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An Introduction to Middle English

Simon Horobin, Jeremy Smith

Hardback i (Printed to Order)
eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

An Introduction to Middle English is designed to provide undergraduate students of English historical linguistics with a concise description of the language during the period 1100-1500. Middle English, the language of Chaucer, is discussed in relation to both earlier and later stages in the history of English, and in relation to other languages with which it came into contact.

Key Features

  • presents the historical and geographical contexts of Middle English
  • examines the evidence for Middle English;
  • introduces the principal features of Middle English spelling, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary
  • includes an introduction to Middle English textual studies; selected Middle English texts, both literary and non-literary; notes, glossaries and annotated bibliographies; and questions for review.

Most other introductory books on Middle English focus on literary rather than linguistic matters; this book is designed to redress the balance, by providing students of English language with an up-to-date, authoritative survey which takes account of recent trends in historical linguistics.


1. Introduction
2. What did Middle English look like?
3. Middle English in use
4. Spelling and sounds
5. The lexicon
6. Grammar
7. Looking forward
Appendix of texts
Discussion of the exercises.

About the Author

Simon Horobin is a Fellow in English at Magdelen C.ollege, Oxford

Jeremy Smith is a Reader in the department of English Literature at the University of Glasgow.

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