Download English in Nineteenth-Century England: An Introduction by Manfred Görlach PDF

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By Manfred Görlach

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Extra info for English in Nineteenth-Century England: An Introduction

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H. Borrow's novels Lavengro (1851) and Romany Rye (1857). ). 1 Attitudes In spite of the documentation quoted above, there is an insufficiency of reliable data on what people thought about linguistic correctness and prestige (and how such opinions related to the same persons' actual usage); anecdotal evidence comes from private letters and similar documents, such as those quoted in Honey (1988,1989), and from the prescriptive statements in grammar books and advice in books on etiquette. Attitudes can also be reconstructed from novels and plays, although these data need to be interpreted with particular caution.

At present London seems bent on deleting the letter r, but without much success outside her own immediate neighbourhood. Still, the influence of the metropolis is very great, and there is much fear lest thereby the English of these islands may be led into an insular course of development which would be fatal to its world-wide mission. 7 The makers of nineteenth-century English How far do individuals influence the language of their times? Little, we might expect looking at the impact that the schools and the media have and have had from the 19th century onwards.

A survey illustrating the life dates and periods of literary activity of 19th-century authors is therefore not to be equated with their contribution to 'the making of English'. On a different level, the influence of grammarians and lexicographers is unique in the period. Some dictionaries (by Johnson 1755, and Walker 1791) continued to form the gauge of correctness, as did the grammars by Lowth (1762) and L. Murray (1795). 19th-century highlights in these areas were more elitist and had, therefore, less impact - the adoption of 'philology', the making of the OED (cf.

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