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This textbook provides a step-by-step introduction to the history of the English language (HEL), offering a fresh perspective on the process of language change. Aimed at undergraduate students, The Emergence and Development of English is accessibly written, and contains a wealth of pedagogical tools, including chapter openers, key terms, chapter summaries, end-of-chapter exercises and suggestions for further reading. A central theme of the book is 'emergence', the key term from the study of complex systems, which describes how massive numbers of random verbal interactions give rise to regularities that 'emerge' without specific causes. This unique approach encourages readers to incorporate complex systems into the mainstream coverage of HEL. Additional resources include examples of language from each period, as well as appendices on terminology, online resources and audio samples.