Part 1. London dialect in the development of the English language
Part 2. London dialect contribution in standardization of English
Part 3. Contemporary London dialect – Cockney.
1.Barber, Charles L., 1993. The English Language: a historical introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2.Bourcier, Georges 1981. An introduction to the history of the English language. Trans. and adapted by C. Clark. Cheltenham: Thornes.
3.Carter, Ronald, 1990. Language in the National Curriculum. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
4.Coates, Jennifer, 1998. Language and Gender: a reader. Oxford: Blackwell.
5.Crystal, David, 1995. Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
6.Crystal, David, 1996. Rediscover Grammar, 2nd ed. London: Longman.
7.Fisher, John H. 1977. ‘Chancery and the emergence of Standard English’, Speculum, 52: 870-99.
8.Fisher, John H. 1996. The Emergence of Standard English. Lexington: University o
Показать всеf Kentucky Press.
9.Freeborn, Dennis, 1992. From Old English to Standard English. London: Macmillan.
10.Freeborn, Dennis, 1993. Varieties of English, 2nd ed. Basingstoke (Hants): Macmillan.
11.Graddol, David, Dick Leith and Joan Swann, 1996. English: history, diversity and change. London: Routledge.
12.Hogg, Richard M., 1992. The Cambridge History of the English Language. Cambridge: C.U.P.
13.Lass, Roger, 1987. The Shape of English. London: Dent.
14.Leith, Dick 1997 . A social history of English. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.
15.Milroy, James and Lesley Milroy, 1985. Authority in Language. London: Routledge Kegan Paul.
16.Milroy, James and Lesley Milroy, 1993. Real English: the grammar of English dialects in the British Isles.
17.Quirk, Randolph, 1982. Style and Communication in the English Language. London: Edward Arnold.
18.Samuels, Michael L. 1972. Linguistic evolution with special reference to English. Cambridge: University Press.
19.Smith, Jeremy J., 1996. An Historical Study of English. London: Routledge.
20.Strang, Barbara 1970. A history of English. London: Methuen.
21.Strang, Barbara Mary Hope, 1970. A History of English. London: Methuen.
22.Trudgill, Peter, 1999. The Dialects of England, 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell.
23.Wakelin, Martyn 1977. English dialects. An introduction. 2nd edition. London: Athlone Press
24.Wells, John, 1982. Accents of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Скрыть
According to Fisher (1977: 885) one can recognize different sources for this late Middle English standard. Firstly, the literary standard which was used by Wycliffe, the first translator of the Bible into English, and his followers (the so-called Lollards). Secondly, the literary language used by London authors like Chaucer and Gower. Thirdly, the influence of certain writers of the Chancery, e.g. those who used northern varieties, from which the pronominal forms with initial th- were adopted and which are not to be found with Chaucer for instance.
The spelling and morphology of Chancery English was conservative. For example one finds orthographic renderings of velar/palatal fricatives (gh as in slaughter; right, high) which may well have already disappeared from the spoken language of th
Показать всеe time. The ending -th for verbs in the third person singular present tense was used for some considerable time although these were replaced by forms in -s which have their origin in the north of England. Other preferences of Chancery English were such for s(w)ich(e), not for nat, through for thurgh, etc.
It is clear that already by the 15th century the language of the Chancery was not a regional variety but a mixed form of English which was used as a general means of communication between dialects. Here one can recognise the seed of a development which was to become typical for the later standard of English, i.e. a form of language which was not regionally bound and which was used by speakers of widely differing dialectal backgrounds.
The literary dialect of London never, as has been said, got wholly out of touch with the other dialects of the island. They continued to affect it in many ways; it was a “natural” growth in that it was not consciously regulated by groups of literary men in the way that German or French has been regulated. In company with the British Constitution it muddled along, obtaining surprisingly good results, all things considered. Of the spoken language, apart from many rustic dialects of a pedigree as honourable as it is ancient, there are at least two recognized standards in England, a Northern British and a Southern British, and, in addition, educated Scots and Irishmen and Welshmen have ways of speaking that are quite distinctly their own. The farther one travels from London the less noticeable becomes the difference between British English and American. If it be urged that the literary language is largely uniform throughout the British Isles—leaving out works that are frankly in dialect—this can in great part be accounted for by the fact that political and literary life centre in the great commercial city of London. But the varieties that characterize spoken English today were probably even greater—less subdued to a literary medium—in the seventeenth century when the language was transplanted to America. And American authors have seldom written with an eye to the London book market. It is not, therefore, surprising that the English in America, cut off from the British at home by an estranging sea and feeling for them an affectionate regard in about the same degree as it was accorded, should not have followed precisely the same lines of change.
Some of the resulting differences it will help matters to glance at, but still there is one point to examine – the impact of London English in the development of the standard English.
Part 2. London dialect contribution in standardization of English
The fundamental work on standardization of English was done by Michael Samuels 1960s. Samuels identified four types of incipient standard. Type I is associated particularly with the Wycliffite texts of the mid to late 14th century. Type I texts come mostly from the Central Midlands, i.e., Northamptonshire, Huntingdon and Bedfordshire. Type II is represented by a group of mid 14th century texts which show the features we would expect from texts from London or Essex. The central texts of Type III are the best manuscripts of Chaucer which show London English, at least at the Court, of around 1400. Samuels calls Type IV "Chancery Standard", and it is best evidenced by the mass of government material which first begins to appear roundabout 1430.
