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English Literature and Ancient Languages$
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Kenneth Haynes

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212125

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212125.001.0001

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Varieties of Language Purism

Varieties of Language Purism

(p.40) Chapter Two Varieties of Language Purism
English Literature and Ancient Languages


Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by discussing two kinds of language purisms. The first purism is mainly derived from French neo-classicism, aimed to reform literature especially poetry in the high style. The second purism, on the other hand, envisaged recasting the entire vocabulary of English. The chapter then considers the specific case of the monosyllable in English literature, a linguistic entity to which uniquely native English virtues have been imputed. It talks about the proposed elimination of Latinized vocabulary by French neo-classicism. It examines several literary works from the Renaissance period up to the 19th century, focusing on how writers refashioned the words that they used.

Keywords:   Anglo-Saxon, language purism, Renaissance, 19th century, monosyllable, English, French, neo-classicism, Latin

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