Studies in the dialect and palaeographical materials of the medieval West Country

Lawson, Eleanor (2002) Studies in the dialect and palaeographical materials of the medieval West Country. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The aim of this thesis is to provide a comprehensive phonological and morphosyntactic overview of the dialect materials found in Devon, Dorset and Somerset during the Middle Ages. Building on methodology developed during the creation of the Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English, the present study involves the resurveying of sources mapped in the Atlas and, from the data gathered, an in-depth look at medieval West-Country dialect areas and diachronic dialectal changes. In particular, this study aims to develop new ways of analysing and profiling both historical dialectal and palaeographical material using computer-assisted methods.

The relationship between speech and writing during the medieval period is complex. This is especially the case in a conservative and, in many ways, geographically isolated area like the West Country. A survey of spellings found in the medieval texts localised to the West Country in the Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English affords valuable insights into the, often archaic, phonology of the area and also the rapidly standardising graphetic practices of scribes during this period.

Proceeding from the initial collection of graphemic, phonological and morphosyntactic information, it is possible thereafter, using modern and traditional dialectological techniques, to determine dialect areas as well as areas of varying graphermic usage. A new approach to the comparison of scribal hands will also be detailed in this study and submitted on a CD-ROM

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Supervisor's Name: Jeremy, Prof. Smith
Date of Award: 2002
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2002-1365
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:38

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