22 Pages

UNIT 7: Twilight

In this unit we’re going to examine English as we find it, in different varieties, in the 11th century, during the period that precedes the Norman Conquest. In what sense might we claim that this was a ‘Silver Age’? And in what sense might we claim that the century following 1066 was a period of cultural, perhaps even of linguistic, ‘twilight’? Can there be such a thing as a ‘linguistic twilight’? In terms of evidence, perhaps; in terms of the competence of speakers, probably not.