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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

The Language of Early English Literature

From Cædmon to Milton

ISBN 9780230291423
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Perspectives on the English Language

How did the English language change from the Old to the Early Modern period? What effect do linguistic and stylistic choices have on a text? Why is it important to consider linguistic features together in a work?

The grammar and vocabulary of the English language changed dramatically between the Old and Early Modern periods. These changes in language usage are explored in The Language of Early English Literature by examining the effect of authors' linguistic choices on the descriptions of characters, events, and situations. Written with today's undergraduate student in mind, this
textbook is a highly rewarding guide to the rich history of the English language and literature.

The Language of Early English Literature:
• provides detailed explanations of linguistic features, such as word formation, phrase structure,
syntax, and semantics
• analyses a wide range of texts from Old English, Middle English and Early Modern English, and
establishes comparisons with works written in other languages
• includes an invaluable glossary and an extensive bibliography

Sara M. Pons-Sanz is a Senior Lecturer in English Language at the University of Westminster, UK

Abbreviations and Symbols
List of Editions
1. Introduction
2. Semantics
3. Processes of Lexical Expansion I: Borrowing
4. Processes of Lexical Expansion II: Word-formation
5. Noun Phrase
6. Personal Pronouns
7. Verbal Phrase
8. Syntax
9. Linguistic Varieties
10. Conclusion


This manages the perfect balance of being engaging and accessible and also scholarly and principled. Pons-Sanz covers an extraordinary range of literature and demonstrates that knowledge of language is the key to the culture of the past. New students and old professors will find much to value here.' Peter Stockwell, University of Nottingham, UK
'Accessible and stimulating, The Language of Early English Literature introduces students to a range of linguistic techniques and offers numerous sample analyses. This book will be essential reading for students of language and literature alike.' Simon Horobin, University of Oxford, UK
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