English | Intoroduction to Middle English
G602 | 26004 | Fulk

G602 26004 FULK (#6)
Introduction to Middle English

5:45p – 7:00p TR

The purpose of this course is to furnish intensive study of the
Middle English language in all its variety, using a text-based
approach. We will survey the dialects of Middle English and learn
their distinguishing features, comparing texts from different parts
of England and Scotland, aided by the tremendous resources in this
area, especially the Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English, the
Middle English Dictionary, and related projects. A key component of
the course will in fact be an examination of the resources available
for the study of the language. We will also trace the historical
development of Middle English from the Ormulum to Everyman. Because
the earlier texts are the most difficult, there will be special
emphasis on the language of these. Thus, the chief text for the
course will be Bennett and Smithers’ Early Middle English Verse and
Prose, but we will also use Mossé’s Handbook of Middle English. And
so one happy by-product of studying varieties of the language will
be a better acquaintance with the range of texts in Middle English.
In class we will also discuss assigned reading in recent research on
topics in Middle English language, such as the mechanisms of Open
Syllable Lengthening and the Great Vowel Shift, the Middle English
Creolization Hypothesis, the origin and form of the alliterative
long line, and linguistic issues in textual editing. There will be a
mid-term examination; a paper will be due the last week of class.