By Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade

In addition to Shakespeare, Jane Austen (1775-1817) will be acknowledged to be the main extensively studied writer within the heritage of English literature. yet not like Shakespeare, her language has acquired little scholarly cognizance. this can be very true for the language of her letters. Jane Austen's letters, typically addressed to her sister Cassandra yet to numerous other folks to boot, were defined because the similar of mobilephone conversations, and for those who learn them, you could virtually listen her communicate. we don't have entry to genuine speech from the time within which she lived, however the letters take us as just about the spoken language of the interval as chances are you'll wish to get. they're hence a veritable linguistic goldmine.

This learn, for the 1st time, bargains a close sociolinguistic account of all elements of the language of her letters: spelling, vocabulary and grammar. It additionally produces a few proof of pronunciation in addition to of neighborhood dialectal utilization. The research exhibits Jane Austen to be particularly idiosyncratic in her language use: she used to be constant in her spelling (though she had strange spelling preferences), no longer very leading edge in her vocabulary (though she did coin a couple of new words), and never really consultant of grammatical advancements of the days (though her utilization differed reckoning on who she wrote to, her sister, her writer or her nieces and nephews).

This examine of Jane Austen's inner most language use exhibits the level to which she various in her language use, similar to any folks do this day, whereas can also be presents proof either for a date of her unfinished novel The Watsons (for the 1st time on linguistic grounds) and for the interaction there should have been among the editors of her novels and her personal linguistic personal tastes, within the box of spelling and otherwise.

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