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Images of Language in Middle English Vernacular Writings
Title Details

222 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

Images of Language in Middle English Vernacular Writings

by Kathy Cawsey

  • Description
  • Contents
An exploration of the use of images in Middle English texts, tracing out what can be deduced of a theory of language.
In the Middle Ages, English did not have any explicit theory or philosophy of language: philosophers wrote in Latin. This book addresses the issue. By closely analysing the images and metaphors used to describe language in MiddleEnglish texts, it explores how English writers thought language works. These images are "reverse-engineered" in an attempt to deduce what underlying theory of language could have created that image. In this way, it is possible togo beyond the clerically-educated Latin thinkers of the medieval period and try to find out what people thought in English. Taking metaphors and images from the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer, Arthurian romances, bird debates, sermons, handbooks of exempla, and medieval dramas, the book provides new and sometimes surprising readings of such familiar texts as the House of Fame and the Morte Darthur.

KATHY CAWSEY is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Introduction
Vernacular Transformation of the Latin Inheritance: Chaucer's House of Fame
Depictions of Oral Language: The Owl and the Nightingale
Ideas of Written Language: Merlin's Magical Writing
Metaphors of Language and Power: The Tutivillus Tales
Disrupting the Power Structures of Language: Wheat and Chaff
Conclusions
Bibliography
Index

Hardcover

9781843845720

October 2020

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9781787449947

October 2020

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9781800100350

October 2020

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Title Details

222 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

Imprint: D.S.Brewer