About the BookOtto Jespersen, a Danish linguist who specialized in the grammar of the English language, is widely recognized for his books, Language: Its Nature, Development and Origin (1922); Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles (1909-1949), and Growth and Structure of the English Language (1905), which is a comprehensive view of English by a non-native and is still in print, over 70 years after his death and more than 100 years after publication.
The book combines general rules of English language for common users as well as complex issues for expert philologists. It contains the chief peculiarities of English language and delineates the growth and significance of those features in its structure which have been of rather permanent nature. The older stages of the language have been presented to contrast with the newer forms that emerged over a period of time. Jespersen has, at some places, deviated from commonly accepted theories and added some debatable points which he explained in his subsequent books and have been accepted by scholars of the language. He has drawn from some predecessors, particularly the authors of New English Dictionary, which, to use his own words, is “a splendid monument of English scholarship.” Jespersen did not believe in the modernization of spellings while quoting from earlier authors, for the sake of originality.
Modern printing technologies have been used to bring this rare work of literature to the readers.