Placing Middle English in Context

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Though contextualization is the unifying theme, the 27 studies define it variously as earlier research, context of culture, context of genres, text types, semantic fields, communications situation and utterance context, or diachronic and diatopic anchoring. Among the topics are language periodization and the concept of middle, normalizing the word forms in the , naming and avoiding naming objects of terror, Chaucer's poetic adaptation of the medieval book curse, and Middle English prosodic innovations and their testability in verse. Most of the contributions are from an international conference held in Hanasaari, Espoo, Finland, in June 1997. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chronological and social context
Language periodization and the concept "middle" 7
Language and society in twelfth-century England 43
Syntactic constraints on code-switching in medieval texts 67
Dialect, normalization and corpus-linguistic methodology
Introduction 89
Never the twain shall meet: Early Middle English - The East-West divide 97
Standard language in Early Middle English? 125
Changing spaces: Linguistic relationships and the dialect continuum 141
Normalizing the word forms in the Ayenbite of Inwyt 181
Chaucer' spelling and the manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales 199
Which and THE WHICH in Late Middle English: Free variants? 209
Lexical semantics
Introduction 229
Robbares and reuares pat ryche men despoilen: Some competing forms 235
Here comes the judge: A small contribution to the study of French input into the vocabulary of the law in Middle English 255
Naming and avoiding naming objects of terror: A case study 277
An application of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage to diachronic semantics 293
Patterns of semantic change in abstract nouns: The case of wit 313
The spatial and temporal meanings of before in Middle English 329
The adjective weary in Middle English structures: A Syntactic- semantic study 339
Utterance and discourse meaning
Introduction 361
Slanders, slurs and insults on the road to Canterbury: Forms of verbal aggression in Chaucer's Canterbury Tables 369
Hir not lettyrd: The use of interjections, pragmatic markers and whan-clauses in The Book of Margery Kempe 391
Whoso thorgh presumpcion ... mysdeme hyt: Chaucer's poetic adaptation of the medieval "book curse" 411
Sounds, prosody and metre
Introduction 427
Middle English prosodic innovations and their testability in verse 431
Old English (non)-palatalised [superscript *]/k/: Competing forces of change at work in the "seek"-verbs 461
Some remarks on the nonprimary contexts for Homorganic Lengthening 475
On the phonetic and phonological interpretation of the reflexes of the Old English diphthongs in the Ayenbite of Inwyt 489
Author index 505
Subject index 509
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