Language in Time: Assessing Medieval French Registers in a Quest for Accuracy in Historical Linguistics

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Abstract

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...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalFrench Studies Bulletin
Volume42
Issue number159
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics

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