Middle English

Cynthia Allen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


    Middle English is the name given to the English of the period from approximately 1100 to approximately 1450. This period is marked by substantial developments in all areas of English grammar. It is also the period of English when different dialects are the most fully attested in the texts. At the beginning of the Middle English period, the sociolinguistic status of English was low due to the Norman Invasion, and although religious texts of Old English composition continued to be copied and updated, few original compositions are extant. By the end of the period, English had regained its status as the language of government, law, and literature generally.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics
    EditorsMark Aronoff
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Print)9780199384655
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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