English in the Middle Ages
By (author) Tim William Machan
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English in the Middle Ages by Tim William Machan
Book DescriptionThis is an enquiry into the use and status of English in medieval England. It is concerned with English relative to French and Latin and with its regional and social varieties in relation to each other. It considers how people then viewed language and how their notion of the significance of English influenced the way they used it. Professor Machan argues that some linguistic, literary, and historical interpretations of medieval statements on language have taken insufficient consideration of the circumstances and discursive practices which produced them. He suggests that modern linguistic attitudes and expectations can obscure specifically medieval qualities of the status of English and the uses to which it was put. In the process he brings to bear a wide range of documentary evidence, notably the royal letters issued in 1258 prior to the Baron's War and medieval diglossia. In his discussion of regional variation, he considers chronicles, poems, and commentaries including the language spoken by Chaucer's pilgrims; conversations in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; and post-medieval transformations of the status of English in law, literature, and education.The book will interest scholars from a range of disciplines - particularly linguistics, literature, and history - and is written in clear, non-technical language.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199262687
(234mm x 156mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 5-Jun-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Tim William Machan
What is English?, Paperback (March 2016)
Tim Machan explores the nature of English present and past, and its role in shaping the identity of those who speak it. He pursues his object through episodes in its history around the globe, from Caxton to Churchill and from rural America to colonial Australia. This is a book for everyone interested in English and the role of language in society.
Language Anxiety, Hardback (January 2009)
This engaging and wide-ranging history of language anxiety ranges from the Tower of Babel to the internet. It shows how worry about language results from and causes linguistic change, as well as fuelling perennial concerns about class, culture, identity, and social change.
English in the Middle Ages, Paperback (May 2005)
What did people in England in the Middle Ages think about language? What was their view of English, French, and Latin, and how did this influence the way they communicated? This book uses these questions as a basis for an investigation into the use and status of the English language in medieval England.
English in Its Social Contexts, Paperback (July 1992)» View all books by Tim William Machan
The essays in this volume address each of the traditional periods of the English language. Topics discussed include the social status and use of English, the relationship between English and co-existent languages, language as a political instrument and attitudes towards varieties of English.
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Author Biography - Tim William Machan
T. W. Machan is Professor and Chair of English at Marquette University, where he teaches linguistics and medieval language and literature. He has published extensively on Middle English and Old Norse and edited texts in both languages. His books include Textual Criticism and Middle English Texts (University Press of Virginia, 1994) and English in its Social Contexts (edited with C. T. Scott, OUP, 1992).
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