Syntax and Style in Chaucer's Poetry

Series: Chaucer Studies (Volume 6)

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The purpose of this book is to give an outline of structural features of Chaucer's poetic syntax that are relevant to the study of style, and to define some general tendencies in his construction of sentences. What emerges is a fondness on Chaucer's part for discontinuity in the order of words and phrases and for certain forms of expression which have a wider application than their modern counterparts. In order that Chaucer's usage may be seen in its historical context, comparative material is drawn from the writings of his contemporaries - Langland, Gower, and the Gawainl-poet - and from the body of early English rhyming romances now taken to represent an influential native poetic tradition. In an introductory chapter, Dr Roscow questions the familiar description of Chaucer's syntax as colloquial, and argues for attention to a wider range of literary functions in studying the relationship between syntax and style in medieval poetry.