PART III (Early Modern English). Factors affecting the development of Early Modern English: printing (1476) spread of popular education improved means of communication growth of specialized knowledge (Latin became less and less the vehicle for learned discourse)
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(Early Modern English)
(2) establishment of a more uniform orthography;
(3) enrichment of the vocabulary
At first, writers often justified choosing English over Latin in their scholarly works (see B&C: 207). By the close of the 16th c., various writers praised The Excellency of the English Tongue (Richard Carew, 1595).
Various attempts at phonetic writing:
Thomas Smith’s (1568) Dialogue concerning the Correct and Emended Writing of the English Language (in Latin)
John Hart, An Orthographie (1569), A Method or Comfortable Beginning for All Unlearned, Whereby They May Bee Taught to Read English (1570)
William Bullokar, Booke at Large, for the Amendment of Orthographie for English Speech (1580)
Charles Butler, The English Grammar, or the Institution of Letters, Syllables, and Woords in the English Tung (1634)
Richard Mulcaster’s Elementarie (1582)
He doesn’t devise a new phonetic system but makes use of the letters already available in English. He pays attention to usage (which sometimes clashes with phonetic consistency) and analogy.
It is impossible to say how influential Mulcaster’s work was, though. To be sure, the tendency towards spelling uniformity increased steadily in the first half of the 17th c. Your book claims, rather controversially, that the modern system was practically settled by about 1650 (at least in the case of printed English).
new words mainly from Latin, but also, French, Greek, Italian, Spanish
(sometimes it’s difficult to say whether a word came from Latin directly or via French)
Various people reacted against classical borrowings (even classical scholars such as “purist” Sir John Cheke), disparagingly referred to as “inkhorn terms” (e.g. by Sir Thomas Chaloner, translator of Erasmus’ Praise of Folly in 1549). Such words were often felt to be obscure (see Thomas Wilson’s 1553 Arte of Rhetorique, see B&C: 218-20).
Others defended classical borrowings. Among them are Dryden, Mulcaster, Sir Thomas Elyot, George Pettie and Bullokar.
By the end of Elizabeth’s reign, the opposition to inkhorn terms had spent its force. The attack was then directed at the abuse of the procedure rather than the procedure itself.
Some inkhorn terms: was, above all, associated with an educated elite.
democracy, encyclopedia, allusion; external, habitual, hereditary, impersonal, insane; adapt, assassinate, benefit, consolidate, disregard, emancipate, eradicate, erupt, excavate, exist, extinguish, harass, meditate
oversea terms (words from French, Italian, Spanish)
“As for example, they call a Cloake (in the Canting tongue) a Togeman, and in Latine, toga signifies a gowne, or an upper garment. Pannam is bread: and Panis in Lattin is likewise bread. Cassan is Cheese, and is a word barbarously coynde out of the substantiue Caseus which also signifies Cheese. And so of others.”
Dictionaries of hard words: was known as the ‘canting’ language (or ‘pedlar’s French’) and was first described by
Robert Cawdrey, A Table Alphabeticall of Hard Words (1604)
John Bullokar, English Expositor (1616)
Henry Cockeram, English Dictionary (1623)
Thomas Blount, Glossographia (1656)
Edward Philipps, New World of Words (1658)
Nathaniel Bailey, Universal Etymological English Dictionary (1721) the first ‘real’ dictionary
“a Lexicon or collection of all the pure English words by themselves; then those which are derivative from others, with their prime, certaine, and natural signification ... all the technical words, especially those of the more generous employments ... a full catalogue of exotic words, such as are daily minted by our Logodaedalie ... and that it were resolved on what should be sufficient to render them current ... since, without restraining that same indomitam novandi verba licentiam, it will in time quite disguise the language.”
Some important grammatical changes in Early Modern English (see Nevalainen 2006 for more details):
(Remember also that –s is found occasionally in the 3rd personal plural.)
(Remember also that the Nominative form ye was lost.)
ME stonis – ston his stone’s
the Wife of Bath’s Tale
the Wyves Tale of Bathe
Two cubits and a half was the length of it (Bible)
nine cubits was the length thereof (Bible)
It lifted up it head (Shakespeare)
growing of the own accord (Holland)
ME PDE exceptions are found, e.g. Shakespeare’s
/E:/ > /e:/ > /i:/clean
/EI/ > /E:/ > /e:/ day
/OU/ > /o:/ grow
/aU/ > /OU/ > /O:/ law
/@I/ (or /eI/) > /EI/ > /aI/ time (ME /i:/)
/@U/ (or /oU/) > /OU/ > /aU/ loud (ME /u:/)
Northern exceptions are found, e.g. Shakespeare’s /o:/ fronting
Inception: exceptions are found, e.g. Shakespeare’s