Read e-book online An Introduction to Early Modern English (Edinburgh Textbooks PDF

By Terrtu Nevalainen

ISBN-10: 0748615245

ISBN-13: 9780748615247

ISBN-10: 0748626360

ISBN-13: 9780748626366

An creation to Early glossy English, this publication is helping scholars of English and linguistics to put the language of the interval 1500-1700 in its historic context as a language with a typical middle but additionally as one that varies throughout time, locally and socially, and in keeping with check in. the amount makes a speciality of the constitution of what contemporaries known as the overall Dialect - its spelling, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation - and on its dialectal origins. The e-book additionally discusses the language state of affairs and linguistic anxieties in England at a time while Latin exerted a powerful impression at the emerging usual language. the quantity contains: *The significant alterations in English from the fifteenth to the 18th century *Emphasis on long term linguistic advancements *Sources for the learn of Early sleek English *Illustrations starting from drama and private letters to trials and early technology *Exercises encouraging additional exploration of the altering English language.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Early Modern English (Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language)

Example text

In contrast to orthography, as we saw in Chapter 2, the codification of English grammar only gained momentum in the eighteenth century. But the ideology of standardisation itself goes back to the preceding centuries. One side of it was manifest in the linguistic insecurity and talk about the inadequacy of the vernacular associated with the functional expansion of the language. At this point, the norm that English was compared with was supplied by Latin and other continental languages with a longer and more versatile literary tradition.

As Caxton would have predicted, the English language changed a great deal between 1500 and 1700; but dialect levelling also took place. Most of the texts preserved from this period form part of a mainstream variety, which cannot be readily localised. This is particularly true of spelling, which is easier to standardise than most other aspects of language such as pronunciation. But as modern readers would not accept any of the texts in Chapter 1 as fully standard, there is more to the process of standardisation than the selection of a reference dialect and the cutting of optional variation – Caxton’s ‘over-rude’ and ‘curious’.

The Early Modern English section of the corpus divides the period into three subperiods, 1500–1570, 1570–1640 and 1640–1710. This division is arbitrary but makes it possible to compare the language in successive stretches of time. As suggested in Chapter 1, there were important linguistic differences between the first half of the sixteenth century, Shakespeare’s time around the turn of the seventeenth century, and the second half of that century. The Helsinki Corpus is sensitive to genre continuity across time in that basically the same set of genres has been sampled for the corpus from each Early Modern English subperiod.

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An Introduction to Early Modern English (Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language) by Terrtu Nevalainen

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