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  1. INTRODUCTORY READING 4 items
    1. Old English: a linguistic introduction - J. J. Smith 2009

      Book  A fairly simple book that you should read right through and which we will use

    2. An Introduction To Old English - Richard Hogg 2012

      Book 

    3. Guide to Old English - Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson 2011

      Book  (any edition) (good on syntax and morphology)

    4. The earliest English: an introduction to Old English language - C. B. McCully, Sharon Hilles, ProQuest (Firm) 2014

      Book  (useful; quite basic)

  2. §1 General reference 7 items
    1. Historical thesaurus of the Oxford English dictionary: with additional material from A thesaurus of Old English - Christian Kay, Christian Kay 2009

      Book  [see also §5.1 for the TOE]

    2. Dictionary of the Scots Language :: Home

      Website  [Combines the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and the Scottish National Dictionary; invaluable for tracing OE words in modern regional English.]

    3. The Oxford dictionary of English etymology - C. T. Onions, G. W. S. Friedrichsen, R. W. Burchfield 1996

      Book  [Still useful, but in many ways the online OED supersedes this work.]

    4. The Oxford companion to the English Language - Tom McArthur, Feri McArthur 1992

      Book 

    5. The Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language - David Crystal 2003

      Book 

    6. The Oxford guide to etymology - Philip Durkin, ProQuest (Firm) 2009

      Book 

  3. §2 Historical surveys of English 14 items
    There is a huge, ever expanding, corpus of general histories of English: CHEL is a recommended first stop, with separate essays on the main topics, but Hogg & Denison is another excellent scholarly resource. The more readable old-timers, such as Barber, Pyles & Algeo, and Baugh & Cable, are still good and new editions come fairly freequently.
    1. The English language: a historical introduction - Charles Laurence Barber, Joan C. Beal, Philip A. Shaw 2012, c2009

      Book 

    2. A history of the English language - Albert C. Baugh, Thomas Cable 2002

      Book 

    3. A history of the English language - N. F. Blake 1996

      Book 

    4. The Cambridge history of the English language volume I: The Beginnings to 1066 - Richard M. Hogg, N. F. Blake, Suzanne Romaine, R. W. Burchfield 1992-

      Book  Richard M. Hogg, Introduction, pp. 1–25; Alfred Bammesberger, The Place of English in Germanic and Indo-European, pp. 26–66; Richard M. Hogg, Phonology and Morphology, pp. 67–167; Elizabeth Closs Traugott, Syntax, pp. 168–289; Dieter Kastovsky, Semantics and Vocabulary, pp. 290–408; Thomas E. Toon, Old English Dialects, pp. 409–51; Cecily Clark, Onomastics, pp. 452–89; Malcolm R. Godden, Literary Language, pp. 490–535

    5. The Cambridge history of the English language volume II: 1066–1476 - Richard M. Hogg, N. F. Blake, Suzanne Romaine, R. W. Burchfield 1992-

      Book  Norman Blake, Introduction, pp. 1–22; Roger Lass, Phonology and Morphology, pp. 23–155; James Milroy, Middle English Dialectology, pp. 156–206; Olga Fischer, Syntax, pp. 207–408; David Burnley, Lexis and Semantics, pp. 409–99; Norman Blake, The Literary Langauge, pp. 500–41; Cecily Clark, Onomastics, pp. 542–606

    6. A history of English: a sociolinguistic approach - Barbara A. Fennell 2001

      Book 

    7. A history of the English language - Richard M. Hogg, David Denison 2006 (electronic resource)

      Book  [Nine essays, including: Overview; Phonology and Morphology; Syntax; Vocabulary; Standardisation; Names.]

    8. The shape of English - Roger Lass 1987

      Book 

    9. The origins and development of the English language - John Algeo, Thomas Pyles c2010

      Book 

    10. Why is English like that?: historical answers to hard ELT questions - Norbert Schmitt, Richard Marsden 2006

      Book 

    11. A history of English - Barbara M. H. Strang 1970

      Book 

  4. §3 Indo-European 16 items
    1. After empire: towards an ethnology of Europe's barbarians - Giorgio Ausenda, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Social Stress 1995

      Book 

    2. Comparative Indo-European linguistics - R. S. P. Beekes 2011

      Book 

    3. The major languages of Western Europe - Bernard Comrie 1990

      Book 

    4. Indo-European language and culture: an introduction - Benjamin W. Fortson 2010

      Book 

    5. Proto-Indo-European syntax - Winfred P. Lehmann 1974

      Book 

    6. Proto-Indo-European phonology - Winfred P. Lehmann, Linguistic Society of America 1955, c1952

      Book 

    7. Indo-European philology, historical and comparative - W. B. Lockwood 1969

      Book 

    8. A panorama of Indo-European languages - W. B. Lockwood 1972

      Book 

    9. Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch - Julius Pokorny, Harry Breckenridge Partridge 1959-1969

