Think On My Words: Exploring Shakespeare's Language / Edition 1

Think On My Words: Exploring Shakespeare's Language / Edition 1

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by David Crystal
     
 

'You speak a language that I understand not.' Hermione's words to Leontes in The Winter's Tale are likely to ring true with many people reading or watching Shakespeare's plays today. For decades, people have been studying Shakespeare's life and times, and in recent years there has been a renewed surge of interest in aspects of his language. So how can we better… See more details below

Overview

'You speak a language that I understand not.' Hermione's words to Leontes in The Winter's Tale are likely to ring true with many people reading or watching Shakespeare's plays today. For decades, people have been studying Shakespeare's life and times, and in recent years there has been a renewed surge of interest in aspects of his language. So how can we better understand Shakespeare? How did he manipulate language to produce such an unrivalled body of work, which has enthralled generations both as theatre and as literature? David Crystal addresses these and many other questions in this lively and original introduction to Shakespeare's language. Covering in turn the five main dimensions of language structure - writing system, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and conversational style - the book shows how examining these linguistic 'nuts and bolts' can help us achieve a greater appreciation of Shakespeare's linguistic creativity.

About the Author:
David Crystal is one of the world's foremost authorities on language

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521700351
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
266
Product dimensions:
5.43(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables     vii
Preface     ix
Abbreviations     xi
'You speak a language that I understand not': myths and realities     1
The quantity myth     2
The invention myth     8
The translation myth     10
The style myth     15
'Now, sir, what is your text?' Knowing the sources     22
Texts     22
Printing     27
Manuscripts?     31
Shakespeare's language?     40
'In print I found it': Shakespearean graphology     42
The alphabet     43
Capitalization     48
Space-savers     53
Spelling     58
'Know my stops': Shakespearean punctuation     64
Exclamation marks     72
Parentheses     78
Apostrophes     83
Italics     88
Inverted commas     94
Hyphens     96
'Speak the speech': Shakespearean phonology     100
The way they said it     101
Prosody     105
Why pentameters?     112
'Trippingly upon the tongue': Shakespearean pronunciation     125
Theevidence     130
Insights     143
'Think on my words': Shakespearean vocabulary     146
Easy words     147
Metrical constraints     150
Difficult words     152
False friends     156
Old and new words     159
Coinages     161
Clusters     165
Repetitions     168
Signposts     171
Collocations     173
Perspective     175
'Talk of a noun and a verb': Shakespearean grammar     178
Similarities and differences     181
Nouns     184
Adjectives     186
Verbs     188
Pronouns     193
Word order     199
'Hear sweet discourse': Shakespearean conversation     207
Verse and prose     208
Metre in discourse     219
Varieties of language     221
A legal example     224
Epilogue - 'Your daring tongue': Shakespearean creativity     230
An A-to-Z of Shakespeare's false friends     234
Notes     245
References and further reading     247
Index     249

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