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Author Sorensen, Janet, author
Title Strange vernaculars : how eighteenth-century slang, cant, provincial languages, and nautical jargon became English / Janet Sorensen
Imprint Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 2020
book jacket
 人文社會聯圖  PE1574 .S65 2020    AVAILABLE    30630020139620
Descript x, 334 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Note "First paperback printing 2020"--Title page verso
Includes bibliographical references and index
Part I: Wandering languages: From cant to slang -- Reappraising cant: "Caterpillars" and slaves -- Daniel Defoe's novel languages -- John Gay's overloaded languages -- The gendered slang of century's end -- Part II: The language of place: From "living" provincial languages to the language of the dead -- Provincial languages out of place -- "I do not like London or anything that is in it": The provincial offensive -- Provincial languages and a vernacular out of time -- Part III: Wandering in place: Maritime language -- Out tars: Making maritime language English
While eighteenth-century efforts to standardize the English language have long been studied--from Samuel Johnson's Dictionary to grammar and elocution books of the period--less well-known are the era's popular collections of odd slang, criminal argots, provincial dialects, and nautical jargon. Strange Vernaculars delves into how these published works presented the supposed lexicons of the "common people" and traces the ways that these languages, once shunned and associated with outsiders, became objects of fascination in printed glossaries--from The New Canting Dictionary to Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue--and in novels, poems, and songs, including works by Daniel Defoe, John Gay, Samuel Richardson, Robert Burns, and others. Janet Sorensen argues that the recognition and recovery of outsider languages was part of a transition in the eighteenth century from an aristocratic, exclusive body politic to a British national community based on the rhetoric of inclusion and liberty, as well as the revaluing of a common British past. These representations of the vernacular made room for the "common people" within national culture, but only after representing their language as "strange." Such strange and estranged languages, even or especially in their obscurity, came to be claimed as British, making for complex imaginings of the nation and those who composed it
Subject English language -- Etymology
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