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Let Each One Tell its Own Story: Language Mixing in Four Copies of Amore Langueo


Keller, Mareike; Seiler Rübekeil, Annina (2023). Let Each One Tell its Own Story: Language Mixing in Four Copies of Amore Langueo. In: Pons-Sanz, Sara M; Sylvester, Louise. Medieval English in a Multilingual Context : Current Methodologies and Approaches. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 467-497.

Abstract

The chapter explores forms and functions of vernacular insertions in four surviving copies of the bilingual sermon Amore langueo, dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, where Middle English occurs as code-switching or borrowing within Latin sentences, in interlinear or marginal glosses, and in short verses embedded in the prose text. Based on a detailed comparison of the manuscripts, we describe variation between copies on the lexical and the structural level, as well as the discourse-pragmatic functions of the vernacular elements. Our results show that structurally the code-switches match patterns commonly reported from studies of modern oral language mixing. Furthermore, most code-switches are not motivated by lexical need but instead fulfil a distinct rhetorical function supporting the central message of the sermon. The differences with respect to the frequency and presentation of the vernacular material between copies mirror the purposes for which the manuscripts were created: linear integration of languages is prevalent in sermon collections intended as a basis or record of oral presentation, and interlinear bilingual glosses are typical of a manuscript containing texts for private exegesis. Hence, we conclude that the intended mode of delivery is essential for understanding the bilingual nature of a text, even within a prototypically oral genre, such as the church sermon.

Abstract

The chapter explores forms and functions of vernacular insertions in four surviving copies of the bilingual sermon Amore langueo, dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, where Middle English occurs as code-switching or borrowing within Latin sentences, in interlinear or marginal glosses, and in short verses embedded in the prose text. Based on a detailed comparison of the manuscripts, we describe variation between copies on the lexical and the structural level, as well as the discourse-pragmatic functions of the vernacular elements. Our results show that structurally the code-switches match patterns commonly reported from studies of modern oral language mixing. Furthermore, most code-switches are not motivated by lexical need but instead fulfil a distinct rhetorical function supporting the central message of the sermon. The differences with respect to the frequency and presentation of the vernacular material between copies mirror the purposes for which the manuscripts were created: linear integration of languages is prevalent in sermon collections intended as a basis or record of oral presentation, and interlinear bilingual glosses are typical of a manuscript containing texts for private exegesis. Hence, we conclude that the intended mode of delivery is essential for understanding the bilingual nature of a text, even within a prototypically oral genre, such as the church sermon.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:16 November 2023
Deposited On:16 Nov 2023 15:22
Last Modified:20 Nov 2023 13:10
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
Series Name:New Approaches to English Historical Linguistics
ISSN:2946-4056
ISBN:9783031309465
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-30947-2_16