It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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The Beginnings of Standardization
Language and Culture in Fourteenth-Century England
Studies in English Medieval Language and Literature Vol. 15
Developing a written standard is one of the most fundamental institutional achievements of a society. On the threshold to the Modern Era the vernaculars massively gained ground in writing throughout Western Europe. They soon underwent regularization and eventually standardization. In England, however, the situation was quite different from that of the continent: well into the 14th century the literate space was filled mainly by Latin and French. For a long time Chaucer has been regarded as having brought about the 'victory' of English. But recent research calls for a broader perspective including the work of linguists as well as literary and cultural historians. Such a new perspective helps to assess that English was not reestablished by a poet hero and standardized by a king. Instead we need to consider that various forces were at work.
Ursula Schaefer: The Beginnings of Standardization: The Communicative Space in Fourteenth-Century England
Derek Pearsall: Before-Chaucer Evidences of an English Literary Vernacular with a Standardizing Tendency
Alastair Minnis: Standardizing Lay Culture: Secularity in French and English Literature of the Fourteenth Century
Julia Boffey: Forms of Standardization in Terms for Middle English Lyrics in the Fourteenth Century
David Trotter: Language Contact, Multilingualism, and the Evidence Problem
Annette Kehnel: Poets, Preachers and Friars Revisited: Fourteenth-Century Multilingual Franciscan Manuscripts
Terttu Nevalainen: Fourteenth-Century English in a Diachronic Perspective
Matti Rissanen: On the Development of Borrowed Connectives in Fourteenth-Century English: Evidence from Corpora
Donka Minkova: Randomness or Design in the Formation of a Standardized Phonemic Inventory
Robert P. Stockwell: The Status of Late Middle English Spellings as Early Evidence of the English Vowel Shift - Andrew James Johnston/Claudia Lange: The Beginnings of Standardization