Title: The Language of Queen Elizabeth I
Subtitle: A Sociolinguist Perspective on Royal Style and Identity
Series Title: Publications of the Philological Society
The Language of Queen Elizabeth I presents one of the first diachronic accounts of the language – the idiolect – of the Tudor monarch who ruled England and Ireland from 1558-1603.
Using principles of variationist sociolinguistics, author Mel Evans identifies and interprets the relationship between Elizabeth’s changing language use and her social experiences as princess and queen. This examination of a number of the monarch’s letters, speeches, and translations suggests that Elizabeth I was a leader of language innovation and change, using it to build her complex social identity as a female monarch in a masculine position of power. The work establishes Elizabeth I’s participation in ten morpho-syntactic changes and explores her spelling practice.