Middle English IV — East Midlands and London dialects

  • Dennis Freeborn
Part of the Studies in English Language book series (SEL)


One of the reasons for learning about the development of the English language is to understand the relationship between the dialects and Standard English in present-day English. In the conglomeration of different dialects that we call ‘Middle English’, there is no one recognised standard form. If we were to study the political, social and economic history of England in relation to the language, we would observe that the conditions for a standard language were beginning to emerge by the late fifteenth century. From the sixteenth century onwards, there is evidence that people were actively discussing the need for a standard in spelling, pronunciation and grammar. This naturally raised the question of which dialect or variety of the language to use for the standard.


Standard Language Relative Pronoun Sound Change Canterbury Tale Late Thirteenth Century 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Dennis Freeborn 1992

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  • Dennis Freeborn

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