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Towards regularisation: morphological spelling in several editions of the Kalender of Shepherdes.


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.

Keywords: orthography, regularisation of spelling, standardisation, morphological spelling, suffixes, orthographic variation, early printers, orthoepists, spelling reformers, Early Modern English

1. Introduction

This article discusses the language of early printers, and particularly the interrelations between graphemics and morphology in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century editions of the Kalender of Shepherdes (1) (henceforth Kalender or KS), a comprehensive compendium of prose and verse texts of various lengths and on a variety of subjects, e.g. astronomy, medicine, and religion. The diversity of genres, text types, and topics covered in this almanac helps avoid the risk of bias in the research findings. The analysis focuses on the graphemic realisations of selected derivational suffixes over the 150 years which elapsed between the first and the last edition of the KS. Morphological spelling has been chosen as the basis for this study because it is considered to be one of the most important criteria in research on the orthographic standardisation in English, beside the indication of vowel length, the orthographic distinction between homophones and the establishment of etymological spelling (Salmon 1999: 21). This study makes up part of a larger post-doctoral project (2) which aims at tracing and examining the graphemic systems of early modern London printers in the period 1506-1656 on the basis of thirteen editions of the KS, which takes into consideration all the variables mentioned above.

The comparative analysis that follows is corpus-based and aims at examining the grapho-morphemic consistency and variation in the selected texts as well as evaluating the importance of extra-linguistic motivation for the changes arising from the contemporary spelling reformers, phoneticians and grammarians. A detailed graphemic analysis of the KS editions reveals that their printers were characterised by different degrees of both consistency and subjection to the normative influence. The analysed corpus comprises over 0.9 million words. It is an electronically searchable database which includes transcriptions of thirteen editions of the almanac, prepared by the present author on the basis of facsimiles available at Early English Books Online (3) (henceforth EEBO). The Appendix presents the most important information concerning each analysed edition, (4) including the year of publication, the sigil (5) used in this study to identify each edition, the printer's name, the catalogue number, and the word count. The corpus comprises only those editions of the KS which are available in EEBO, thus six of nineteen English editions listed in STC are not included.

Each of the original documents under consideration is larger, in some cases by up to 5%. However, for the purposes of the present study, Latin passages as well as diagrams and charts (such as the perpetual calendar and the tables with the names of saints) have not been transcribed, as they are irrelevant to the study of morphological spelling in English. The word count in the Appendix also excludes the content of the running head and footer (i.e. the signatures and the repeated title of the book), apart from the catchwords which are included in the corpus as elements occasionally containing a suffix whose spelling is different from that of the anticipated word on the following page. The non-abridged title of the book in the running head is not used in the KS editions before 1556, so this omission aims at making particular editions comparable.

2. Standardisation of English spelling: the roles of printers and language theoreticians.

The printers whose graphomorphemic usage is studied in this article lived in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which were a crucial period in the process of the regularisation and standardisation of English orthography (or graphemics) and of other levels of the English language. On the basis of the extant documents examined so far, one can assume that towards the end of the seventeenth century the language had achieved orthographic standardisation (Scragg 1974: 80, Gorlach 2001: 78). The standard was expressed in, among others, a consolidated graphemic system whereby the functional interrelations between particular graphemes and phonemes remained relatively stable (even if these interrelations were complex), as well as in the consistent spelling of particular morphemic exponents of grammatical categories, derivational morphemes, as well as loanwords. Nevertheless, Early Modern English (especially in the sixteenth century) still allowed numerous spelling variants of particular morphemes in both handwritten and printed documents (Scragg 1974: 64, Salmon 1999: 15, Osselton 1984).

Early printers, who often worked simultaneously as publishers and booksellers in the early days of printing, at least over the first half of the sixteenth century, took decisions about the selection of particular works for printing and reprinting as well as the dissemination of their publications (de Hamel 1983: 29). (6) However, apart from the unique document by John Rastell published in 1530 (discussed in Salmon 1989), of which only fragments have survived, no document exists which would confirm the transmission of spelling rules among printers (Brengelman 1980: 333) (7) until the first manual for printers by Moxon was published in 1683-1684 (Scragg 1974: 74).

Since little information is available on how responsibilities were divided between printers and compositors with regards to spelling policies in the early printing houses which issued the editions examined in this study, these printing houses will be treated as independent entities and referred to in each case by the name of the printer mentioned in the colophon of a given edition. This applies to the editions printed between 1506 and 1556, which are indicated here with sigils referring to their printers' names. Starting from c. 1570, the printers of the KS editions were not simultaneously their publishers. This was a reflection of a general trend towards the distinction between publishers and printers which must have been well advanced by that time. By the 1580s, numerous publishers had abandoned printing and devoted their business activities to the book trade. Whereas in the first quarter of the sixteenth century printing for another book-seller was extremely rare, in its last decade approximately half of the books were not printed by their publishers (Raven 2007: 37). Thus, the main name mentioned in the colophon started to be the publisher's name, not the printer's one. As a result, the information on the printer's name was often omitted altogether (the editions of c. 1580, c. 1585, 1611, 1618 and 1631).