Here are some examples of the usage in these 4 types:
There are, obviously, substantial differences between each type. Some modern type forms can be seen already in Type I, e.g. þey (= they), whilst others only appear in Type IV. Furthermore, only Type IV is immediately recognisable as an antecedent of the present-day language.
Now this situation is rather curious. Consider in particular the differences between Types II and IV. It would appear that they both represent forms of London English separated merely by a period of less than a century. But the differences are so large that chronology scarcely seems a sufficient explanation. The answer to this puzzle is manifold. A key element was certainly patterns of immigration in London. In the early 14th century immigration into London was primarily from the Home Counties and East Anglia. But during the century the immigration patterns changes, with the principal sources being the East Central Midlands, although immigration continued from Norfolk at a steady rate. As such immigrants moved to London, they would, of course, bring their dialect with them, including such non-London forms as they and theyre. Very roughly speaking, what we are presented with is an amalgam where potent elements are older London English alongside newer forms from the Central Midlands and East Anglia. The standard language which emerges is not properly London English at all ~ London English carries on and is still today easily distinguished from Standard English. But there is more to the development than that.
Einar Haugen suggested that standardisation must meet four criteria: selection, codification, elaboration and acceptance. Standard English was selected because the seat of government was in London, it was codified partly through printing, for printers required settled forms, and partly through education, as the new middle classes demanded an education in English, rather than French or Latin. Its elaboration was a result of its quick spread through all written discourse, and not merely the language of government. These three effects then led to its acceptance as the usage of educated people, at least in formal situations.
By the end of the 16th century, George Puttenham was able to advise:
ye shall therfore take the vsuall speach of the Court, and that of London and the shires lying about London within lx. myles, and not much above. I say not this but that in euery shyre of England there be gentlemen and others that speake but especially write as good Southerne as we of Middlesex or Surrey do, but not the common people of euery shire …
To cut a complicated story short, there appears to have been two systems at work in London at the time. The first, which is traditionally called System 1, was the system derived from Chancery Standard. The second, System 2, was been used by middle class speakers including immigrant speakers from East and Central Midlands. From our point of view today, the interesting aspect of this dual system is that during the 17th century System 2 gradually ousted the more conservative Chancery Standard of System 1.
This could only have occurred as the result of dialect contact. But more than that, there must have been a sociological context beyond the mere linguistic. The explanation which seems most plausible is that aspiring middle class speakers from the Midlands, as they arrived in London, found themselves, as they strove to improve their position, attempted without success to assimilate their speech to the aristocratic manners of the Court. If we try to replicate the resolution of this dialect conflict with the linguistic situation at the beginning of the 21st century, there happens to be a remarkable parallel. For, just as in the 17th century, today we find another group of social climbers whose dialect norms are invading the standard language. That, of course is the contemporary phenomenon known as Estuary English.
But the first point is that standard English is not constant. Change occurs. Furthermore that change is not purely linguistic. That is to say, although change can occur as the result of internal linguistic change, for example the rise of the auxiliary verb do, absent from the language until about the fifteenth century. It also occurs as the result of social factors. The rise of System 2 is clear evidence of that. Indeed, some contemporary writers deplored the change. Alexander Gil, who taught, amongst others, John Milton, talks about "the affectations of the Mopsies", most probably the 17th century equivalent of Estuary English speakers. Thus social prejudices affecting the language even then. Gil was complaining about men such as John Hart, one of the other great spelling reformers of the time. It would appear that whereas Gil used System 1, the old aristocratic system, Hart was a middle class System 2 speaker.
Be that as it may, even System 2 was not designed to last. That system had some features which are today archaic, not current in Standard English since the 18th century. The most obvious of these is seen in writers such as Pope, who rhymes speak and take. The loss of such rhymes was again the result of dialect mixture, and it seems probably the result of influence from East Anglian dialects. The vowel system there was quite distinct from either of the other two systems we have looked at, and had been so since Anglo-Saxon times. But the links between there and London had always remained strong, and it would appear that the mix of rural and urban was the force which allowed the development of a new System, System 3 in our terms to emerge.
It is tempting to assume that, once System 3 had taken over, the Standard language settled down. Yet there are continuing changes, not merely in the vowel system. Changes affecting every area of the language. To stick with the sound system for one more moment, the fact that my speech is peppered with glottal stops, a feature which astonishes my Californian colleagues and which some of you may regard as uncouth, has to be set against the claim which I would make that I speak Standard English. Time for another question: How can that be true?
The apparent strangeness of my claim leads us away from sound systems. For the issue which becomes more and more important in the 18th century is codification. No doubt most of you will know of Jonathan Swift’s Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue. Here is a short extract from that essay:
Besides the grammar-part, wherein we are allowed to be very defective, those persons will observe many gross improprieties, which however authorized, and grown familiar, ought to be discarded
Undoubtedly, there were others like Swift. The following is part of a resolution which was adopted by the Royal Society in 1664:
... there were persons of the Society whose genius was very proper and inclined to improve the English tongue, particularly for philosophic purposes, it was voted that there should be a committee for improving the English language.
For the most part the desire for the correction of English lay with two other groups, who overlapped considerably. These were teachers and journalists (or, rather, the eighteenth century equivalent thereof). The feature that joined them together was the realisation that there was considerable profit to be made, especially from the new middle classes, many of whom came from families who were either non-literate or scarcely literate. Much of this no doubt due to the Industrial Revolution, although long-term effects were also important, in particular the rise of printing and the continuing urbanisation of England. Скрыть
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