Neophilologus

, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 545–557 | Cite as

A Key to the Art of Letters: An English Grammar for the Eighteenth Century

Article

Abstract

The article examines A. Lane’s grammar A Key to the Art of Letters and its contexts. Symbolically published at the threshold to the eighteenth century, Lane presents an unusually bold plan to make English a world language. Although Lane’s book holds a key position in the development of English grammatical theory, there has been no comprehensive study of its innovative methods and radical proposals for a new national curriculum. Its challenge to Latin and French is analyzed in a historical perspective, and the impact of Lane’s ideas during the eighteenth century is traced. The article shows that Lane is the first to use English as the basis for writing universal grammar, as part of his strategy to promote English as a universal code for learning and science.

Keywords

Grammar Nationalism English Eighteenth Century Language 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barclay, J. (1774). A complete and universal English dictionary on a new plan. London: Richardson et al.Google Scholar
  2. Beach, A. (2001). The creation of a classical language in the eighteenth century: Standardizing English, cultural imperialism, and the future of the literary canon. Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 43.2, 117–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boad, H. (1734). The English spelling-book and expositor. London: D. Midwinter and A. Ward.Google Scholar
  4. Bornstein, D. (1977). Introduction. In Book at large (1580) and Bref grammar for English (1586) by William Bullokar. Delmar: Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints.Google Scholar
  5. Boswell, J. (1791). The life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Comprehending an account of his studies and numerous works (2 Vols.). London: Charles Dilly.Google Scholar
  6. [Brightland] (1711). Grammar of the English tongue, with notes, giving the grounds and reason of grammar in general ...for the use of the schools of great Britain and Ireland. London: John Brightland.Google Scholar
  7. Buchanan, J. (1762). The British grammar. London: A. Millar.Google Scholar
  8. Carew, R. (1723). An epistle ... concerning the exellencies of the English tongue, appended with separate title page and pagination to Richard Carew, the survey of Cornwall. London: S. Chapman et al.Google Scholar
  9. Cawdrey, R. (1604). A table alphabeticall. London: Edmund Weavner.Google Scholar
  10. Chapman, H. W. (1954). Queen Anne’s son. A memoir of William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, 1689–1700. London: Andre Deutsch.Google Scholar
  11. Clarke, M. L. (1959). Classical education in Britain, 1500–1900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Collyer, J. (1735). The general principles of grammar; especially adapted to the English tongue. Nottingham: T. Collyer.Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, M. (2003). French conversation or ‹Glittering Gibberish’? Learning French in eighteenth-century England. In G. Natasha & P. Sara (Eds.), Didactic literature in England, 1500–1800 (pp. 99–117). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  14. Crystal, D. (1997). English as a global language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Fell, J. (1784). An essay towards an English grammar. London: C. Dilly.Google Scholar
  16. Fenning, D. (1756). The universal spelling-book: or, a new and easy guide to the English language. London: S. Crowder et al.Google Scholar
  17. Greenwood, J. (1711). An essay towards a practical English grammar. Describing the genius and nature of the English tongue. London: R. Tookey.Google Scholar
  18. Hans, N. (1951). New trends in education in the eighteenth century. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Harris, J. (1751). Hermes: Or, a philosophical inquiry concerning language and universal grammar. London: J. Nourse and P. Vaillant.Google Scholar
  20. Holliday, A. (2005). The struggle to teach English as an international language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Howatt, A. (1984). A history of English language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Lancashire, I. (2005). Dictionaries and power from Palsgrave to Johnson. In A. McDermott & L. Jack (Eds.), Anniversary essays on Johnson’s dictionary (pp. 24–41). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Lane, A. (1695). A rational and speedy method of attaining to the Latin tongue. London.Google Scholar
  24. Lane, A. (1698). Lane, A. (1695). A rational and speedy method of attaining to the Latin tongue. London: J. Harris.Google Scholar
  25. Lane, A. (1700). A key to the art of letters. London: A. and J. Churchil and J. Wild.Google Scholar
  26. Lane, A. (1705). A key to the art of letters. London: R. Smith.Google Scholar
  27. Lane, A. (1706). A key to the art of letters. London: J. Sprint.Google Scholar
  28. Loftie, W. J. (1881). Introduction. In J. Lewis (Ed.), Queen Anne’s son: The memoirs of William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, reprinted from a tract published in 1789. London: Stanford.Google Scholar
  29. Marchant, J. (1760). A new complete English dictionary. London: J. Fuller.Google Scholar
  30. Messieurs de Port-Royal (1753). A general and rational grammar. London: J. Nourse.Google Scholar
  31. Michael, I. (1970). English grammatical categories and the traditions to 1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Michael, I. (1987) The teaching of English from the sixteenth century to 1870. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Mitchell, L. (2001). Grammar wars: Language as cultural battlefield in 17th and 18th-century England. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  34. Mullett, C. F. (1937). The Legal Position of English Protestant Dissenters, 1689–1767. Virginia Law Review, 23.4(1937), 495–526.Google Scholar
  35. Pennycook, A. (1998). English and the discourses of colonialism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Peyton, V. J. (1771). The history of the English language, Deduced from Its Origin, and Traced through Its Different Stages and Revolutions. London.Google Scholar
  37. Peyton, V. J. (1773) The French tutor; or the theory and practice of the French language (p. vii). London.Google Scholar
  38. Phillipson, R. (1993). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Phillipson, R. (1704). Right spelling very much improved. Teaching the speediest and surest way to write true English. London.Google Scholar
  40. [School-Master] (1736). A new English accidence, by way of short question and answer, built upon the plan of the Latin grammar. London: James Hodges.Google Scholar
  41. Sheridan, T. (1756). British education: Or, the source of the disorders of Great Britain. Dublin: George Faulkner.Google Scholar
  42. Sklar, E. S. (1983). Sexist grammar revisited. College English, 45.4, 348–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sorensen, J. (2000). The grammar of empire in eighteenth-century British writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Thomas, M. A. (2004). Universal grammar in second language acquisition: A history. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Tsiapera, M., & Garon, W. (1993). The Port-Royal grammar: Sources and influences. Münster: Nodus Publikationen.Google Scholar
  46. Waquet, F. (2001). Latin or the empire of a sign (trans: Howe, J.). London: Verso.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English, Germanic and Romance StudiesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen SDenmark

Personalised recommendations