greatest, most enthusiastic champion of English vernacular; Headmaster of Merchant Taylor’s School; wrote Elementarie (1582), a treatise on English spelling. called for moderation: compromise between ideal (e.g. phonetic spelling) and practical (e.g. what people so). Pioneer in wanting a dictionary for English (one wasn’t written until 150 years after he proposed the idea). developed doctrine of common usage – must look to the people to see what is happening in a language, not just the scholars.
followed Thomas Smith’s attempt at phonetic reform. Wrote: An Orthography (1570), elaborated on this work in A Method or Comfortable Beginning for All Unlearned, Whereby They May Bee Taught to Read English (1570) – more phonetic reform ideas for English (used lots of ch, sh, th, etc.), but not popular. (Wanted to re-spell English phonetically.)
a more considerable attempt at phonetic reform; wrote: Book at Large, for the Amendment of Orthographie for Enlgish Speech (1580); improved on works of Thomas Smith and John Hart; used lots of apostrophes, accent marks, etc. far too complicated to be accepted at large. was a fan of borrowing foreign words.
Sir John Cheke
Had a system of spelling that he adhered to fairly closely – doubled long vowels, dropped final -e, always used i for y, etc. Unusual but it was a system.
He was a word purist and didn’t want to borrow words; opposed inkhorn terms. p.206, 215
(Ascham was also a word purist; in contrast, Elyot was pro-inkhorn terms)
wrote Art of Rhetorique (1553); hated inkhorn terms (largely because of their obscurity) and wrote burlesque letter full of them stating why he hated them. p.216
Sir Thomas Elyot
statesman and scholar; wrote what has been called the first book on educated printed in English (The Governour); translated Greek Socrates into English; wrote Doctrinal of Princes (1534). p.212 Champion of english language p.202
Sir Thomas More
(1487-1535), wrote Utopia. A writer; Elyot’s older contemporary; introduced many new words into the language.
–>More and Elyot both very important “makers of English.”
taught by Mulcaster. poet/writer. frequent user of chaucerisms
first of dictionary-type works were explanations of hard words. He wrote: A Table of Alphabeticall of Hard Words (1604), explaining some 3,000 words.
He published the Universal Etymological English Dictionary (1721) – attempted to list all the words in the English language.
shakespeare would have been a fan of foreign borrowings. p.231
what people who didn’t want to borrow words called those borrowed words; taking words from Latin/Greek, French, other languages, etc.
people who proudly used foreign words from their travels as a sign of their well-traveledness. criticized by those who wanted to keep the language pure.
words imitations of Chaucer; most commonly used among poets who tried to use old English words to avoid borrowing from Latin/other languages.
Latin influence of the fourth period
the renaissance period. English added 12,000 words, most from Latin, during this time, about 1/2 of which are still words today. gave the language a wealth of synonyms.
Great Vowel Shift
during this period, mainly changes in long vowels.
-all the long vowels came to be pronounced with a greater elevation of the tongue and closing of the mouth.
-those that couldn’t be raised became diphthongs.
–> brought the language within measurable distance of what exists today!
OE – hit/his/him/hit –> MidEng – hit/his/hit –> “hit” weakened to “it” –> Modern period – “it” was the usual form for the subject and object. (p.234)…
when a group of words needs a possessive form:
spelling – problem: lack of uniform spelling in English. (Mulcaster called it “right writing”)
chaotic spelling kept because:
-it allows for different dialects to be represented by the same language.
-an economy of spelling: different sounds for same letters.
-allowed to see the etymology of words. shows where words came from.
-explains why we have silent letters
3 problems faced by English in becoming common language:
1-Overcoming Latin – problems of the vernacular
3-Enrichment – English didn’t have all the words it needed to express some new ideas. (this was a particular problem for translators as they translated early Greek/Latin works.)
What new forces began to affect the English language in the Modern English period?
1. printing press (1476 by William Caxton)
2. rapid spread of popular education
3. increase communication and means of communication/transportation
4. growth of specialized knowledge
5. emergence of various forms of self-consciousness about language
why may it be said that these forces were both radical and conservative?
radical (promote change; thousands of new words) with vocab; conservative (preserve tradition; this time was marked more by the survival of certain grammatical forms than by the development of any new ones) with grammar
what problems did the modern European languages face in the 16th century?
they seemed immature, unpolished, and limited in resources.
not as good as the elevated classical languages, not as much to work with.
why did English have to be defended a a language of scholarship?
Had to be given value; it was just as good as classical languages if it were to be used properly.
It wasn’t as well developed yet.
