Download A Book of Middle English (3rd Edition) PDF

This crucial heart English textbook, now in its 3rd variation, introduces scholars to the wide variety of literature written in England among 1150 and 1400.

New, completely revised version of this crucial heart English textbook.
Introduces the language of the time, giving suggestions on pronunciation, spelling, grammar, metre, vocabulary and nearby dialects.
Now contains extracts from ‘Pearl’ and Chaucer’s ‘Troilus and Criseyde’.
Bibliographic references were up to date throughout.
Each textual content is followed by way of specific notes.

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Additional resources for A Book of Middle English (3rd Edition)

Sample text

In order to understand the situation it is necessary to remember that the Danes and the Anglo-Saxons were both Germanic peoples with the same Germanic traditions (see here the approving references to Danes in Beowulf) and that their languages, stemming from a common source not many centuries before, must have been to some extent mutually comprehensible, albeit with some difficulty. Furthermore, in national terms there was no relation of conqueror to vanquished, (although in one area Danes might be dominant rulers, in another Anglo-Saxons would be) and thus the groups met more or less as equals and certainly with much in common.

This rise took place especially during the reigns of Edgar (959-975), and then, after a short antimonastic interregnum, Ethelred the Unready (978-1016). When Edgar came to the throne he was only 16 years old, and Ethelred was some five years younger at the same stage. Even by Anglo-Saxon standards they were both young for the throne, and naturally enough had to rely on their advisers. Fortunately, both kings had (although in the case of Ethelred, only at first) excellent advisers. In 910 at Cluny in Burgundy a Benedictine house was established and with its strict asceticism revived the tarnished image of monasticism.

The standard reference works in English are Campbell 1959 for phonology and morphology and Mitchell 1985 for syntax. Luick 1914 is equally essential for phonology. Other texts of relevance are mentioned in the Further Reading sections of individual chapters. 1 Language change and historical linguistics Greek philosophers were aware of the fact that human language is subject to change in the course of time. But only from the nineteenth century onwards did scholars develop a truly scientific approach to language change and its description.

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