Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


Linguistic analysis of the Canterbury Tales.

Diachronics - Geoffrey Chaucer

Huang Gina

on 12 November 2012

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Linguistic analysis of the Canterbury Tales.

Geoffrey Chaucer Phonological Analysis Semantics Syntactic Analysis Thank You!! Morphological Analysis 1340-1400 The Canterbury Tales Silvia Agüero
Octavio Araya
Rebeca COnejo
Gina Huang
Linsay León
Melany Sandí Rich but not aristocratic family
Chaucer’s Descendants:

Thomas Chaucer
Lewis Chaucer
Elizabeth Chaucer
Agnes Chaucer Background Education Languages: French, Italian, and Latin

He received a high-quality education.


a. In one of the school on Thames Street

b. Well-educated at home. 1357: Chaucer appears as a member of the house of Elizabeth, Countess of Ulster.
Sons of middle-class households were positioned in royal service. These middle-class boys would benefit because they could obtain a high-quality education.
1359: Chaucer served in the army under Edward III.
1366: Chaucer got married with Philippa Pan—daughter of the Flemish Sir Gilles de Roet. Public Records 1370: Chaucer's first published work was The Book of the Duchess, a poem of over 1,300 lines, a composition for Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster, addressed to her widower, the Duke.
1374: Chaucer was selected comptroller of the traditions and subvention of wool, skins, and bronzed conceals for the Port of London. House of Fame was his only major work during this period.
May 1st 1380: He is released from culpability in the rape of Cecily Chaumpaigne.
October 1385: Chaucer was appointed a justice of the peace for Kent.
August 1386: He became Knight of the Shire for Kent.
1387: Chaucer’s wife death. Other Important Information

Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio

One remarkable rime-royal poem Chaucer wrote was “Troilus and Criseyde”.

This royal poem tells the love story of Criseyde, widowed daughter of the priest Calkas, and Troilus, son of the Trojan King Priam. More Important Information Chaucer is known for metrical advance and originality, inventing the “rhyme royal”.

He was one of the first English poets to use the five-stress line, which was converted into a standard poetic form in English.

The poetry of Chaucer is attributed as one of the most relevant tools that facilitated the standardization of the London Dialect of the Middle English language.

This author is recognized in the Oxford English Dictionary as the first author to use several widespread English words in manuscripts. Linguistic Relevance General knowledge of Chaucer's works is shown by several poets who answered or imitated his poems and books:
John Lydgate 
Robert Henryson  

Around seventy-five years after Chaucer passed away, The Canterbury Tales was chosen by  William Caxton in order to be one of the first books to be printed in England. Literary Influence The tales talk about stories of pilgrims that travel to the holy place of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury.

It is speculated that Chaucer did not finish writing the tales, and there is uncertainty about the correct order of the stories.

The Canterbury Tales collects a multiplicity of genres: courtly romance, fabliaux, saint's biography, allegorical tale, beast fable, and medieval sermon. Chaucer is known as the starting point of the English vernacular usage.

He is also considered the "father" of modern English literature.

His achievement: establishment of a vernacular literature in different parts of Europe.

Though Chaucer's language is similar to Modern English it is vastly different from modern publications. Chaucer’s Influence on English Language The Canterbury Tales /th/ and /f/ are voiceless like in "thing" and "fish". They are only voiced (like "this" and "of") between two vowels:
Flour, Thurgh, Fadres, Foule, Felawe, this, mouth.

/gh/ or /h/ represent the 'hard h' sound in German "ach" or Scottish "loch" between /a/, /o/, /u/ and a consonant.
noght, sighte, lighte, weighte, lyght.

/wh/ represents the sound of "h" + "w” :
Wherefore, which, whan, wher. Consonants Before two consonants (or before a single consonant at the end of a word), vowels tend to be short.
/a/ sounds like “pat”, /e/ like “let”, /i/ like “sit”.

Unstressed or unaccented /e/ tends to have a neutral schwa sound, like /e/ in "angel":
Asye, kan, engel.

Long /a/ sounds like a lengthened version of "father" (pronounced for a slightly longer time). Short /a/ sounds more like "pat".
Name, fadres, large, may. Vowels Long /e/ sometimes sounds like the /e/ of "they" and other times like the /e/ of "let" (both sounds held out for a longer time). Short /e/ sounds like "let":
They, bountee, telle, deitee.

Long /i/ or /y/ sounds like "seem", while short /i/ or /y/ sounds like "sit" or "seem" pronounced for a shorter amount of time:
Mayde, my, ynogh.

