Early Modern English

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Sat Jan 14 06:39:55 CET 2012

CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:

> I do not see as much of a problem with [earlymod] for English only as
> some do here, because "earlymod" is clearly formed from English words

I agree with CE here.

> -- but of course [16siecle] and [17siecle] were rejected for French
> partly I believe because "16siecle" and "17siecle" were viewed as
> generic terms (not specific to French).

What I, at least, didn’t like about "16th century" and "17th century" is that language varieties seldom fit themselves into such tidy time frames. Early Modern English certainly doesn’t fall cleanly along any such boundaries; there are different opinions about when it "started" (1450, 1500) and "ended" (1600, 1650, later). Embedding a time frame in the subtag could draw focus away from the variety itself and toward the calendar; people might question whether a sample can be "16th century" French if it was written in 1480, or in 1620, though of course it can.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14
www.ewellic.org | www.facebook.com/doug.ewell | @DougEwell ­
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