Some linguists attribute the standardisation of the English orthography to the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century theoreticians, authors of treatises, handbooks on correct spelling, as well as dictionaries, claiming that the authors of such publications inspired and supported the printers, compensating for the lack of one academic authority which could impose particular spelling patterns and usages. (8) However, before 1582 when "the first theoretical attempt at codifying and promulgating a system of rules for English orthography" (Salmon 1999: 32) was published by Richard Mulcaster, such normative (prescriptive and proscriptive) influence seems improbable. Although John Hart's Orthographie, which was concerned with the rules of English spelling, was published earlier (1569), its aim was not so much to regularise the existing spelling patterns in English but rather to introduce a new spelling system. Therefore, one can wonder whether theoreticians' publications had any real influence on printers' and compositors' practice in most of the sixteenth century.

Salmon (1999: 32--44) emphasises the importance of the period between 1582 and 1660 for the process of orthographic standardisation. Its beginning is marked by Mulcaster's publication, which was followed by numerous other works written by spelling reformers, orthoepists and schoolmasters. The principles proposed by Mulcaster were later presented in a more practical and thus more accessible publication by Edmund Coote in 1596, whose handbook was reprinted and reedited sixty-four times after Coote's death (Nelson 1997). Publications of comparable importance for the development of English orthography appeared as late as the mid-seventeenth century (Scragg 1974: 79).

Irrespective of the controversies mentioned above, it remains a fact that throughout the Early Modern English period the level of spelling variation lowered considerably, and in the second half of the seventeenth century, in printed texts, it achieved a state close in many respects to the present one, whereas handwritten documents attained this level much later (Gorlach 2001: 78, Salmon 1999: 44, Tieken-Boon van Ostade 2009: 46-50).

3. Criteria, variables, and the presentation of the data in the comparative analysis

The main criterion of the comparative analysis presented below is morphological spelling, that is, the consistent spelling of morphemes. The selected morphemes comprise frequent derivational suffixes, which can be divided into native ones, {-NESS}, {-SHIP}, {-FUL} and {-LY}, and those borrowed from Latin and French, {-ANCE}, {-ITY}, {-TION}, and {-AL}. The realisation of these morphemes is confronted with the potential normative influence of theoretical treatises, handbooks, and dictionaries. The following works have been consulted: Huloet (1552), Hart (1569), Huloet-Higgins (1572), Mulcaster (1582), Clement (1587), Coote (1596 and 1640), Cawdrey (1604 and 1617), Evans (1621), Daines (1640), Hodges (1644, 1649 and 1653), Wharton (1654), and Ellis (1660) (9)

The tables present the data as numbers of tokens (occurrences of particular variants) per ten thousand words. The figures show identifiable tendencies concerning the use of variants. The overall sums of tokens representing particular suffixes in the editions subject to this comparative analysis differ for two reasons. Firstly, some fragments of the book are missing from the original documents. Considerable portions of text have not survived, especially in Py, No (10) and Wa3. Secondly, some passages in particular editions contain editorial corrections affecting not only particular graphemes, but also vocabulary, morphology and syntax. However, thanks to the large size of the corpus, the existing differences do not distort the general proportions of the specific words and morphemes under consideration. The results concerning the three imperfect editions should nevertheless be treated with caution.

The following section discusses the graphemic realisations of the most popular derivational suffixes, both native and borrowed ones. Many of them also appear in examples of correctly spelt words in the writings of spelling reformers and grammarians, as well as in dictionaries of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Therefore, wherever relevant, their opinions will be compared with the practice of the printers covered by this study.

4. Native derivational suffixes

Tables 1-4 present the graphemic realisations of the native suffixes {-NESS}, {-SHIP}, {-FUL} and {-LY}. In Table 1, one can see the variants of the nominal suffix {-NESS}. Compared to Wo, in Po there is an important change in the trend concerning the realisation of this suffix. In the three earliest editions -nes is the dominant form, though in Wo the difference between the numbers of the occurrences of the variants -nes and -nesse is not significant. In Po -nesse starts to prevail. Interestingly, in Huloef s English-Latin dictionary, published in 1552, -nes is the only form representing the suffix {-NESS}. In the second edition of this dictionary, revised and expanded by Higgins, and twenty years later, both variants are recorded but -nes is still the dominant one."" The form -nesse was preferred by Mulcaster (1582: 132, 144-146) but this does not explain the earlier clear turn in the printers' practice noticeable in Po, published much earlier (1556). Moreover, in Ad4 and lb one can find a realisation with double <s> and without the final <-e>. This variant was recommended by Wharton (1654: 65) and used as the only form of the suffix {-NESS} by Hodges (1653), but in the first half and even in the fifties of the seventeenth century apparently was not yet an important variant for the printers of the KS. Given the absence of this variant in Ad5 and Wr, its single occurrence (0.1 per 10,000 words) in Ad4, can well be an example of a typographical error. One can note an increase in the popularity of -ness in the last edition, but it still accounts only for 11% of all the occurrences of {-NESS} in lb, compared to 12% taken by the older variant -nes.

