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A rich compendium of historical texts that reflect the English spoken by ordinary citizens of the early modern period


What kind of language did ordinary men and women use in the seventeenth century? Everyday English 1500-1700 addresses this question by bringing together and explaining more than sixty nonliterary texts from the early modern period, ranging from witnesses' depositions to church wardens' accounts, and from letters and journals to constables' presentments and scurrilous abuse shouted in the marketplace.
This unique source book of essential documents designed for courses on Early Modern English is designed as a teaching text with full guidance to each text, including glossary, explanatory and background notes, and suggested topics for linguistic evaluation. Everyday English takes an up-to-the-minute approach by focusing on language as it was used and spoken at the time.
This wide-ranging collection for the first time makes available to students a corpus of examples of the ordinary, nonstandard language of the man and woman in the street, coming from areas as diverse as England, Scotland, and America. The emphasis throughout is on providing as much assistance as possible to the reader to aid understanding and appreciation of both the linguistic features and the everyday lifestyles of the time.
"The only book a really conscientious teacher of the history and structure of Early Modern English would use for source texts." --Roger Lass, University of Cape Town
Bridget Cusack was lecturer in English Language, University of Edinburgh.