The 14th century — East Midlands and London dialects

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


One of the reasons for learning about the development of the English language is to understand the relationship between dialects and Standard English in present-day English. In the conglomeration of different dialects that we call ‘Middle English’, there was 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 later 15th century. From the 16th century onwards, there is evidence that the need for a standard in spelling, pronunciation and grammar was being actively discussed. This naturally raised the question of which dialect or variety of the language was to be used for the standard.


Literary Language Standard Language Past Participle Person Plural Travel Writing 
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© Dennis Freeborn 1998

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  • Dennis Freeborn

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