Chaucer's Language

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Overview

The English language has changed dramatically over the past 500 years, making it increasingly difficult for students to read Chaucer's works. Assuming no previous linguistic knowledge or familiarity with Middle English, Simon Horobin introduces students to Chaucer's language and the importance of reading Chaucer in the original, rather than modern translation.

Chaucer's Language: leads the reader gently through basic linguistic concepts with appropriate explanation, highlights how Chaucer's English differs from present-day English, and the significance of this for interpreting and understanding his work, provides close analysis and comparison with the writings of Chaucer's contemporaries to show how Chaucer drew on the variety of Middle English to achieve particular poetic effects, includes sample texts, a glossary of linguistic terminology, a bibliography and suggestions for further reading to aid study. Authoritative and easy to follow, this is an indispensable guide to understanding, appreciating and enjoying the language of Chaucer.

About the Author:
Simon Horobin is Reader in English Language at the University of Glasgow

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403993564
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

SIMON HOROBIN is Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, UK, and a Fellow of Magdalen College. He is the author of An Introduction to Middle English and The Language of the Chaucer Tradition, which was awarded the English Association's Beatrice White Prize for outstanding scholarly work in the field of Medieval and Renaissance studies.

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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Abbreviations     x
Why study Chaucer's language?     1
Writing in English     13
Further reading     26
What was Middle English?     27
Middle English dialects     27
Standardization     34
Characteristics of Middle English     40
Chaucer's dialect     44
Evidence     46
Further reading     50
Spelling and pronunciation     51
Spelling evidence     51
Rhyming evidence     53
Comparative evidence     55
Chaucer's sound system     55
Variation     61
Further reading     66
Vocabulary     68
Chaucer's lexicon     72
Further reading     93
Grammar     94
Determiners     94
Nouns     96
Pronouns     99
Adjectives     105
Verbs     107
Negation     119
Adverbs     121
Relative pronouns     123
Sentence structure     124
Further reading     125
Language and style     126
Chaucer's prose style     142
Further reading     149
Discourse and pragmatics     150
Forms of address     150
Politeness     155
Swearing     159
Discourse markers     165
Styles of speech     168
Further reading     177
Sample texts     178
Glossary of linguistic terms     192
Bibliography     194
Index     198
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