The Linguistics of Spoken Communication in Early Modern English Writing

Exploring Bess of Hardwick's Manuscript Letters

  • Imogen┬áMarcus

Part of the New Approaches to English Historical Linguistics book series (NAEHL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Imogen Marcus
    Pages 1-38
  3. Imogen Marcus
    Pages 135-224
  4. Imogen Marcus
    Pages 225-253
  5. Imogen Marcus
    Pages 255-298
  6. Imogen Marcus
    Pages 299-319
  7. Imogen Marcus
    Pages 321-331
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 333-357

About this book


This book uses a corpus of manuscript letters from Bess of Hardwick to investigate how linguistic features characteristic of spoken communication function within early modern epistolary prose. Using these letters as a primary data source with reference to other epistolary materials from the early modern period (1500-1750), the author examines them in a  unique and systematic way. The book is the first of its kind to combine a replicable scribal profiling technique, used to identify holograph and scribal handwriting within the letters, with innovative analyses of the language they contain. Furthermore, by adopting a discourse-analytic approach to the language and making reference to the socio-historical context of language use, the book provides an alternative perspective to the one often presented in traditional historical accounts of English. This volume will appeal to students and scholars of early modern English and historical linguistics.


connectives structuring devices in text speech and writing standardization in English grammar of spoken English early modern english renaissance literature bess of hardwick manuscript letters scribal profiling discourse analysis holographic writing vocatives Language standardization orality the history of English historical semantics lexicography historical sociolinguistics

Authors and affiliations

  • Imogen┬áMarcus
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of English, History and Creative WritingEdge Hill UniversityOrmskirkUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-66007-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-66008-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site