From the Eighth Century to the Present Dayby theREV. WALTER W. SKEAT, Litt.D., D.C.L., LL.D., Ph.D., F.B.A.Elrington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fel- low of Christ'sCollege. Founder and formerly Director of the English Dialect Society"English in the native garb;"
K. Henry V.
V. 1. 80Cambridge at the University Press 1912* * * * *With the exception of the coat of arms at the foot, the design on the titlepage is a reproduction of one used by the earliest known Cambridge printer,John Siberch, 1521
1912.* * * * *PREFACEThe following brief sketch is an attempt to present, in a popular form, thehistory of our English dialects, from the eighth century to the present day.The evidence, which is necessarily somewhat imperfect, goes to show thatthe older dialects appear to have been few in number, each being tolerablyuniform over a wide area; and that the rather numerous dialects of thepresent day were gradually developed by the breaking up of the oldergroups into subdialects. This is especially true of the old Northumbriandialect, in which the speech of Aberdeen was hardly distinguishable fromthat of Yorkshire, down to the end of the fourteenth century; soon afterwhich date, the use of it for literary purposes survived in Scotland only.The chief literary dialect, in the earliest period, was Northumbrian or"Anglian," down to the middle of the ninth century. After that time our
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