Despite the fact that the loss of inflections in English is taken into account in all historical grammars and in all histories of the language, it is often dealt with rather superficially, and the typological shift fro synthetic to analytic that the language underwent it commonly considered to be the result of sociolinguistic factors, and systemic reasons are often neglected. In this work, instead, emphasis is given to internal factors, since the dynamics of the language as a complex system werw the main reason for the changes discussed here, and contact seems to have only accelerated processes which had been in progress for centuries.
Antonio Bertacca teaches English at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Pisa. His main interest is in historical linguistcs in general and in the history of the English language, on which he has published extensively in Italian and international journals. He wrote a book on The Great Vowel Shift (Rome, 1995), and is about to publish a book on the loss of nominal inflections in English with Edizioni PLUS (Pisa).