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English in the Middle Ages$
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Tim William Machan

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282128

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282128.001.0001

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After Middle English

After Middle English

Chapter:
(p.161) 5 After Middle English
Source:
English in the Middle Ages
Author(s):

Tim William Machan (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282128.003.0005

This chapter explores some significant early modern developments in the ecology of English and their ramifications for the status of the language. It considers Robert Crowley's 1550 edition of Piers Plowman. It argues that what limits the shape of a language's status among its users are the sociolinguistic constraints predicted by the Uniformitarian Principle, which, rather than the rhetorical approach of literary studies or the formalist approach of structural linguistics, have underwritten much of the inquiry in this book.

Keywords:   linguistic beliefs, Piers Plowman, Robert Crowley, English

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