The Development of Standard English, 1300-1800: Theories, Descriptions, Conflicts

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 14, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 236 pages
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There are many questions yet to be answered about how Standard English came into existence. The claim that it developed from a Central Midlands dialect propagated by clerks in the Chancery, the medieval writing office of the king, is one explanation that has dominated textbooks to date. This book reopens the debate about the origins of Standard English, challenging earlier accounts and revealing a far more complex and intriguing history. An international team of fourteen specialists offer a wide-ranging analysis, from theoretical discussions of the origin of dialects, to detailed descriptions of the history of individual Standard English features. The volume ranges from Middle English to the present day, and looks at a variety of text types. It concludes that Standard English had no one single ancestor dialect, but is the cumulative result of generations of authoritative writing from many text types.
 

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Contents

Historical description and the ideology of the standard language
11
Mythical strands in the ideology of prescriptivism
29
Rats bats sparrows and dogs biology linguistics and the nature of Standard English
49
Salience stigma and standard
57
The ideology of the standard and the development of Extraterritorial Englishes
73
Metropolitan values migration mobility and cultural norms London 11001700
93
Processes of the standardisation of English
115
Standardisation and the language of early statutes
117
Scientific language and spelling standardisation 13751550
131
Change from above or from below? Mapping the loci of linguistic change in the history of Scottish English
155
Adjective comparison and standardisation processes in American and British English from 1620 to the present
171
The Spectator the politics of social networks and language standardisation in eighteenth century England
195
A branching path low vowel lengthening and its friends in the emerging standard
219
Index
230
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About the author (2000)

Laura Wright is a bestselling American author of the Mark of the Vampire series, as well as the Bayou Heat and No Ring Required Series. She grew up in Minnesota and has been in Los Angeles for a while, writing. She was also an accomplished competitive ballroom dancer.

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