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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: July ::
Grammatical "Errors" in Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0386  Thursday, 10 July 2008

From:       Jonathan Hope <
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Date:       Tuesday, 8 Jul 2008 10:57:19 +0100
Subject: 19.0384 Grammatical "Errors" in Shakespeare
Comment:    RE: SHK 19.0384 Grammatical "Errors" in Shakespeare

It is kind of people to mention my work in relation to this thread. Norman 
Blake's *A Grammar of Shakespeare's Language* is certainly longer and covers 
more than I do - in fact, the original questioner will find Blake's 'Conclusion' 
(pp. 326-331) very helpful with regard to prescriptivist comment on Shakespeare. 
As Norman notes there, Lowth's *Short Introduction to English Grammar* (1762) is 
a goldmine of this kind of thing, and Abbott (*A Shakespearian Grammar* 1870) 
has a run of paragraphs on 'Irregularities' - 406ff.

That may be as far as the questioner wants to go, but it is interesting to note, 
as a corrective to late C17th and C18th prescriptivism, that earlier grammars of 
English routinely, and matter of factly, included variable forms in their 
descriptions (see Terttu Nevalainen's excellent *Introduction to Early Modern 
English* (Edinburgh 2006) - chapter 2 - and the more detailed work of Ute Dons, 
*Descriptive Adequacy of Early Modern English Grammars* (2004: Mouton).

Jonathan Hope
Strathclyde University, Glasgow http://www.strath.ac.uk/english/courses/renaissance/

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