      Book 

    10. From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic, The Linguistic History of English I - Ringe, Donald A. 2008

      Book  [Not for the faint-hearted]

    11. Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics - Oswald J. L. Szemerenyi May 17, 1999

      Book 

    12. The American heritage dictionary of Indo-European roots - Calvert Watkins c2000

      Book 

  5. §4 Germanic (general) 41 items
    1. The Syntax of the Simple Sentence in Proto-Germanic - Paul J. Hopper 1 Jan. 1975

      Book 

    2. The Germanic languages - Johan van der Auwera, Ekkehard König 1994

      Book 

    3. Historical German syntax - W. B. Lockwood 1968

      Book 

    4. The Germanic People - Francis Owen (Hardcover)

      Book 

    5. §4.1 Gothic 5 items
      1. An introduction to the Gothic language - William Holmes Bennett 1965

        Book 

      2. [See also §4 Robinson]

    6. §4.2 Old Saxon 8 items
      1. Heliand: und, Genesis - Otto Behaghel, Burkhard Taeger 1996

        Book 

      2. The Heliand: the Saxon Gospel : a translation and commentary - G. Ronald Murphy 1992

        Book 

      3. [See also §4 Robinson]

    7. §4.3 Frisian 5 items
      1. Old Frisian etymological dictionary - Dirk Boutkan, Sjoerd Michiel Siebinga 2005

        Book 

      2. Approaches to Old Frisian (Amsterdamer Beitrage Zur Alteren Germanistik) - Rolf H. Bremmer January 1, 1998 (Paperback)

        Book 

      3. Altsächsisches Wörterbuch - Ferdinand Holthausen 1967

        Book 

      4. [See also §4 Robinson]

    8. §4.4 Old Norse 7 items
      1. A new introduction to Old Norse: Part I: Grammar - Michael P. Barnes, Viking Society for Northern Research 2008

        Book 

      2. A new introduction to Old Norse: Part II: Reader - Anthony Faulkes, Viking Society for Northern Research 2011

        Book 

      3. A new introduction to Old Norse: Part III: Glossary and index of names - Anthony Faulkes, Michael P. Barnes, Viking Society for Northern Research 2007

        Book  also revised eds, available free online

      4. An Icelandic-English dictionary: based on the ms. collections of the late Richard Cleasby - Richard Cleasby, George Webbe Dasent, Guðbrandur Vigfússon 1874

        Book 

      5. An introduction to Old Norse - E. V. Gordon, A. R. Taylor 1957

        Book 

      6. Old Icelandic: an introductory course - Sigrid Valfells, James E. Cathey, American-Scandinavian Foundation 1981

        Book 

      7. [See also §4 Robinson]

    9. §4.5 Old High German 5 items
      1. Althochdeutsches Wörterbuch - Rudolf Schützeichel 1995

        Book 

      2. [See also §4 Robinson]

  6. §5 Old English: 114 items
    1. §5.1 Dictionaries, concordance, thesaurus 9 items
      1. DOE: Dictionary of Old English A-F - Ashley Crandell Amos, Angus Cameron, Antonette DiPaolo Healey, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies c2003 (electronic resource)

        Book  [An indispensable resource, but only letters A–G so far; letters A–F are also available in the Hallward on microfiche and CD-ROM.]

      2. OEC: A microfiche concordance to Old English - Antonette DiPaolo Healey, Richard L. Venezky, University of Toronto. Centre for Medieval Studies. Dictionary of Old English Project, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies c1980 (microform)

        Book 

      3. TOE: A thesaurus of Old English in two volumes - Jane Annette Roberts, Christian Kay, Lynne Grundy 2000

        Book  also available online at

      4. Altenglisches etymologisches Wörterbuch - Ferdinand Holthausen 1963

        Book  [First port of call for OE etymology; you don’t need much German to be able to use this book.]

      5. A concise Anglo-Saxon dictionary - John Richard Clark Hall, Herbert Dean Meritt 1966

        Book  [Paperback in print: excellent.]

      6. [Note also the online OED (§1) and MED (§6.1)]

    2. §5.2 Grammars, primers, readers 10 items
      1. Introduction to Old English - Peter S. Baker, ebrary, Inc 2012 (electronic resource)

        Book 

      2. Old English grammar - A. Campbell 1959

        Book  [Remains among the best works on OE language.]

