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Communication Accommodation Theory

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Academic Paper


Title: Late Modern English in a Dutch context
Author: Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade
Institution: Leiden University Centre for Linguistics
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Translation
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The translation of Lindley Murray's English Grammar (1795) into many different languages is often taken as a starting point for the spread of English as a world language. This article places the developing European interest in English much earlier than that, and it does so by analysing a series of letters in the library of the University of Leiden written by Englishmen from the Late Modern English period to men of letters in the Netherlands. The letters show that English as a medium of communication was not as a rule an issue, even though Dutch letter writers were rarely exposed to English and often lacked the tools – or the teachers – to acquire the language, a situation which would change drastically during the nineteenth century. The article also analyses the earliest attempts at writing in English by Johannes Stinstra, the Dutch translator of Samuel Richardson's Clarissa.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 16, Issue 2.

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