Letter Writing in Late Modern Europe

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Marina Dossena, Gabriella Del Lungo Camiciotti
John Benjamins Publishing, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 254 pages
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In recent years there has been a renewed interest in correspondence both as a literary genre and as cultural practice, and several studies have appeared, mainly spanning the centuries between Early and Late Modern times. However, it is between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that the roots of contemporary usage begin to evolve, thanks to the circulation of new educational materials and more widespread schooling practices.
In this volume, chapters representing diverse but complementary methodological approaches discuss linguistic and discursive practices of correspondence in Late Modern Europe, in order to offer material for the comparative, cross-linguistic analyses of patterns occurring in different social contexts.
The volume aims to provide a general and solid methodological structure for the study of largely untapped language material from a variety of comparable sources, and is expected to appeal to scholars and students interested in the linguistic history of epistolary writing practices, as well as to all those interested in the more recent history of European languages.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
theoretical and methodological issues
13
A historical digital archive of Portuguese letters
31
Between linguistic creativity and formulaic restriction
45
Performing Identities and Interaction through Epistolary Formulae
65
Fanny to William
89
negotiating artefacts and status
105
Reporting the news in English and Italian diplomatic correspondence
121
Letters as Loot
139
The problem of reading dialect in semiliterate letters
163
I will be expecting a letter from you before this reaches you A corpusbased study of shallwill variation in Irish English correspondence
179
Letters in mechanicallyschooled language
205
Teaching grammar and composition through letter writing in seventeenth and eighteenthcentury England
229
Index
251
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About the author (2012)

Marina Dossena is Professor of English Language at the University of Bergamo.

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