John Palsgrave as Renaissance Linguist: A Pioneer in Vernacular Language Description

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byGabriele Stein

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The year 1530 saw the publication in London of one of the most remarkable books of the Renaissance: Lesclarcissement de la langue francoyse. The author of this vast work of over 1,000 pages was John Palsgrave, graduate of Cambridge, Paris, and Oxford, priest and chaplain to Henry VIII, andtutor to the King's sister. His book is the first dictionary of two neighbouring vernaculars, English and French, and simultaneously the first contrastive grammar of the two languages. It reveals him as a pioneering and exceptional linguist with a sharply observant and analytical mind, who goes farbeyond the traditional application of Latin grammar-writing to two living languages. The book is also remarkable for the liveliness with which Palsgrave discusses and illustrates the social aspects of language use, dialectal variation, and the vigour of colloquial idiom. In this uniquely detailed study Stein sets the author and his book in their wider sociohistorical context and discusses Palsgrave's syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic analyses, some of which anticipate the findings of modern linguistics by over 400 years.

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The year 1530 saw the publication in London of one of the most remarkable books of the Renaissance: Lesclarcissement de la langue francoyse. The author of this vast work of over 1,000 pages was John Palsgrave, graduate of Cambridge, Paris, and Oxford, priest and chaplain to Henry VIII, andtutor to the King's sister. His book is the fir...

Gabriele Stein is Chair of English Linguistics, University of Heidelberg.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:520 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.34 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198235054

ISBN - 13:9780198235057

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`John Palsgrave's Lesclarcissement de la Langue Francoyse 1530 (LLF) is the first description of the French Language that has any claim to completeness. None of the works before it in any vernacular is comparable. Gabriele Stein's meticulous and richly detailed study, a model of scholarshipthat will not soon be equaled, accords this masterpiece and its author the respect they deserve. Palsgrave's contribution to lexiograpic practice in 16th Century England is in this volume treated with great skill and care. Stein has also presented the finest study to date of Palsgrave'spredecessors. Her book is a model of meticulous scholarship, and extremely Valuable contribution to the history of lexiography and to the cultural history of Tudor England.'Douglas A. Kibbee, Dictionaries - Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America