WiSe 15/16: VS-Language Change II: Early Modern English
Considered from Present Day English the period of Early Modern English (1500 to 1800) represents the most important time in the history of the English language. During these three centuries the ... read more
Considered from Present Day English the period of Early Modern English (1500 to 1800) represents the most important time in the history of the English language. During these three centuries the structure of Modern Standard English war formed. After the standardization of the written form during the fifteenth century the English language also developed a spoken standard used by educated people. The period of Early Modern English not only saw important innovations such as the publication of dictionaries and grammars but also farreaching structural changes: The transfer and the integration of thousands of Latin and Romance loanwords enriched the English vocabulary; the Great Vowel Shift (1400 - 1800) revolutionized the system of vowels; other changes concerned grammatical and lexical morphology. However, the most intensive changes affected EModE syntax; e.g. the formation of composite tenses and of relative clauses, the development of do-support and of modal auxiliaries and the evolution of the English aspectual system. Each of the major innovations and changes will be discussed in the course.
T. Nevalainen, An Introduction to Early Modern English, Edinburgh 2006.
I. Tieken-Boon van Ostade, An Introduction to Late Modern English, Edingburgh 2009.