Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: English in the Middle Ages
Written By: Tim William Machan

This is an enquiry into the use and status of English in medieval England. It is concerned with English relative to French and Latin and with its regional and social varieties in relation to each other. It considers how people then viewed language and how their notion of the significance of English influenced the way they used it.

Professor Machan argues that some linguistic, literary, and historical interpretations of medieval statements on language have taken insufficient consideration of the circumstances and discursive practices which produced them. He suggests that modern linguistic attitudes and expectations can obscure specifically medieval qualities of the status of English and the uses to which it was put. In the process he brings to bear a wide range of documentary evidence, notably the royal letters issued in 1258 prior to the Baron's War and medieval diglossia. In his discussion of regional variation, he considers chronicles, poems, and commentaries including the language spoken by Chaucer's pilgrims; conversations in 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'; and post-medieval transformations of the status of English in law, literature, and education.

The book will interest scholars from a range of disciplines - particularly linguistics, literature, and history - and is written in clear, non-technical language.

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): English, Old
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0199262683
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 224
Prices: U.K. £ 45.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0199282129
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 224
Prices: U.K. £ 16.99