Chaucer's linguistic invention

Smith, J. J. (2019) Chaucer's linguistic invention. In: Johnson, I. (ed.) Geoffrey Chaucer in Context. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, pp. 27-34. ISBN 9781107035645 (doi: 10.1017/9781139565141)

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Chaucer changed the history of English poetry, but it seems unlikely he was thinking about that. Rather he did what any skilled poet does: he was assisted in his stylistic choices by what antiquity would have called his own peculiar ‘genius’, the particular linguistic resources of his time and place: the Middle English of London. Had he lived at another time and place, he would have expressed himself differently, and adopted a different poetic strategy. He would have ‘invented’ different things.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Jeremy
Authors: Smith, J. J.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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