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Before quotation marks became widespread convention, English texts were organized more fluidly, employing varying lexical and textual strategies for marking represented discourse. When we add our present-day quotation marks to editions of Middle English texts, we also overlay our modern interpretation of speech representation, with its expectations of faithful reporting and carefully delineated voices. In doing so, we mask the less-determined nature of early speech marking, and obscure the ways that its plasticity functions as a narrative and stylistic tool. This book provides the first full study of speech representation in pre-modern English. Studying the pragmatic and discourse strategies of English texts from 1350–1600 is essential to reading Middle English works and to understanding the cultural assumptions implicit in the production of early written texts.Read more
- The first full study of speech representation in pre-modern English
- Examines many textual genres and contains case studies from primary legal, religious and historical sources
- Contains images from manuscripts and early printed books
Reviews & endorsements
"This interesting volume investigates the organization and marking of speech representation in medieval texts with a historical, linguistic and hermeneutic perspective that a modern reader might look out for."
L'Analisi Linguistica E LetterariaSee more reviews
"Moore's study considers the implications of the lack of conventional ways for marking reported speech in late Middle English … this book will be of interest to a wide range of scholars from different fields."
Carla Suhr, Journal of Historical Pragmatics
"Within the fields of medieval literary studies and of quoted speech, [this] book is refreshing for its holistic approach, which fruitfully combines original insights both from the linguistic and the literary perspective."
Peter Petré, English Text Construction
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- Date Published: March 2011
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521199087
- length: 230 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 161 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.51kg
- contains: 10 b/w illus. 7 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Methods of marking speech
2. Interpreting reported speech: defamation depositions, sermons, chronicles
3. Reported speech in literary texts: stylistic implications
Conclusion: pragmatic palimpsests
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