This book provides the reader with a description of the semantic change that took place over two periods of the history of English language: Middle English and Early Modern English. In view of the fact that semantic change is the type of change by which the relationship between language and society can be traced best, tes on the socio-historical background of the period have been included. They are followed by the analysis of language change in general in which some of the literature on the topic is reviewed and the author's interpretation of change as being caused by external factors is made clear. For this reason, termilogy and concepts relating to the field of socio-historical linguistics have been incorporated in the analysis. The core of the work is semantic change and the linguistic study of vocabulary items which belong to the field of person-rank uns. The results of the analysis indicate a tendency towards specialisation in the meaning of lexical categories which runs parallel to specialisation in society.
Begona Crespo is a senior lecturer at the University of La Coruna (Spain). She has been teaching English language and culture since 1996. She earned her PhD in English Philology in 2001 and has published several works on semantic change in English, historical word-formation and the lexicon of medieval and (Early) Modern scientific English. She is head of the research project Women discourse and variation in English Scientific Texts (1700-1930) .
Peter Lang AG
Date of Publication
Encyclopedias & General Reference
Studies in English Medieval Language and Literature