Archaic texts linguistic features
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Archaic lexis – could show archaic views on gender compared to modern day (e.g. taboo)

  • Words no longer used
  • E.g. – ‘bacchanalia’

Archaic syntax

  • Archaic word order or sentence structure
  • E.g. ‘a beast that wants discourse of reason’

Archaic inflections

  • Archaic affixation at beginning or end of word
  • E.g. ‘seemeth’ and ‘whilest’

Interchangeable letters

  • Usually vowels replaced by similar sounding consonants in archaic texts
  • E.g. U and V in ‘Vnkle’
  • E.g. I and Y in ‘Yce’
  • E.g. Long F and S in ‘Diftrefs’

Latinate lexis

  • Words borrowed from Latin
  • E.g. – ‘Opera’ and ‘Coliseum’

French Origin

  • Words borrowed from French
  • E.g. – ‘Judge’ and ‘Court’

Non-standard spelling – Irregular capitalisation (usually common nouns)

  • Vowel omission and irregular spelling compared to modern
  • E.g. ‘fixt’ or ‘Cattell’ and ‘Ballads’

Inconsistent spelling

  • Words spelled differently in same text
  • E.g. ‘Moneth’ and ‘Month’

Pronunciation before Great Vowel Shift

  • Usually extra ‘e’ on end or doubling of vowels- E.g. ‘Presse’ and ’breake’ or ‘shooes’
  • Represents spelling before standardisation
  • Reminiscent of speech before Great Vowel Shift
  • Extra letters for printers to gain more money and justify lines
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