Early Modern English

Sean B. Palmer sean at miscoranda.com
Fri Jan 13 00:20:16 CET 2012

Doug Ewell wrote:

> In other words, how much misappropriation do we really risk by
> registering something like 'earlymod'?

To attempt to answer this with some folk statistics, which at least
has a patina of quantitative descriptivism about it, I took the top 19
languages from here:


Splitting Hindi and Urdu to give 20 language names, and fed them into
a robot for counting the number of search phrase results on a certain
popular late modern search engine. Here are the results; interpret
them as you may:

"Early Modern Mandarin": 4
"Early Modern Spanish": 2,810
"Early Modern English": 33,200
"Early Modern Hindi": 32
"Early Modern Urdu": 2
"Early Modern Arabic": 97
"Early Modern Bengali": 51
"Early Modern Portuguese": 448
"Early Modern Russian": 513
"Early Modern Japanese": 2,230
"Early Modern Punjabi": 3
"Early Modern German": 2,560
"Early Modern Javanese": 5
"Early Modern Wu": 2
"Early Modern Marathi": 1
"Early Modern Telugu": 2
"Early Modern Vietnamese": 54
"Early Modern French": 3,010
"Early Modern Korean": 321
"Early Modern Tamil": 23

Early Modern English beats Early Modern French by a factor of ten, but
presumably studies of Early Modern forms of languages other than
English with have a not insignificant number of their papers written
in the modern form of the language that they are describing. Yet
doesn't that also mean that their language subtags, for their early
modern forms, would be best to follow the native language's
translation of "Early Modern"?

P.S. Sorry about my lack of threading headers. I'm only subscribed to
the "daily" digest which comes several times a day, so I'm having to
construct replies manually.

Sean B. Palmer

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