Friday, March 20, 2020

John Wycliffe and the English Language Essays

John Wycliffe and the English Language Essays John Wycliffe and the English Language Essay John Wycliffe and the English Language Essay John Wycliffe was born in 1320 at Wycliffe in Yorkshire, educated and worked at Oxford, and died while at Mass on December 31, 1384.He is known as one of the first English reformers, a heresiarch of the Wycliffite (or Lollard) movement, and as one of the first translators of the Vulgate Bible into English, although his actual involvement in this latter project has been questioned (cf. Hudson).His work in the endeavors of â€Å"vernacular theology† (i.e.: the translation of Scripture and dissemination of theology in the English vernacular) served to raise the English language to a footing more on par with Latin and French within the sphere of religion.Margot Lawrence claimed that Wycliffe’s most profound influence on the history of language is the fact that he â€Å"[h]e did for Middle English prose what Chaucer did for poetry, making English a competitor with French and Latin; his sermons were written when London usage was coming together with t he East Midlands dialect, to form a standard language accessible to all† (O.C.E.L, 1135). While the grandiosity of such statements has been questioned, it has also been argued that current scholarship must acknowledge more completely the debt which present-day English owes Wycliffe (Aston,†Wycliffe,† 283.) In addition, to his contribution to an appreciation of the English vernacular, Wycliffe’s influence on the English language has been traced in the observed uniqueness of Lollard writings.Anne Hudson has set forth the preliminaries for an analysis of a possible separate Lollard vocabulary or idiom.She takes her cue from Henry Knighton, a contemporary hostile to Lollardy, who was recorded as noting a distinctive â€Å"eloquence† in Wycliffites.Hudson notes that in Wycliffite writings many instances are found where the semantic force of a word â€Å"appears to be, if not peculiar to Lollard texts, at least, characteristic of them† (Hudson., 170). It seems that a so

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