Supralocalisation Processes in Early Modern English Urban Vernaculars
New Manuscript Evidence from Bristol, Coventry and York
This article contributes to existing studies that are concerned with standardisation and supralocalisation processes in the development of written English during the Early Modern English period. By focussing on and comparing civic records and letter data from important regional urban centres, notably Bristol, Coventry and York, from the period 1500–1700, this study provides new insight into the gradual emergence of supralocal forms. More precisely, the linguistic variables under investigation are third person indicative present tense markers (singular and plural). The findings of this study reveal that each urban centre shows a unique distribution pattern in the adoption of supralocal -(V)s singular and plural zero. Furthermore, verb type as well as text type appear to be important language internal and external factors respectively.
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