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Title: Code-Switching in Early English
Edited By: Herbert Schendl
Laura Wright
Series Title: Topics in English Linguistics [TiEL] 76

The complex linguistic situation of earlier multilingual Britain has led to
numerous contact-induced changes in the history of English. However, bi-
and multilingual texts, which are attested in a large variety of text types, are
still an underresearched aspect of earlier linguistic contact. Such texts, which
switch between Latin, English and French, have increasingly been recognized
as instances of written code-switching and as highly relevant evidence for the
linguistic strategies which medieval and early modern multilingual speakers
used for different purposes.

The contributions in this volume approach this phenomenon of mixed-
language texts from the point of view of code-switching, an important
mechanism of linguistic change. Based on a variety of text types and genres
from the medieval and Early Modern English periods, the individual papers
present detailed linguistic analyses of a large number of texts, addressing a
variety of issues, including methodological questions as well as functional,
pragmatic, syntactic and lexical aspects of language mixing. The very
specific nature of language mixing in some text types also raises important
theoretical questions such as the distinction between borrowing and
switching, the existence of discrete linguistic codes in earlier multilingual
Britain and, more generally, the possible limits of the code-switching
paradigm for the analysis of these mixed texts from the early history of

Thus the volume is of particular interest not only for historical linguists,
medievalists and students of the history of English, but also for
sociolinguists, psycholinguists, language theorists and typologists.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
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Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Cognitive Science
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Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9783110253368
Pages: 340
Prices: Europe EURO 99.95
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9783110253351
Pages: 340
Prices: Europe EURO 99.95