This book describes the earliest reconstructable stages of the prehistory
of English. It outlines the grammar of Proto-Indo-European, considers the
changes by which one dialect of that prehistoric language developed into
Proto-Germanic, and provides a detailed account of the grammar of
Proto-Germanic. The focus throughout the book is on linguistic structure.
In the course of his exposition Professor Ringe draws on a long tradition
of work on many languages, Hittite, Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Slavic, Gothic,
and Old Norse. Written to be intelligible to those with a backgroun in
modern linguistic theory, the first volume in Don Ringe's "A Linguistic
History of English" will be of central interest to all scholars and
students of comparative Indo-European and Germanic linguistics, the history
of English, and historical linguists.
The next volume in the History will consider the development of
Proto-Germanic into Old English. Subsequent volumes will describe the
attested history of English from the Anglo-Saxon era to the present.