LANGUAGE--LEXICON                       

[Cross-references included at the bottom of the page]

 

107. BAUM, PAULL F. "Chaucer's Puns." PMLA 71 (1956):225-46.

One of the earliest acknowledgements of Chaucer's lexical sophistication. Corrects the traditional assumption that Chaucer did not pun by surveying the rhetorical tradition of puns and listing alphabetically more than one hundred puns from Chaucer's corpus. Supplemented in "Chaucer's Puns: A Supplemenmtal List" PMLA 73 (1958):167-70.

108. BRADDY, HALDEEN. "Chaucer's Bawdy Tongue." Southern Folklore Quarterly 30 (1966):214-22. Reprinted in Geoffrey Chaucer: Literary and Historical Studies (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1971), pp. 131-39.

Chaucer's sexual and scatological vocabulary is largely Anglo-Saxon in derivation. He uses it in association with low-class characters, or more fastidiously, with the bourgeoisie and therefore achieves a "crude but basic humor."

109. DONNER, MORTON. "Derived Words in Chaucer's Language." Chaucer Review 13 (1978):1-15.

Surveys Chaucer's neologistic derived words--the words he apparently coined by adding affixes to familiar roots. Argues that such words consistently enrich imagery and meaning even when prompted by syntax, meter, or rime.

110. ELLIOTT, R.W.V. "When Chaucer Swears." In Proceedings of the Twelfth Congress of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association. Sydney: Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association, 1970, pp. 417-34.

Surveys the swearing among Chaucerian characters, identifying different kinds of oaths and curses, and exploring their impact upon characterization, situation, and mood. Focuses upon Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde but includes earlier works, concluding that Chaucer's use of swearing is prevalent and artful.

111. MERSAND, JOSEPH. Chaucer's Romance Vocabulary. 2d ed. New York: The Comet Press, 1939. Reprint. Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1968, 188 pp.

Tabulates the words Chaucer derived from the Romance languages, comparing his usage to that of his contemporaries, and generalizing about Chaucer's language, the chronology of his works, and his contributions to the development of English. Chaucer's vocabulary included about eight thousand words, about half of which are of Romance origin, nearly twice the percentage found in John Gower's English verse, and three times the percentage in Mandeville's Travels. Chaucer's use of Romance vocabulary parallels the "accepted chronology of his works": his use of such words increased steadily until late in his career when he began to abandon them, perhaps because he fell out of favor with the Gallic court. Appends various tables, including a list of Romance words introduced by Chaucer into English.

See also entries 48, 51, 53, 55, 97-98, 100, 137, 290, 378, 475, 633, 765. For puns: 51, 384, 397, 435, 506, 592, 600, 666, 881, 912.

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