Historical linguistics can resort to neither recordings nor interviews of native speakers. The only type of material that can be dissected is of a textual nature. This leads to two main issues: first, it has been widely observed in the literature that the choice of a certain register over another shapes the results of the investigation.1 For instance, the syntax of a poem will offer different perspectives on a language than the syntax of a recipe. Second, and this is particularly relevant to French (amongst other languages), the written language often retains archaisms that are not found in the oral tongue. However, building...
- Linguistics and Language
- Literature and Literary Theory
- Cultural Studies
- Language and Linguistics