Transforming Early English: The Reinvention of Early English and Older Scots

Transforming Early English

The Reinvention of Early English and Older Scots
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication:
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Short description:

Considers how medieval English and Scots texts were re-worked in later centuries, and the implications for philological theory and practice.

Long description:
Transforming Early English shows how historical pragmatics can offer a powerful explanatory framework for the changes medieval English and Older Scots texts undergo, as they are transmitted over time and space. The book argues that formal features such as spelling, script and font, and punctuation - often neglected in critical engagement with past texts - relate closely to dynamic, shifting socio-cultural processes, imperatives and functions. This theme is illustrated through numerous case-studies in textual recuperation, ranging from the reinvention of Old English poetry and prose in the later medieval and early modern periods, to the eighteenth-century 'vernacular revival' of literature in Older Scots.

'The questions that the book attempts to answer ... are ... extremely relevant, as any answers will have immediate and crucial import on the field of linguistics in general.' Marcin Krygier, Studia Anglica Posnaniensia
Table of Contents:
Prologue. Snatched from the fire: the case of Thomas Percy; 1. On historical pragmatics; 2. Inventing the Anglo
-Saxons; 3. 'Witnesses preordained by God': the reception of Middle English religious prose; 4. The great tradition: Langland, Gower, Chaucer; 5. Forging the nation: reworking older Scottish literature; 6. On textual transformations: Walter Scott and beyond.