Long /o/ sometimes sounds like "boo" and other times like British "rock" (both for a slightly longer time). Short /o/ always sounds like the /o/ in British "rock":
How, wol, oold, goost,

The diphthong /ei/ is spelled "ei", "ey", "ay" or "ai", and sounds a bit like "whey":
Mayde, they, may. /s/ sounds like "seem", unless it's between two vowels, then it's like "please":
Saugh, smale, stant, soule, worthynesse.

/r/ is typically "trilled", like Spanish "r" (but not "rr").
Lord, vertu, right.

/k/ is pronounced in word initial /kn/:
Knight (or kniht) Consonants 2 Vowels 2
1.1 Singular Nouns:
Name: name, Laude: Praise, Mayde: Maid, Storie: Tale, Sone: son.
Lord: Lord, Goost: Spirit, Word: Word, Song: Song.

1.2 Plural Nouns
Men: men, Children: Children, Monthe: Months.

1.3 Possessiveness
Fadres: Father’s
Mouth of Children: Mouths of Children. Nouns Second Person: Thou, Thee, Thy/Thyn

Third Person Singular Feminine: Hir, Hirself.

Third Person Singular Masculine: *Whos (his). Merveillous: Marvelous
Whyte: White
Dignitee: Dignity,
Deere: Dear,
Benyngnytee: Benignity,
Grete: Great. Adjectives - Pronouns Unnethes: Scarcely
For Prepositions/Conjunctions - Adverbs Weak

Conceyved: Conceived,

Ravysedest: Ravished. Strong

Ysprad: Spread

Quod: Said Verbs
Definition of semantic changes

Processes for semantic changes
Semantic Differentiation
Polysemous words
Widening (broadening)
Narrowing (restriction)
“many Anglo Saxon words narrowed in meaning to describe only the cruder, dirtier aspects of life.  Concepts associated with culture, fine living and abstract learning tended to be described by new Norman words.” Semantics in Middle English Processes:

Borrowing Lexicon The Norman Invasion brought radical changes in English and the transition from Old English to Middle English (1100-1450).  Due to the influence of the Roman Empire the Western dialect of Germanic which later gave rise to English, Dutch, and German borrowed a large number of Latin words in the first few centuries AD.  Latin Borrowings Examples from the text:

Honor : honor, esteem, public office.
In : (+ acc.) Into, toward, against. 
Labor : hardship, fatigue, distress. 
Magnificence: magnificentia
Reverence reverentia
Dominus: domain, dominate
Large: largus generous, plentiful Due to the contact and mixing with Old Norse, there were two important effects on the language of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain.

Examples from the text:

Man: from manni—people
Worthy Germanic Borrowings Are: merger of Old English (earun, earon) and Old Norse (er) cognates

World: woruld human existence

She: alteration of hye, alteration of Old English hēo she 

Child: Cild They: from Old Norse their, masculine plural demonstrative & personal pronoun

Thy: from Old English thīn, genitive of thū thou

From: From Old Norse: from/fro

No: From Old Norse: no/nay. Old English French
Merveille: Marvelous

Large: broad, wide, generous
Storie: tale
Virtue: vertu French Borrowings The adjective was placed before the noun with single adjectives. However, some adjectives followed nouns, especially if translated if translated from French or Latin. When nouns had multiple single-word modifiers one sometimes preceded the noun and the rest- followed. Phrasal modifiers typically followed the words they modified: Phrasal modifiers typically followed the words they modified: Articles developed “a” from “one” and þe from the demonstrative. Þe was used for uniqueness and definiteness/givenness. The of-possessive was an innovation of ME. It was supported by the French possessive with de.
Group possessives are just appearing in ME and they are typically made up of possessive + noun +noun modifier. Prepositions occasionally followed objects, especially if the object is a pronoun. In the course of ME the progressive begins to develop. It may result from an –ande construction, or it may result from a fusion of the verb and the present participle as adjective, and the verb + on + the gerund. The present particle and gerund both ended in –ing, which meant that confusion was possible. (No examples in the chosen text) The verb to be develops as a passive auxiliary; by develops as the agent marker. For example, (men) that wol nat be governed by hir wyves
By ME the modals shall and will are associated with the future, as well as the quasi-modals be going to, be about to. The perfect tense became common in ME with be and have as auxiliaries, though be became less used for the perfect and it became more identified with the passive. (No examples in the chosen text) Do began “explosive” growth, and its use varied dialectically and over time.

As a pro- verb (one that substitutes for a verb in a sentence)
As a causative in some dialects (e.g ME make or have)
Periphrastically as an alternative to simple tenses in late ME.
In negatives and interrogatives, though this was just beginning. Early Middle English had similar sorts of variations in word order to those the ones of Old English. Thus for example, in Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe, we find the following: Word order
Full transcript