The Romans spoke latin, the greeks Greek; English should speak English.
Scholarly superiority wanted to keep things in lofty Latin.
how did the scholarly recognition of English come about?
initially experimental; then translators and printers made English more than Greek/Latin because English would sell.
who were among the defenders of borrowing foreign words? p.218
Sir Thomas Elyot, Richard Mulcaster, Roger Ashem, George Pettie, William Bullokar
what was the general attitude toward inkhorn by the end of Elizabeth’s reign?
being accepted; those who opposed it still opposed the principle more than the actual process. the attitude was one of compromise: no Elizabethan could wholly avoid the use of the new words.
what were some of the ways in which Latin words changed their form a they entered the English language? p.222
cut off the Latin ending, and often required to change the remaining ending.
-us –> -ous
-tas –> -ty (brevitas–>brevity)
why were some words in Renaissance English rejected while others survived?
-it is hard to say why some words, seemingly just as good as others, were dropped.
-however, the most common reason is if a word was not needed.
what classes of strange words did 16th century purists object to?
inkhorn terms/oversea language/chaucerisms
-also: Aureate words (term from earlier chapters): words used in ME period borrowed from other languages for stylistic purposes, mostly in poetry.
when was the first English dictionary published?
-Robert Cawdry (1604) explained hard words.
-Nathaniel Bailey (1721) first attempt to list all the words in the language.
what was the main purpose of English dictionaries throughout the 17th century?
they explained words, esp hard words.
From the discussions in text, summarize the principal features in which SHR’s pronunciation differs from your own.
-he pronounced for
– er/ir/ur union was on its way though not yet established.
– and were distinct from each other (i.e., see and sea didn’t rhyme).
– – e.g., blood and mood rhymed
**differences in quality (sound) of vowels and differences of accent.
–>situation would have been quite different with earlier language of Chaucer b/c he was pre-GreatVowelShift
Why is vowel length important in discussing sound changes in the history of the English language?
major sound change between Chaucer and SHR. In the course of the 15th and 16th centuries, the long vowels of Middle Eng underwent a wholesale but quite regular shifting. (p.232) much easier to understand pronunciation of SHR than Chaucer.
why is the Great Vowel Shift responsible for the anomalous (deviate from standard) use of the vowel symbols in Eng spelling?
change in the long vowel – Chaucer’s vowels had “continental value”
SHR’s did not.
what nouns with the OE weak plural -n can be found in SHR?
eyen (eyes), kneen (knees), fleen (fleas)
today remaining: oxen
why Mod Eng nouns have an apostrophe in the possessive?
contraction of the his-genitive
when did group possessive become common in Eng?
modern period, post-16thC (same time as loss of thou/thy/thee)
how did SHR’s use of adjectives differ from current usage?
by comparative/superlative degrees.
OE: often double comparative/superlateive degrees (use both -er/-est and more/most)
Now: monosyllables take -er/-est
2+ syllables take more/most
what distinctions, at different periods, were made by the forms thou/thy/thee?
-in the earliest period, thou=singular, ye=plural of 2nd person pronoun.
-in the 13th C, singular forms (thou/thy/thee) were used in addressing children/inferiors and ye/your/you as a mark of respect.
-by 16th century, most of the distinction was gone.
when did these forms fall out of general use?
late 16th early 17th century
how consistently were the nominative “ye” and the objective “you” distinguished during the Renaissance?
some authors were careful, but even SHR switches up the meanings sometimes. ye finally disappeared, and Ascham and Elyot make no distinction.
-In 17th C, “you” becomes the regular form for both nominative and objective cases.
two noteworthy developments of the pronoun in the 16th C
“its” and “who” (who as a relative pronoun)
what is the origin of the form “its” ?
OE – hit/his/him/hit –> MidEng – hit/his/hit –> hit weakened to it –> Modern period – “it” was the usual form for the subject and object.
when did “who” begin to be used as a relative pronoun? what are the sources of the form?
16th century. (p.238)
sources: who as indefinite pronoun and who as an interrogative in indirect questions (p.239)
what forms for the 3rd person singular of the verb does one find in SHR? What happened to these forms during the 17th C.
-eth and -es; some characters use both interchangeably mid-sentence. BUT: in SHR’s time, -s was used in spoken language.
during 17th C, -s became universal in spoken lang, -eth commonly written.
(-s becomes ending of 3rd person PLURAL also)
how would cultivated speakers of Elizabethan times have regarded SHR’s use of the double negative in *”quote”*?
fits with spirit of his age; outside conventional grammar. seen as more emphatic a usage. p.242.