ENGL 301-131 Prepared by: Ms. Sahar Deknash. EARLY MODERN ENGLISH 1500-1800. The Death of Chaucer at the close of the 15 th century marked the beginning of a new era in the English language history which is known as Early Modern English ( EMoE). EMoE was mainly marked by :
Prepared by: Ms. SaharDeknash
The Death of Chaucer at the close of the 15th century marked the beginning of a new era in the English language history which is known as Early Modern English ( EMoE).
EMoE was mainly marked by:
* A major change in the vowel system which is known as the GREAT VOWEL SHIFT.
* The development of a single literary and administrative variety of the language that was later to be called STANDARD ENGLISH.
During this period, a great interest in learning arouse in England leading to the establishment of a group that is called the inkhorn people. It refers to a group of educated people who became more aware of the importance of language as they studied the writings of the Latin and Greek languages.
They called for the use of these two classic languages. Sir Thomas Elyot and Sir Thomas More represented this group.
ME with its many variations and dialects was replaced by a new and more standardized language with a richer lexicon and an established and original literature.
1. To meet the need for words to describe the new inventions and discoveries.
2. The expansion and extension of English abroad and the contact with other languages.
3. The influence of the classical languages: Latin, Greek and French remained strong and they continued to be major sources of loanwords.
4. Spanish and Portuguese became new sources for English to borrow from.
5. Many other languages as: Scandinavian, Italian, German , Arabic and other Asian languages contributed to the word stock of English.
6. The British Colonization to America which started in the 15th century. Native American languages began to influence and supply English with many words, too.
A standard language is the one that is widely spread over a large area, and respected by its people and recognized for its usefulness. English suffered once of inferiority from its speakers, but suddenly during the fifteenth century it gained a high status in the society and started developing as the only standard language that should be dealt with.
While Latin started to decline, English was studied, described, codified in order to be given its legal status. In order to gain standardization, English cared about two aspect:
* Grammar Books
I. The first dictionary appeared in
1604 by Robert Cowdrey. The
dictionary ( A table of Alphapeticall)
contained 2500 rare and borrowed
II. John Bullokar’s Dictionary ( An English Expositor) appeared in 1616 for archaic words.
III. Henry Cockerman’s dictionary ( English Dictionarie ) appeared in 1623 for refined and vulgar words.
IV. Thomas Blount’s dictionary ( Glossographia) appeared in 1656. It contained 11000 entries with the etymology of words.
V. Edward Cocker’s dictionary ( English Dictionary) appeared in1704.
VI. Nathan Bailey’s dictionary ( Universal Etymological English Dictionary) in 1721 contained 48000 entries of ordinary words with etymologies, cognate forms and stress placement.
The most important dictionary was Dr. Jonson’s Dictionary ( A Dictionary of the English Language), an impressive academic achievement in its own right, appeared in 1755. Dr. Johnson’s goal was not to “ reform but to register the language”
It was significant for the following reasons:
It was the first English-English dictionary.
2. It contained 43.000 words which helped to fix and stable the spelling of English.
3. It contained illustrative quotations from famous works of Shakespeare and Chaucer.
4. It was a model for OED which we use it today.
The most important poets are:
EdmundSpenser was born in
East Smithfield, London around
the year 1552. As a young boy,
he was educated in London at
the Merchant Taylors' School and
Sir Philip Sidney:was born in November 1554,
In Kent. He was the eldest
son of Sir Henry Sidney,
Lord Deputy of Ireland.
He studied at Shrewsbury School
at the age of ten. He didn’t
continue his education due to
travelling all through the
continent. Among the places
he visited were Paris,
Frankfurt, Venice, and Vienna.
Edmund Spencer’s famous works are
Letter to Queen Elizabeth I
A dialogue Between Two Shepherds
Astrophel and Stella
The Lady of May
He was a great Elizabethan
playwright. He was born
in Kentin February 1564.
His family was rich, so he
he was sent to the Kings
School. His famous works
* Tamburline the Great and
* Dr. Faustus.
Agreat English writer
of the 17th Century. He
was also a great believer
in liberty. He studied at
St Paul's school. He
University in 1625.
He wrote the famous religious epic called Paradise Lost. Milton acquired a considerable reputation in his lifetime that only grew after his death and he was considered the greatest of English poets in the Victorian era.
His other famous works are:
On Christian Doctrine
A contemporary poet and
playwright of William Shake-
speare and Marlowe. He
Wrote satirical plays as The
Alchemist. He wrote many