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

Cambridge University Press (2020)
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Abstract

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.

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Jeremy Smith
Colorado State University

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