By Risto Hiltunen (ed.), Janne Skaffari (ed.)
Overlaying approximately a thousand years, this quantity explores medieval and sleek English texts from clean views. in the fairly new box of old discourse linguistics, the synchronic research of enormous textual devices and attention of text-external positive factors relating to discourse has up to now obtained little cognizance. To fill that hole, this quantity bargains reports of medieval educational and non secular texts and correspondence from the early sleek interval. The contributions spotlight writer-audience relationships, the meant use of texts, descriptions of text-type, and questions of orality and manuscript contextualization. the subjects, starting from the reception of previous English texts to the conventions of functional guide in center English to the epistolary development of technology in early sleek English, are at once proper to ancient linguists, discourse and textual content linguists, and scholars of the background of English.
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Additional info for Discourse Perspectives on English: Medieval to Modern
Studies tracing the later development of the genres can show whether these oral features change their shape or disappear as the genre gets more literate (cf. Valle this volume and elsewhere on scientiªc writing). Likewise, more studies of diŸerent genres are necessary to suggest ways of distinguishing genuinely oral uses of the features from cases of conscious stylistic choices. Only by considering larger samples representing diŸerent genres and diŸerent reception formats can we identify the in¶uence of reception format from among generic characteristics and results of other choices.
These spoken features in written texts represent both the structural and contextual groups in Table 1. Research on earlier material has, on the one hand, searched for traces of oral tradition in early literature, particularly poetry and narrative (cf. 1. 2. on composition and transmission). Apart from the recurrence of formulas, these studies have noted the use of repetitive structures in general (Finnegan 1979), the occurrence of markers of text structure, especially particles (Enkvist 1986 on þa), and a looser episodic structure (Evans 1986) in narrative texts closer to orality.
However, the main interest of these studies is in the reception formats themselves, not in their linguistic consequences. In the present study, clues to reception formats found in the texts are used as a basis in selecting materials for an investigation of linguistic features. Though explicit indications of receptions formats can take a variety of forms, I have here chosen to focus on references to how the text was used or was intended to be used by its producer(s) and/or receiver(s). More speciªcally, I have searched the texts for expressions relating to how the receiver either hears, reads or hears someone else read the text and how the producer(s) either writes or ‘speaks’ the text, or allows for both options.