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Approaches to Middle English

Variation, Contact and Change


Juan Camilo Conde-Silvestre and Javier Calle-Martín

This volume contains a selection of papers presented at the 8th International Conference of Middle English, held in Spain at the University of Murcia in 2013. The contributions embrace a variety of research topics and approaches, with a particular interest in multilingualism, multidialectalism and language contact in medieval England, together with other more linguistically-oriented approaches on the phonology, syntax, morphology, semantics and pragmatics of Middle English. The volume gives a specialized stance on various aspects of the Middle English language and reveals how the interdisciplinary confluence of different approaches can shed light on manifold evidences of variation, contact and change in the period.
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The competition between purveyen and providen in late Middle English: Rafał Molencki


Rafał MolenckiUniversity of Silesia at Katowice

The competition between purveyen and providen in Late Middle English


In this article we try to find out why the verb provide replaced its earlier doublet form purvey in Late Middle/Early Modern English in most of its uses. We believe that apart from the fifteenth century re-Latinization of Romance vocabulary (including Middle English), certain phonetic processes as well as the scribal practices of the late Middle Ages may have been responsible for the quick career of the verb provide(n) at the expense of purvey(en). The earlier appearance of the nouns providence, provision may have contributed to the increasing use of the verb provide(n), too. The illustrating language material comes from the Middle English Compendium (MEC) and the Anglo-Norman Hub and Dictionary (AND), both available online.

2.The verb provide: etymology and senses

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