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HUM-Fagkomiteen for humaniora

The Middle English Grammar Project: Survey of Middle English Transmission

Tildelt: kr 6,1 mill.





2006 - 2010

Midlene er mottatt fra:


The present project forms part of the Middle English Grammar Project, a large-scale undertaking that aims to produce an authoritative account of Middle English (ca 1100-1500). The accounts that exist are badly outdated, and an up-to-date description is ne eded. This project is concerned with Middle English spelling and phonology: the transmission aspect of language. The Middle English period is a formative one in the history of the English language. Key issues to be addressed include the roles of Old No rwegian and Danish in the development of English, and the gradual evolution of the English spelling system. However, the relevance of the Middle English materials goes beyond the History of English itself. Because of the lack of a written standard, thes e materials present a unique body of evidence for the general study of linguistic variation and change, as well as for the study of language contact and of written systems. Apart from its descriptive aims, the study is hoped to make a substantial contrib ution to theoretical debates within these areas. A comprehensive, detailed study of Middle English linguistic variation in its social and historical contexts has only become possible with the development of information technology. The present study will thus be breaking new ground. It builds upon the methodology developed by Profs. McIntosh, Samuels and Benskin in connection with the Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English (1986), combined with insights from variationist linguistics. The Survey o f Middle English Transmission has been ongoing since 1998 at the University of Glasgow and Stavanger UC. This application concerns the Norwegian part of the Survey, which is responsible for the Western and Northern parts of England. The project is clos ely linked with other international surveys within English Historical Linguistics (esp. the Edinburgh Historical Atlases projects) which today make the field a highly dynamic and exciting one


HUM-Fagkomiteen for humaniora