Date: 17-Sep-2009 From: Marianna Hintikka <marianna.hintikkahelsinki.fi> Subject: Language and Letters of the Bluestocking Network: Sairio E-mail this message to a friend
Title: Language and Letters of the Bluestocking Network
Subtitle: Sociolinguistic Issues in Eighteenth-Century Epistolary English
Series Title: Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki LXXV
Publisher: Modern Language Society
Author: Anni Sairio
Paperback: ISBN: 9789519040318 Pages: 368 Price: Europe EURO 45.00
The Bluestocking circle in eighteenth-century England was a social network which provided learned men and women with an informal environment for the pursuit of scholarly entertainment. Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800), a notable social hostess and a Shakespearean scholar, was one of their key figures. This volume presents linguistic research on forty years' worth of correspondence between Montagu and her Bluestocking friends and family members, and insights into language change and variation at an historical micro level. This epistolary language use is investigated using the methods and frameworks of corpus linguistics, historical sociolinguistics, and social network analysis. The studies range from the reconstruction and analysis of Elizabeth Montagu's most prominent social networks to the analysis of changing morphosyntactic features and spelling variation in Montagu's correspondence with her network members. The linguistic studies look at the use of the progressive construction, preposition stranding and pied piping, and full and contracted verb forms in eighteenth-century epistolary English. The results of these studies are analysed in terms of social network membership, sociolinguistic variables of the correspondents, and, when relevant, aspects of eighteenth-century linguistic prescriptivism.