This book builds on the success of Glanville Price's The Languages of Britain
, published in 1984, which was widely acclaimed as the most lively, reliable, and comprehensive survey of the great number of languages that have at one time or another taken root in Britain.
This new book draws on contributions from a range of scholars to provide authoritative surveys of all the well-established languages currently spoken in Britain and Ireland, namely the Celtic languages, English, Scots, and the Norman French dialects of the Channel Islands, as well as of Cornish, Manx and Norn (the Norse language of the Northern Isles), which died out relatively recently. Chapters on Romani and the recently arrived community (or immigrant) languages are also included. The importance of Latin and Anglo-Norman as spoken languages in Britain at different periods in the past is recognized and there are chapters on such little known languages as Cumbric, Pictish and the Flemish of south-west Wales.
The focus is on historical and sociolinguistic aspects of the languages covered, including their use as literary languages, and their present situation.