Evidence from sources after 1500

Joan C. Beal

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of English

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199922765
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Evidence from sources after 1500

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Linguistics
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics


Show Summary Details


In the history of the English language, the period after 1500 is generally known as Modern English, which is often subdivided into Early (1500–1700) and Late (1700–1900) Modern English. Unlike the periods before 1500, the Modern English period has bequeathed a rich legacy of written material, so that, even before the advent of electronic corpora, it was possible to compile large datasets for the study of variation in lexicon, syntax, and morphology. This article examines the nature of evidence for the pronunciation of English after 1500. It shows that the different types of direct and indirect evidence all have their advantages and disadvantages, but that together they provide insights into English pronunciation in the Modern English period. The direct evidence from pronouncing dictionaries and elocution guides of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is particularly valuable.

Keywords: English; history; Modern English; lexicon; syntax; morphology; pronunciation; dictionaries; elocution; linguistics; evidence

Article.  5670 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.