Sources of London English: Medieval Thames Vocabulary

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byLaura Wright

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The macaronic (mixed-language) business texts of London for the period 1275 to 1500 present a rich source of evidence for the medieval dialect of London English. Hitherto they have been ignored because of mistaken ideas about their value: they have been viewed as bastardized forms produced byill-educated scribes. We cannot dismiss macaronic documents as debased or degenerate without investigation, nor should we underestimate the evidence they present for the development of the English language. The contemporary importance of these documents is attested by their sheer number - it iseasier today to find macaronic business documents from the late medieval period in record offices than it is to find monolingual texts.The book focuses on terminology surrounding the River Thames to present a study of the medieval dialect of London. The vocabulary survey lists many words which had previously been lost to us, and the illustrative extracts from the texts present a fascinating picture of life in medieval times on theRiver Thames. The author's analysis covers the orthography, phonology, and morphology of the dialect as revealed in these texts.

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From the Publisher

The macaronic (mixed-language) business texts of London for the period 1275 to 1500 present a rich source of evidence for the medieval dialect of London English. Hitherto they have been ignored because of mistaken ideas about their value: they have been viewed as bastardized forms produced byill-educated scribes. We cannot dismiss ma...

Laura Wright, Lecturer in Linguistics, University of Hertfordshire.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.83 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198239092

ISBN - 13:9780198239093

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`important new study ... This austere linguistic study contains few generalizations, but pithy remarks sketch out ideas important for comprehending city life ... the essential material is presented with great transparency and regard for sense. This is the first substantial strike in a majorscholarly campaign: the follow-up will be worth watching.'Urban History