      3. Old English phonology - Roger Lass, John M. Anderson 1975

        Book 

      4. The Cambridge Old English reader - Richard Marsden 2015

        Book 

      5. Guide to Old English - Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson 2011

        Book 

      6. Old English syntax, 2 vols - Bruce Mitchell 1985

        Book 

      7. An Old English grammar - Randolph Quirk, C. L. Wrenn 2001

        Book 

    3. §5.3 Language studies 14 items
      1. Language and history in early England - Helmut Gneuss 1996

        Book  [A collection of Gneuss’s published articles.]

      2. Tristram, Hildegard L. C., 'Diglossia in Anglo-Saxon England, or What Was Spoken Old English Like?', Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 40 (2004), 87–110

    4. §5.3.1 Morphology and Syntax 4 items
    5. §5.3.2 The Peterborough Chronicle 8 items
      1. The Peterborough chronicle: (the Bodleian manuscript Laud misc. 636) - Dorothy Whitelock, Cecily Clark, Bodleian Library 1954

        Book 

      2. Two of the Saxon chronicles parallel: with supplementary extracts from the others : a revised text - John Earle, Charles Plummer, Corpus Christi College (University of Cambridge). Library, Bodleian Library 1892-1899

        Book 

    6. §5.4 Vocabulary 18 items
      1. Old English word studies: a preliminary author and word index - Angus Cameron, Allison Kingsmill, Ashley Crandell Amos 1983

        Book 

      2. A history of English words - Geoffrey Hughes 2000

        Book 

      3. Semantics and Vocabulary, from: The Cambridge history of the English language volume I: The Beginnings to 1066 - Dieter Kastovsky

        Chapter 

      4. A history of foreign words in English - Mary S. Serjeantson 1935

        Book 

      5. [See also many of the items in §5.9 and §7 (e.g. Gelling). The items in §2 often have useful overviews of vocabulary: e.g. Dieter Kastovsky, 'Vocabulary', in A History of the English Language, ed. Hogg and Denison, pp. 199–270]

    7. §5.5 Dialects 10 items
      1. English dialects - G. L. Brook 1965

        Book 

      2. Kitson, Peter, 'Old English Dialects and the Stages of the Transition to Middle English', Folia Linguistica Historica 11 (1990[92]), 27–87

      3. Old English Dialects, from: The Cambridge history of the English language volume I: The Beginnings to 1066 - Thomas E. Toon

        Chapter 

      4. English dialects: an introduction - Martin F. Wakelin 1977

        Book 

      5. [See also §5.8 Lendinara on some aspects of Kentish]

         

         

    8. §5.6 Language contact: 20 items
      1. §5.6.1 Latin 5 items
        1. [See also §5.4 Gneuss (1992, 1996); Serjeantson; Wollmann; §5.9 Garmonsway; Gwara; Marsden; and §7 Gelling (1977)]

      2. §5.6.2 Scandinavian 10 items
        1. Hansen, Bente Hyldegaard, 'The Historical Implications of the Scandinavian Linguistic Element in English: A Theoretical Evaluation', NOWELE 4 (1984), 53–95

        2. Semantics and Vocabulary, from: The Cambridge history of the English language volume I: The Beginnings to 1066 - Dieter Kastovsky

          Chapter  [section ‘Scandinavian influence’]

        3. Pons-Sanz, Sara Maria, Analysis of the Scandinavian Loanwords in the Aldredian Glosses to the Lindisfarne Gospels, Stud. in Eng. Lang. and Ling., Monographs 9 (Valencia, 2000)

        4. [See also some items in §6.2.2]

      3. §5.6.3 Other languages 5 items
        1. [On French, see also §6.5 Kibbee]

    9. §5.7 Writing Old English 3 items
      1. An introduction to English runes - R. I. Page 1999

        Book 

      2. A history of English spelling - D. G. Scragg 1974

        Book 

      3. Spelling - George Henry Vallins, D. G. Scragg 1965

        Book 

    10. §5.8 Old English and literacy 14 items
      1. Bullough, Donald, 'The Educational Tradition in England from Alfred to Ælfric: Teaching Utriusque Linguae', Settimane 19 (1972), 453–94  [A bit dated, but still gives valuable background.]

      2. Gneuss, Helmut, 'Anglo-Saxon Libraries from the Conversion to the Benedictine Reform', Settimane 32 (1986), 643–99

      3. Anglo-Saxon Lay Society and the Written Word, from: The uses of literacy in early mediaeval Europe - Susan Kelly

        Chapter  repr. in Old English Literature: Critical Essays, ed. R. Liuzza (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 2002)

      4. Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of Alfred and other contemporary sources - Simon Keynes, Michael Lapidge 1983

        Book 

      5. The Kentish Laws, from: The Anglo-Saxons from the Migration period to the eighth century: an ethnographic perspective - Patrizia Lendinara

        Chapter  [On Kentish dialect, legal vocabulary, oral transmission, translation.]

