Article

Old English Language

Thomas Cable

in Medieval Studies

ISBN: 9780195396584
Published online December 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0064
Old English Language

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)
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  • Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400)
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As the English language changed after the Norman Conquest, documents and literary texts written in Old English (from the late 7th century to the mid-12th century) became increasingly inaccessible even to scholars. It was during the reign of Elizabeth I that investigations into the earliest stages of the English language were undertaken. Because studies of Old English informed by classical scholarship preceded the great discoveries in historical linguistics of the 19th century, not to mention the explosion of linguistic theory in the 20th, “philological” and “linguistic” approaches to the subject have often proceeded on parallel tracks, sometimes antagonistic, sometimes fruitfully complementary. Although insights from linguistic theory have sharpened some descriptions, for the most part the grammars, dictionaries, and specialized studies are quite traditional.

Article.  3679 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy ; Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400) ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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