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Ælfric, Language And Winchester

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Chapter Summary

Ælfric has a reputation as the most prominent proponent of two outstanding linguistic phenomena in the late tenth and the eleventh century: Standard Old English and the Winchester vocabulary. Ælfric was in the habit of providing prefaces, often in Latin and Old English, to his works. It is from these prefaces, with their obvious links to the political, spiritual and intellectual world of which Ælfric was a part, that one can get valuable glimpses of his views on the languages he used, English and Latin; valuable glimpses also of the Winchester origins of his competence as an author and translator, and of the network within which his ambitious experiment with the English language was implemented. One may therefore approach this subject by examining some of these prefaces.

Keywords: Ælfric; Latin; Old English; Winchester



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