Scandinavian Elements in Middle English
Chapter Six: Some final remarks
Chapter Six Some final remarks Throughout this study I have tried to focus on the social character of language as a means of communication and to consider that this social nature is an im- portant factor in language change. However, language change is a very broad phenomenon, and for this reason I have limited its scope here. Such a restric- tion is twofold: first, the time span under analysis has been limited, looking only at Middle English, and assuming a traditional understanding of dates, given that a discussion of the periodisation of the English language is not one of my aims here (Moskowich 2001). Second, I have limited my research to the lexicon. It is clear that my conception of language as expounded in the current work is far removed from that first posited by Chomsky’s (1965) theoretical framework of language, constructed on the notion of an ideal speaker within a homogeneous speech community. On the contrary, my approach attaches great significance to the sociocultural elements in language and, since this study dealt with one particular diachronic development, it also meant that re- course to history was required. When a human being communicates with oth- ers, the communicative act takes place in a specific context, and this context determines both the behaviour of speaker and listener, as well as the nature of the message itself. The uses of language are also constrained by certain socio- historical features. No speaker communicates the same way as another, and even when we refer...
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