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Home arrow Language & Literature arrow Historical Sociolinguistics: Language Change in Tudor and Stuart England


  • 1. Conde-Silvestre (2012: 344-349) provides a good overview of historical network studies, which are plentiful from the Late Modern English period, including the work on the eighteenth century by Fitzmaurice (2007), Sairio (2009) and Tieken Boon van Ostade (1996, 2000a, b), and many more.
  • 2. John Johnson wrote to a number of different recipients, also outside his family network described here. Despite this range of recipients, his usage does not seem to show much register differentiation as far as the processes of linguistic change analysed are concerned (e.g. Nevalainen 1999b: 517). For a preliminary comparison of merchant usage in the late fifteenth and the first half of the sixteenth century, see also Raumolin-Brunberg (1996a).
  • 3. Robert Saunders's data row was erroneously copied for Ambrose Saunders in Nevalainen (2015c). The correct information is presented in Table 11.1.
  • 4. Henry Southwick did not have the six instances of the variable required for inclusion in these calculations; this was also the case with Richard Preston and the (my) variable. See section 10.4.
  • 5. We do not have enough evidence from the other apprentices to make more comparisons. But what data we have on one of them, Richard Sandell, does not contradict these observations. Son of an Essex sheep farmer, Sandell was apprenticed to Otwell Johnson and lived in his household in London. Like Otwell, he was progressive in his use of you and neutral with respect to verbal -s. Unlike Otwell, however, he was also neutral with respect to which and conservative in his use of single negation.
  • 6. Similarly, Forsstrom (1948: 207) found that levelling to was was common in Middle English in the North, where he also detected a weak tendency of levelling to were. This feature is not studied here but notional plurals are discussed in Nevalainen (2009).
  • 7. As noted in Nevalainen (2006b: 262-264), we lack sufficient evidence from the North from around the turn of the sixteenth century to tell how multiple negation patterned there, but the data we have do not contradict the hypothesis about the possible Northern origins of the disappearance of multiple negation. It could partly account for the relative lack of multiple negation in present-day northern British English vernaculars.
  • 8. See further the discussion in Newman et al. (2008) and the references therein.
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