

"Languages spread as their speakers interact with other populations that become enticed or forced by various factors to learn and use them. They can travel long distances too, typically when they are associated with trans-territorial trade and/or colonial or imperial expansion. Bridging his expertise on colonial history with especially the ethnography of communication and the economics of language, David Northrup engages the reader in a very informative global account of the spread of English as the world's first truly 'global lingua franca.' An intellectually stimulating must-read for students of globalization and language, of language endangerment, and of world Englishes." - Salikoko S. Mufwene, The Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and the College, University of Chicago, USA

"David Northrup presents a concise but broad and lively survey of the rise and spread of the English language over just under a millennium. A rather comprehensive introduction addresses disciplinary approaches to language, language history, layers of language, and shows how the English language got caught up in recent debates on imperialism. I believe this is quite an original work that will certainly draw attention and provoke wide discussion." - Patrick Manning, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of World History, University of Pittsburgh, USA

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The exploration of English's global ascendancy receives its proper historical due

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Book Description Palgrave MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2013 ed.. 214 x 138 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this book, the first written about the globalization of the English language by a professional historian, the exploration of English s global ascendancy receives its proper historical due. This brief, accessible volume breaks new ground in its organization, emphasis on causation, and conclusions. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9781137303066

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Book Description Palgrave MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2013 ed.. 214 x 138 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In this book, the first written about the globalization of the English language by a professional historian, the exploration of English s global ascendancy receives its proper historical due. This brief, accessible volume breaks new ground in its organization, emphasis on causation, and conclusions. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9781137303066

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Book Description Palgrave Macmillan. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 220 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 5.4in. x 0.7in.While there have been many books on the history of globalization to date, most have stressed economics and politics. Cultural globalization, of which the emergence of English as the worlds first global language is a prime example, has been comparatively neglected. In this book, the first written about the globalization of the English language by a professional historian, the exploration of Englishs global ascendancy receives its proper historical due. Historians have traditionally left the history of language to linguists and other language specialists, and this brief, accessible volume breaks new ground in its organization, emphasis on causation, and conclusions. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781137303066

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