Early Modern English

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Sun Jan 15 11:08:42 CET 2012

On 14 Jan 2012, at 19:03, Doug Ewell wrote:

> Michael Everson <everson at evertype dot com> wrote:
> > Doug, what are your further thoughts about "Tudor"?
> Personally I can live with the subtag value 'tudor' so long as the Description field still says "Early Modern English" and not "Tudor English".

I agree with you.

> I understand your concern with 'earlymod', that careless users might ignore the Description and the Prefix, and use it for Early Modern Na'vi or whatever.


> But I also agree with Sean's point that a lot of EModE was written outside the Tudor historical period, and calling it "Tudor English" would appear to exclude some of the best-known, most commonly
> cited examples.

"The *song* is called 'en-tudor': but that's only what it's *called*, you know!" said the Knight.

"Well, what *is* the song, then?" said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered. 

"I was coming to that," the Knight said. "The song really *is* 'Early Modern English': and the tune's my own invention." 

> I'm not as worried as Sean about the tag "en-tudor" applying to "Hamlet" but not to Bacon or Donne.

I explained to Seán that a subtag should have some mnemonic but not encyclopaedic value. Thus "en-lkjhgfds" could be a tag. It wouldn't have mnemonic value, though. 

The registration could be explicit about the date range and even have a note to say that "Tudor falls within this range" or something.

> On the one hand, the subtag value should be meaningful, but on the other hand, it is just a code element; the Description field is what describes. I do think 'tudor' beateth, sorry, beats the hell out of '1611kjv' or '1623shak' or '1590spen', all of which would seem even more limiting.

I would tend to agree.

> > I can say that if this were acceptable for your purposes then the subtag could also be useful for Cornish. In cornish we have
> >
> > Old Cornish (which is a different language)
> > Middle Cornish c. 1500
> > Tudor Cornish c. 1600 (Jordan's Creacyon an Bës 1611)
> > Late Cornish c. 1700
> You need to help me out here. I don't understand why this use of 'tudor' would be acceptable to you while the use of 'western' to mean "Western" varieties of diverse languages would not.

Well, for one thing, we actually *call* Tudor Cornish by that name. But this is slightly analogous to that variety of Pinyin which was applicable to Tibetan as well as Mandarin.

> I'm not familiar with Cornish; were the changes from the Tudor to Late periods similar to the changes
> from EModE to Modern English?

In the earlier Middle Cornish period certain features and lexical items were preserved that fell out of use, and in the Late Cornish period in addition to a loss of the traditional spelling a radical simplification of the verbal system can be seen.  

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list