An Introduction to Middle English

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OUP USA, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 182 pages
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This authoritative survey offers a concise description of Middle English, the language of Chaucer, during the period from 1100 to 1500. Middle English is discussed in relation to both earlier and later stages in the history of English and in regard to other languages with which it came into contact. The book covers the principal features of Middle English spelling, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary and also introduces Middle English textual studies.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
12 How to use this book
2
13 A note about technical terms
3
Recommendations for reading
4
What did Middle English look like?
7
22 A passage from The Canterbury Tales
8
23 Linguistic analysis
11
24 Evidence for Middle English
13
Exercises
64
Recommendations for reading
65
The lexicon
69
52 The origins of ME vocabulary
70
53 Some notes on meaning
77
54 Word geography
79
55 Chaucers lexicon
80
56 Vocabulary and style
81

25 Two illustrations
14
26 Editing Middle English
19
Exercises
20
Recommendations for reading
22
Middle English in use
26
33 For what was Middle English used?
30
34 The dialects of Middle English
31
35 Written standardisation
34
36 The standardisation of speech
36
Exercises Questions for review
38
Spellings and sounds
40
42 Reconstructing ME pronunciation
42
an outline history
44
44 Chaucerian transmission
46
45 Middle English soundsystems
50
46 Middle English writingsystems
60
Exercises
84
Recommendations for reading
85
Grammar
89
62 Syntax
92
63 Morphology
103
Exercises
118
Recommendations for reading
119
Looking forward
126
72 Language and text
133
Exercises
139
Middle English texts
142
Discussion of the exercises
170
References
173
Index
178
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About the author (2002)

Simon Horobin and Jeremy Smith are both at University of Glasgow.