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Voynich in the news again
Posted: 06 July 2018 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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[ Edited: 07 July 2018 06:55 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 07 July 2018 02:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I wonder if the same thing happened in English.  A casual glance makes it appear as though the move from Old English to Middle English was pretty much a step function.  But is it the case that our knowledge of Old English is limited to poetry and other formal writings and the everyday language of the people was moving along more smoothly, but we don’t have any written evidence of the changes till fairly late?

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Posted: 07 July 2018 05:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Oh, no. It’s wasn’t anything close to a one-step process. That idea is an artifact of periodization: we show a passage from Beowulf and then one from Chaucer. There are many examples of early Middle English that, when taken together, show a gradual change. There are also regional differences, as can be seen in Langland’s Piers Plowman or Sir Gawain and Green Knight, which are quite different from Chaucer’s language, even though they were written roughly contemporaneously.

There’s also the false idea that no poetry was written in English between the Conquest and Chaucer. That’s just plain wrong too.

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Posted: 09 July 2018 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Dave Wilton - 05 July 2018 06:13 AM

In linguistics terminology, vulgar Latin is a basilect

What a dreadful word. I was wondering where kings came into it.

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