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Approaches to Middle English

Variation, Contact and Change


Edited By Juan Camilo Conde-Silvestre and Javier Calle-Martín

This volume contains a selection of papers presented at the 8 th 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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Spatio-temporal systems in A Treatise on the Astrolabe: Minako Nakayasu


Minako NakayasuHamamatsu University School of Medicine

Spatio-temporal systems in A Treatise on the Astrolabe1


In our world, where numerous situations occur in a variety of modes, it is the speaker of language who takes responsibility in choosing which situation to put into language and where on the time axis to place it. In A Treatise on the Astrolabe, for example, Geoffrey Chaucer explains an astrolabe to his 10-year-old son employing a variety of expressions. Examine the following context, where he starts his explanation:

(1) Now wol I preie mekely every discret persone that redith or herith this litel tretys to have my rude enditying for excusid, and my superfluite of wordes, for two causes. The firste cause is for that curious enditying and hard sentence is ful hevy at onys for such a child to lerne. And the secunde cause is this, that sothly me semith better to writen unto a child twyes a god sentence, than he forgete it onys (Ast, 0.41–9).2

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