This is a short, accessible introduction to Middle English, as found in the work of Chaucer.
Introductory chapters discuss standard topics, such as the relative novelty of writing in English, issues in Middle English dialectology and linguistic standardisation, and the sources of evidence for Chaucer's work. Later chapters discuss spelling and phonology, discourse and pragmatics, vocabulary, grammar and style.
Who is it for? Students of English literature who are studying Chaucer and anyone starting the study of Middle English or the history of English.
Presentation: Clear layout with helpful tables for some grammatical points and lots of well set-out examples from texts.
Any extras? A collection of annotated sample texts, a short glossary of linguistic terminology and attempts to represent the sounds of Middle English on the basis of present-day English spelling as well as using the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Would you recommend it? Highly recommended for students who need to understand Chaucer in the original but haven't studied the history of English (although some basic knowledge of linguistic concepts is assumed). It would be useful, too, as an introduction for English language students studying the period.
Patrick Honeybone, lecturer in linguistics and English language at Edinburgh University.
Chaucer's Language. First Edition
Author - Simon Horobin
Publisher - Palgrave
Pages - 208
Price - £45.00 and £14.99
ISBN - 9781403993557 and 3564