Think on My Words Exploring Shakespeare's Language

ISBN-10: 0521700353
ISBN-13: 9780521700351
Edition: 2008
Authors: David Crystal
List price: $19.99 Buy it from $3.69
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Description: You speak a language that I understand not. Hermiones words to Leontes in The Winters Tale are likely to ring true with many people reading or watching Shakespeares plays today. For decades, people have been studying Shakespeares life and times, and  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.99
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 2/21/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 266
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

You speak a language that I understand not. Hermiones words to Leontes in The Winters Tale are likely to ring true with many people reading or watching Shakespeares plays today. For decades, people have been studying Shakespeares life and times, and in recent years there has been a renewed surge of interest into aspects of his language. So how can we better understand Shakespeare? How did he manipulate language to produce such an unrivalled body of work, which has enthralled generations both as theatre and as literature? David Crystal addresses these and many other questions in this lively and original introduction to Shakespeares language. Covering in turn the five main dimensions of language structure - writing system, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and conversational style - the book shows how examining these linguistic nuts and bolts can help us achieve a greater appreciation of Shakespeares linguistic creativity.

List of figures and tables
Preface
Abbreviations
'You speak a language that I understand not': myths and realities
The quantity myth
The invention myth
The translation myth
The style myth
'Now, sir, what is your text?' Knowing the sources
Texts
Printing
Manuscripts?
Shakespeare's language?
'In print I found it': Shakespearean graphology
The alphabet
Capitalization
Space-savers
Spelling
'Know my stops': Shakespearean punctuation
Exclamation marks
Parentheses
Apostrophes
Italics
Inverted commas
Hyphens
'Speak the speech': Shakespearean phonology
The way they said it
Prosody
Why pentameters?
'Trippingly upon the tongue': Shakespearean pronunciation
The evidence
Insights
'Think on my words': Shakespearean vocabulary
Easy words
Metrical constraints
Difficult words
False friends
Old and new words
Coinages
Clusters
Repetitions
Signposts
Collocations
Perspective
'Talk of a noun and a verb': Shakespearean grammar
Similarities and differences
Nouns
Adjectives
Verbs
Pronouns
Word order
'Hear sweet discourse': Shakespearean conversation
Verse and prose
Metre in discourse
Varieties of language
A legal example
Epilogue - 'Your daring tongue': Shakespearean creativity
An A-to-Z of Shakespeare's false friends
Notes
References and further reading
Index

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