LINGUIST List 14.1366

Tue May 13 2003

Books: Historical Ling, Old English: Machan

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  1. tom.perridge, English in the Middle Ages: Machan

Message 1: English in the Middle Ages: Machan

Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 07:21:52 +0000
From: tom.perridge <>
Subject: English in the Middle Ages: Machan

Title: English in the Middle Ages
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press,		 
Book URL:
Author: Tim William Machan, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Hardback: ISBN: 0199262683, Pages: 224, Price: GBP45.00

This 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.

Lingfield(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Old English (Language code: XANG)

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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