Shakespeare's skill was in his grammar not his language, academic claims

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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:39
Spanish to English
Duh Feb 2, 2012

When has anyone ever watched a play or read a book because of its innovative grammar? I personally like the timelessness of his understanding of human nature and the workings of power.

 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
French to English
+ ...
Hard to assess... Feb 2, 2012

It's hard to assess without seeing the actual paper, but I wonder how reliably one can really assess the difference between: (a) actual grammatical innovation, and (b) usage 'on the fringe of already acceptable grammar' [but not readily attested, due to being on the fringe] for the sake of the needs of rhyme/rhythm.

It might (or not?) have been a conception among the layperson, but I also wonder if *academics* actually seriously thought of Shakespeare as inventing more words than other contemporaries prior to this study, wherever it is hidden. Corpus analyses I've seen don't show Shakespeare's vocabulary as being terribly special as far as I'm aware.


[Edited at 2012-02-02 05:05 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-02-02 05:06 GMT]


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:39
Chinese to English
I would! Feb 2, 2012

"When has anyone ever watched a play or read a book because of its innovative grammar?"

I'm a professional writer who spends much of his life wrestling with the gap between two very different grammars. I would definitely read a book if someone told me it did cool things with grammar. This has reminded me to go back to Shakespeare and to let him inform my writing more, so thanks to Romina for bringing it to our attention!


 


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Shakespeare's skill was in his grammar not his language, academic claims

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