Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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Overview

Medical writing tells us a great deal about how the language of science has developed in constructing and communicating knowledge in English. This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700. The book presents results from large-scale empirical research on the new materials and provides a more detailed and diversified picture of domain-specific developments than any previous book. Three introductory chapters provide the sociohistorical, disciplinary and textual frame for nine empirical studies, which address a range of key issues in a wide variety of medical genres from fresh angles. The book is useful for researchers and students within several fields, including the development of special languages, genre and register analysis, (historical) corpus linguistics, historical pragmatics, and medical and cultural history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume casts new light on the evolution of English as the language of medicine, with data originating from the two-million word corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts (EMEMT) for the period 1500-1700."
—L'Analisi Linguistica E Letteraria
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521117661
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/3/2011
  • Series: Studies in English Language Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Irma Taavitsainen is Professor of English Philology in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Helsinki.

Päivi Pahta is Professor of English Philology in the School of Modern Languages and Translation Studies at the University of Tampere.

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Table of Contents

1. An interdisciplinary approach to medical writing in early modern English Päivi Pahta and Irma Taavitsainen; 2. Medical texts in 1500–1700 and the corpus of early modern English medical texts Irma Taavitsainen, Peter Murray Jones, Päivi Pahta, Turo Hiltunen, Ville Marttila, Maura Ratia, Carla Suhr and Jukka Tyrkkö; 3. Medical literacies and medical culture in early modern England Peter Murray Jones; 4. Verbs of knowing: discoursive practices in early modern vernacular medicine Turo Hiltunen and Jukka Tyrkkö; 5. Defining in early modern English medical texts Rod McConchie and Anne Curzan; 6. Dissemination and appropriation of medical knowledge: humoral theory in early modern medical writing and lay texts Irma Taavitsainen; 7. Code-switching in early modern English medical writing Päivi Pahta; 8. New arguments for new audiences: a corpus-based analysis of interpersonal strategies in early modern English medical recipes Ville Marttila; 9. Efficacy phrases in early modern English medical recipes Martti Mäkinen; 10. Medical pamphlets: controversy and advertising Maura Ratia and Carla Suhr; 11. The development of specialized discourse in the Philosophical Transactions Maurizio Gotti; 12. The expression of stance in early (1665–1712) publications of the Philosophical Transactions and other contemporary medical prose: innovations in a pioneering discourse Bethany Gray, Douglas Biber and Turo Hiltunen.

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