      6. §5.8.1 Manuscripts and libraries 3 items
    11. §5.9 Glosses and glossaries 4 items
      1. Ælfric's Colloquy - George Norman Garmonsway, Aelfric 1939

        Book 

      2. Anglo-Saxon conversations: the Colloquies of Aelfric Bata - Aelfric Bata, Scott Gwara, David W. Porter 1997

        Book 

      3. Anglo-Saxon glosses and glossaries - Patrizia Lendinara c1999

        Book  [incl. ‘Anglo-Saxon Glosses and Glossaries: an Introduction’, pp. 1–26]

  7. §6 Middle English: 43 items
    1. §6.1 Dictionary, primers, grammars 7 items
      1. MED: Middle English dictionary - Hans Kurath, Sherman M. Kuhn, Robert E. Lewis c1952-c1999

        Book  [Available online and searchable at ]

      2. An outline of Middle English grammar - Karl Brunner, Grahame Johnston 1963

        Book 

      3. A book of Middle English - J. A. Burrow, Thorlac Turville-Petre 2005 (electronic resource)

        Book  Several editions

      4. An introduction to Middle English - Simon Horobin, J. J. Smith 2002

        Book 

      5. Handbook of middle English grammar: phonology - Richard Jordan, Eugene Joseph Crook 1974

        Book 

      6. A handbook of Middle English - Fernand Mossé 1968

        Book 

      7. An elementary Middle English grammar - Joseph Wright, Elizabeth Mary Wright 1928

        Book 

    2. §6.2 Language studies 16 items
      1. Crespo García, Begoña, and Isabel Moskowich-Spiegel Fandiño, 'Enlarging the Lexicon: The Field of Technology and Adminstration from 1150 to 1500', Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 40 (2004), 163–80

      2. The Syntax of Early English - Olga Fischer, Ans van Kemenade, and Willem Koopman 2001

        Book 

      3. Kitson, Peter, 'Old English Dialects and the Stages of the Transition to Middle English', Folia Linguistica Historica 11 (1990[92]), 27–87

      4. English in the Middle Ages - Tim William Machan 2003

        Book 

      5. Multilingualism in later medieval Britain - D. A. Trotter 2000

        Book 

    3. §6.3 Dialects 3 items
      1. Speaking in our tongues: proceedings of a colloquium on medieval dialectology and related disciplines - Margaret Laing, Keith Williamson, University of Edinburgh, Colloquium on Medieval Dialectology and Related Disciplines 1994

        Book 

    4. §6.4 Scandinavian influence 5 items
      1. Poussa, P., 'The Evolution of Early Standard English: the Creolization Hypothesis', Studia Anglica Posnaniensa 14 (1982), 69–85

    5. §6.5 French and French contact 5 items
      1. [See also §5.5.3 Porter; §6.2 Machan, Short, Trotter, Turville-Petre]

    6. §6.6 Chancery English; evolution of Standard English 7 items
      1. [On standardisation in ME, see also §6.2 Smith; §6.4 Dalton-Puffer, Poussa. On standardisation in OE, see §5.3 Gneuss, Richards; §5.3.1 Gretsch]

  8. §7 Onomastics (mainly place-names) 16 items
    1. English place names - Kenneth Cameron 1996

      Book 

    2. Perceptions of place: twenty-first-century interpretations of English place-name studies - Jayne Carroll, David N. Parsons, English Place-Name Society c2013

      Book  [A collection of essays by experts on all aspects of language and toponymy)

    3. Onomastics, from: The Cambridge history of the English language

      Chapter 

    4. Place-names of Great Britain and Ireland - Field, John 1980

      Book 

    5. Place-names in the landscape - Margaret Gelling 1984

      Book 

    6. The Oxford handbook of names and naming - Carole Hough, Daria Izdebska 2016

      Book  [A wealth of theoretical and survey essays on all aspects of naming]

    7. Place names of the English-speaking world - C. M. Matthews 1972

      Book 

    8. A dictionary of British place-names - A. D. Mills, A. D. Mills c2003 (electronic resource)

      Book 

    9. The vocabulary of English place-names - David Parsons, Tania Styles, Carole Hough, University of Nottingham. Centre for English Name Studies 1997-2004

      Book 

    10. The origin of English place names - Percy H. Reaney c1960

      Book 

    11. English place-name elements - A. H. Smith, English Place-Name Society 1956

      Book 

    12. The Cambridge dictionary of English place-names: based on the collections of the English Place-Name Society - V. E. Watts, John Insley, Margaret Gelling, English Place-Name Society 2004

      Book 

    13. [See also the county survey volumes of the English Place-Name Society.]

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