This chapter focuses on the patterns of popular speech in 16th- and 17th-century England. There were numerous varieties of English in use in early modern England. English was enormously enriched and expanded by the infusion of words and phrases from other languages, due to the influence of print culture and the cross fertilization in European intellectual life during the Renaissance. The perception of language saw a change to a more self-conscious identification of speech patterns with social status. New linguistic standards rendered alternative varieties of English objects of curiosity and academic interest. The interest in the dialect words of particular regions was a common feature of antiquarian scholarship during the 17th century.
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