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Sincerity in Medieval English Language and Literature


Sincerity in Medieval English Language and Literature


New Approaches to English Historical Linguistics

von: Graham Williams

95,19 €

Verlag: Palgrave Macmillan
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 17.05.2018
ISBN/EAN: 9781137540690
Sprache: englisch

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Beschreibungen

This book traces the development of the ideal of sincerity from its origins in Anglo-Saxon monasteries to its eventual currency in fifteenth-century familiar letters. Beginning by positioning sincerity as an ideology at the intersection of historical pragmatics and the history of emotions, the author demonstrates how changes in the relationship between outward expression and inward emotions changed English language and literature. While the early chapters reveal that the notion of sincerity was a Christian intervention previously absent from Germanic culture, the latter part of the book provides more focused studies of contrition and love. In doing so, the author argues that under the rubric of courtesy these idealized emotions influenced English in terms of its everyday pragmatics and literary style. This fascinating volume will be of broad interest to scholars of medieval language, literature and culture.
Chapter 1: Introduction.- Chapter 2: Before sincerity: Pagan beliefs of language and emotion.- Chapter 3: God who knows the heart: The Christianization of language and emotion.- Chapter 4: Sincerity in contrition: From confessions to apologies.- Chapter 5: Sincerity in love: From ‘caritas’ to ‘affectio maritalis’.- Chapter 6: Conclusion.
Graham Williams is Senior Lecturer in the History of English at the University of Sheffield, UK. 
This book traces the development of the ideal of sincerity from its origins in Anglo-Saxon monasteries to its eventual currency in fifteenth-century familiar letters. Beginning by positioning sincerity as an ideology at the intersection of historical pragmatics and the history of emotions, the author demonstrates how changes in the relationship between outward expression and inward emotions changed English language and literature. While the early chapters reveal that the notion of sincerity was a Christian intervention previously absent from Germanic culture, the latter part of the book provides more focused studies of contrition and love. In doing so, the author argues that under the rubric of courtesy these idealized emotions influenced English in terms of its everyday pragmatics and literary style. This fascinating volume will be of broad interest to scholars of medieval language, literature and culture.
Provides the first book-length study of sincerity and its ramifications for the English Middle AgesBrings together social, linguistic, literary and emotional histories to cast new light on medieval thought, texts and communicationOffers fresh insights to scholars of historical linguistics, historical pragmatics, medieval literature, linguistic anthropology and the history of emotionsExamines how the functions of affective language in the history of English vary according to their cultural-ideological contextDemonstrates how Christianization as a process of acculturation relates to the study of language history, especially pragmatics and stylistics
“In this engrossing new study, Graham Williams adroitly traces the history of the concept of sincerity across Old and Middle English literature. Combining a well-grounded expertise in linguistics and pragmatics with a sensitive  capacity for literary close reading, Williams persuasively shows how in key domains of human experience medieval people learned how to feel, and then how to express their feelings – of contrition, of love – aligning their inward dispositions with socially-sanctioned emotional performance. Taking a new and highly productive look at this vital aspect of medieval feeling, Williams’ book deserves the attention of all scholars of emotion.” (Carolyne Larrington, Professor of Medieval European Literature, University of Oxford, UK)“Weaving together linguistic, emotional, social and literary histories in magisterial fashion, Williams traces the English cultural-ideological basis of sincerity, showing how it developed in the communicative contexts of Christian devotion but came to influence more general interactional contexts, which in turn shaped the notion of sincerity itself. Original, erudite and insightful, the book is a landmark that deserves to be read.” (Jonathan Culpeper, Professor of English Language and Linguistics, Lancaster University, UK)

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