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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

By Rudolf Botha

Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


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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.

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This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 16, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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