Towards Regularisation: Morphological Spelling in Several Editions of the Kalender of Shepherdes

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Abstract

This corpus-based study focuses on the graphemic realisations of several derivational suffixes in thirteen editions of the Kalender of Shepherdes, an early modern almanac published between 1506 and 1656. Morphological spelling, that is, the consistent representation of particular morphemes, is considered to be one of the most important criteria in research on the orthographic standardisation in English. The analysis of the graphomorphemic information available in the documents under consideration indicates that particular printing houses applied different combinations of spelling rules with regard to the variants of suffixes and were characterised by varying levels of consistency in the use of these graphemic representations. The new spelling variants of the suffixes were adopted partly as the printers’ own regularisation policy, and partly under the influence of normative writings.

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  • 1506 Here begynneth the Kalender of Shepherdes. London: Richard Pynson.

  • [1518] Here begynneth the Kalender of Shepardes. [London: Julian Notary]

  • 1528 The kalēder of shepeherdes. London: Wynkyn de Worde.

  • 1556 Here begynneth the kalender of Shepardes. Newely augmented and corrected. London: William Powell.

  • [c. 1570] The Shepardes Kalender. Here beginneth the Kalender of Shepardes Newly Augmented and Corrected. London: Thomas Este for John Wally.

  • [c. 1580] [The Shepardes Kalender. Here beginneth the Kalender of Shepardes Newly Augmented and Corrected] London: [John Charlewood for] John Wally.

  • [c. 1585] Heere beginneth the Kalender of Sheepehards: Newly Augmented and Corrected. London: [John Charlewood and George Robinson for] John Wally.

  • [1600] [The Shepheards Kalender] London: [Valentine Simmes for Thomas Adams].

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