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Title: The Oxford Guide to Etymology
Written By: Philip Durkin

This practical introduction to word history investigates every aspect of
where words come from and how they change. Philip Durkin, chief etymologist
of the Oxford English Dictionary, shows how different types of evidence
can shed light on the myriad ways in which words change in form and
meaning. He considers how such changes can be part of wider linguistic
processes, or be influenced by a complex mixture of social and cultural
factors. He illustrates every point with a wide range of fascinating examples.

Dr Durkin investigates folk etymology and other changes which words undergo
in everyday use. He shows how language families are established, how words
in different languages can have a common ancester, and the ways in which
the latter can be distinguished from words introduced through language
contact. He examines the etymologies of the names of people and places. His
focus is on English but he draws many examples from languages such as
French, German, and Latin which cast light on the pre-histories of English

The Oxford Guide to Etymology is reliable, readable, instructive, and
enjoyable. Everyone interested in the history of words will value this
account of an endlessly fascinating subject.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0199236518
ISBN-13: 9780199236510
Pages: 360
Prices: U.K. £ 25.00