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The Use and Development of Middle English

Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Middle English, Cambridge 2008


Edited By Richard Dance and Laura Wright

The fourteen essays presented here discuss the development of English during the Middle English period: how the language developed from Old English, linguistic innovations, and the loss and abandonment of certain words and constructions. A common theme is variation and variability – dialectal, social, temporal, stylistic and idiolectal – with much work fitting under the heading of historical pragmatics. Some of the essays also shed light on everyday life, customs, culture and religious practices during the period. Collectively, the essays make it clear that searchable computerized corpora have become indispensible tools of the discipline, with several contributors describing new corpora created to their own specifications.

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