The Grammar of Empire in Eighteenth-Century British Writing

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 19, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 318 pages
This study explores the complex role of language as an instrument of empire in eighteenth-century British literature. Focusing on the relationship between England and one of its "Celtic colonies," Scotland, Janet Sorensen examines how the expansion of the British empire influenced the formation of a national standard English. The book demonstrates the ambivalence at the heart of British linguistic identity, moving from a close analysis of Scottish writers Alexander MacDonald, Adam Smith, Hugh Blair, and Tobias Smollett to a revised understanding of the language use of Samuel Johnson and Jane Austen.

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Contents

Scripting identity? English language and literacy instruction
28
Tobias Smolletts
104
polite language and its originary
138
and Belles Lettres 138
156
William Shaws Scots
172
Epilogue Jane Austens language and the strangeness at home
197
Notes
224
Bibliography
283
Index
302
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