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The Use of Modal Expression Preference as a Marker of Style and Attribution

The Case of William Tyndale and the 1533 English "Enchiridion Militis Christiani</I>

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Elizabeth Bell Canon

Can an author’s preference for expressing modality be quantified and then used as a marker of attribution? This book explores the possibility of using the subjunctive mood as an indicator of style and a marker of authorship in Early Modern English texts. Using three works by the sixteenth-century biblical translator and polemicist, William Tyndale, Elizabeth Bell Canon establishes a predictable preference for certain types of modal expression. The theory of subjunctive use as a marker of attribution was then tested on the anonymous 1533 English translation of Erasmus’ Enchiridion Militis Christiani. Also included in this book is a modern English spelling version Tyndale’s The Parable of the Wicked Mammon.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................ vii ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS ... ...................................................... ix 1 Introduction ............................................................................................ 1 2 Computational Analysis of Texts .......................................................... 5 2.1 The Nuts and Bolts of a Computer-Assisted Corpus Analysis .......... 5 2.2 The Pertinence of a Corpus Study to an Historical Research Project................................................................................. 6 2.3 How the Subjunctive Mood and Stylometrics are Complementary... 7 3 The History of the Subjunctive Mood................................................... 9 3.1 The Progression from the Indo-European Optative to English Subjunctive ...................................................................................... 10 4 William Tyndale, The Man.................................................................. 17 4.1 Growing Disapproval....................................................................... 21 4.2 The Publication of Polemical Works ............................................... 22 4.3 On the Importance of the English New Testament .......................... 24 5 The Tyndale Corpus............................................................................. 29 5.1 The Parable of the Wicked Mammon, 1528 .................................... 29 5.2 The Obedience of a Christian Man, 1528 ........................................ 31 5.3 The Practice of Prelates, 1530.......................................................... 35 6 Methodology and Data ......................................................................... 41 6.1 The Harsh Numbers ......................................................................... 46 6.2 WordSmith Tools............................................................................. 47 6.3 Resulting Data, Phase I of Study ..................................................... 52 6.4 Resulting Data, Phase II of Study .................................................... 57 The Use of Modal Expression Preference vi 7 Computer Analysis ............................................................................... 65 7.1 Introductory Discussion ................................................................... 65 7.2 The Modal Preterite Pattern in the Works of William Tyndale ....... 66 8 A Test of Authorship ............................................................................ 71 8.1 Enchiridion Militis Christiani.......................................................... 71 8.2 The Use of the Subjunctive Mood in the Anonymous Edition of the 1533 English Enchiridion Militis Christiani ......................... 75 9 Conclusion............................................................................................. 79 9.1 Criticism: Addressing the Naysayers............................................... 80 9.2 Further Research .............................................................................. 80 APPENDICES .............................................................................................. 83 A Additional Materials ........................................................................ 83 B Statistical Data ................................................................................. 87 C The Parable of the Wicked Mammon ............................................... 93 NOTES........................................................................................................ 157 REFERENCES ........................................................................................... 165

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