This book describes the earliest reconstructable stages of the prehistory of English. It outlines the grammar of Proto-Indo-European, considers the changes by which one dialect of that prehistoric language developed into Proto-Germanic, and provides a detailed account of the grammar of Proto-Germanic. The focus throughout the book is on linguistic structure. In the course of his exposition Professor Ringe draws on a long tradition of work on many languages, including Hittite, Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Slavic, Gothic, and Old Norse. Written to be intelligible to those with a background in modern linguistic theory, the first volume in Don Ringe's A Linguistic History of English will be of central interest to all scholars and students of comparative Indo-European and Germanic linguistics, the history of English, and historical linguists. The next volume in the History will consider the development of Proto-Germanic into Old English. Subsequent volumes will describe the attested history of English from the Anglo-Saxon era to the present.