Early Modern English (1500-1750) (CHANGES IN CULTURE (changes in…
Early Modern English (1500-1750)
major shifts in English grammatical structure were over by the time of the renaissance but many important changes changes were continuing to take place
e.g. features of verb use show differences from to 'my life is run his compass' - 'my life has run his compass'
double negatives were common due to a lack of standardisation
during this period a number of verb inflections fell out of standard use (pleaseth)
Significant stylistic developments in sentence structure
used to be little subordination and the sentences were loose and linear
influence of Latin syntactic style on English became marked in the 16th century
more complex use of subordination and a search for rhetorical contrast and balance
often confusing to read for modern reader as there was a lot of regimentation in terms of exploring potential for complex construction
new conjunction emerged (because) participial constructions became extremely common and added to the length of sentences greatly
17th century, highly sophisticated and carefully crafted sentences are common
The subjunctive - describes moods of a verb and might imply uncertainty. During the 18th century the use of the subjunctive form as a 'speculative condition' was encouraged , the infinite 'be' was used e.g 'if he be well, we shall sail tomorrow'
The object pronoun 'whom' has declined in usage potentially due to an overly formal conversation and confusion regarding the 'correct rule'
Model auxiliary verbs such as shall have also declined out of usage and replaced by 'will'
Pre-modified noun phrase are very predominant to add extra detail but this is later replaced with adverbials and relative clauses due to more complex understanding and developed form of English
CHANGES IN CULTURE
changes in geography - move out, expanded
travelling to south Africa, travelling to India, far east
bring these languages with them, landing and doing
grow culture - bring language
changes in social class means changes in language
the developments in learning during the renaissance led to rapid changes in English
interest in classical language and literature and development in the field of science, medicine, travel and arts meant that he existing vocabulary of English was woefully inadequate for the work it had to do
over 30,000 neologisms during this time
English language takes on more jobs e.g. more English into church, expands the power it has, expands its functions, expands itself
ELABORATION - selected major components of language - began to be written down - English language had more power and control as it had a growing number of functions the next stage is ACCEPTANCE
SCIENTIFIC WRITING - during the 16th century sceince began to emerege as an academic subject
Latin was the scientific lingua franca but this meant scientific texts were only accessible to the educated elite
science books began to be written in the national language of the writer which caused further expansion and changes began to appear in vocabulary as specialist terms began to appear and in syntax as the need for a clear, less orate style was identifies
standardisation was also enhanced because of this
during the 16th and 17th century, there was a growing pride in the mother tongue
a return to English after many years of french rule led to an increased in national pride
writers during the renaissance began to expand the vocabulary by coining new words using compounding and affixation, or borrowing extensively from Latin, french etc.
Prescriptivists hated the change in language, descriptivists thought it was a good thing
More words to express ourselves, fancy elaborate language
grammar began to stabilise since the middle ages
18th and 19th century little changes take place in terms of grammar- grammar resistant to change