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LINGUIST List 22.3594

Thu Sep 15 2011

Diss: Historical Linguistics/English: Navest: 'John Ash and the ...'

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        1.     Karlijn Navest , John Ash and the Rise of the Children's Grammar

Message 1: John Ash and the Rise of the Children's Grammar
Date: 01-Sep-2011
From: Karlijn Navest <karlijnnavesthotmail.com>
Subject: John Ash and the Rise of the Children's Grammar
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Institution: Universiteit Leiden
Program: Leiden Centre for Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Karlijn Navest

Dissertation Title: John Ash and the Rise of the Children's Grammar

Dissertation URL: http://www.lotpublications.nl/index3.html

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            History of Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade

Dissertation Abstract:

From the second half of the eighteenth century onwards a knowledge
of grammar served as an important marker of class in England. In order to
enable their children to rise in society, middle-class parents expected
their sons and daughters to learn English grammar. Since England did not
have an Academy which would produce an authoritative grammar, many
individuals took it upon themselves to compose grammars, and the Baptist
minister John Ash (1724?-1779) was one of them.

Ash's Grammatical Institutes (1760) was originally written for the author's
five-year-old daughter and was printed for the use of his schoolmaster
friends. The grammar became available to a wide public in 1766 when it was
published in London, as The Easiest Introduction to Dr. Lowth's English
Grammar. Unlike Robert Lowth, whose grammar was regarded as being too
difficult for beginners, Ash fared much better in producing an elementary
manual, and it consequently played an important role in the rise of the
children's grammar.

Making extensive use of primary source materials such as grammars, letters,
reviews and newspaper advertisements, this study contributes to existing
scholarship in the field of eighteenth-century grammars and grammarians. It
provides an in-depth study of Ash's Grammatical Institutes and its
influence on other popular grammars for children, such as those written by
Lady Ellenor Fenn and the nineteenth-century female grammarians.

This book is of interest to sociohistorical linguists working in the field
of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century grammar-writing, as well as to book
historians and historians of education and children's literature.

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