Figure 1 shows the trends in the popularity of particular variants over time. Apart from the clear change in Po, it is noteworthy that the printer of Wr, published in 1631, is the most consistent one in his preference for the -nesse variant. However, in the last edition of the Kalender Ibbitson goes against the trend followed in all the editions since Po. It is possible that in this case the theoreticians' views influenced the printer, motivating him to use the -ness form more often than his predecessors, however, even if this assumption is correct, the low percentage of the occurrences of the new variant implies that the absorption of the grammarians' ideas in the mid-seventeenth century was not immediate. Additionally, the similar levels of the tokens for -ness and -nes suggests that Ibbitson could have confused these two forms.

Table 2 shows the realisations of the nominal suffix {-SHIP}. This suffix is much rarer in the KS than {-NESS}, but it still remains among the most frequent native suffixes represented by the different orthographic variants. In the first edition, as many as eight graphemic variants of this suffix appear, yet the table comprises only those variants which occur in more than one edition of the KS. The excluded four variants, -shep, -shepe, -shipe, and -shype, can all be found in Py only and each of them is represented by one token (i.e. 0.2 per 10,000 words). The large number of occurrences (particularly of the form -shyp) in this edition results from the use of different constructions and words than in the remaining editions, for instance the phrase hathe lordshyp, later replaced by, among others, gouerneth. In contrast to Py, No as well as the later editions follow Robert Copland's translation of Compost et kalendrier des bergiers, first published in 1516 by de Worde. (13)

In Wa2 there is a preference for the use of &lt;i&gt; word-medially (replacing <y> popular earlier). One could suppose that John Hart set the trend in his Orthographie published in 1569, as in this publication &lt;i&gt; is favoured word-medially. However, at least in some morphemes the preference for word-medial &lt;i&gt; seems to have started already in 1556, as will be illustrated in the section on borrowed derivational suffixes below. In Huloet (1552)--ship is used beside --shyp and --shyppe, whereas in Huloet-Higgins (1572)--ship is the dominant variant, but--shippe is almost as frequent.

In the case of the adjectival suffix {-FUL}, there is no clear change in the" proportions of both forms. The variant--full definitely dominates throughout the whole period under consideration (see Table 3), including the editions of the KS" published much before Huloet's (1552) and Huloet-Higgins's (1572) dictionaries, as well as Hart's Orthographie (1569), in which it is also the main representation of {-FUL}. In 1582 it is recommended by Mulcaster in his principle of doubling the grapheme <l> word-finally, where it is described as required by "the swiftnesse of the pen" (Mulcaster 1582: 121). It is still the only acceptable representation of {-FUL} for Evans (1621), several decades later. The form--ful is the main variant in Hodges (1644 and 1649) and Wharton (1654) but in this case no change in the printers' practice preceded the normative publications.

Table 4 contains several realisations of the adjectival and adverbial suffix {-LY} but the form -ly is the only significant one in most editions, and it is definitely preferred by all the printers. Interestingly, de Worde is more consistent here than the printers of the seventeenth-century editions of the KS, using exclusively this form of the suffix {-LY}. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that the variant -lye (with the final <-e>), which was recorded ten times (an absolute figure) in Wa2, was frequent in Huloet (1552), Huloet-Higgins (1572), as well as in Hart (1569). Perhaps these works were consulted by Thomas Este or John Wally (or both) before the publication of their editions of the Kalender. In Wa4--lie appeared as a new variant of the suffix. Wa4 was published soon after Mulcaster's (1582) treatise where--lie is used more frequently than -ly, so its printer could have been influenced by this work. Although Coote (1596) generally adopted Mulcaster's ideas, he preferred to use -ly in his book. Perhaps the drop in the number of -lie tokens can be ascribed to Coote's influence. It remained in use until the last edition of the KS, but it is particularly frequent in Ad5, though it still remains a minor variant, even in this edition. The unusually high number of -lie tokens in Ad5 are difficult to explain otherwise than by its printer's or publisher's preferences. With regards to contemporary language experts, in the last edition of Cawdrey's dictionary published in 1617, i.e. a year before Ad5, only -ly can be found.

The research findings for the native suffixes discussed above show that the prevailing variants of {-FUL} and {-LY} remained the same throughout the period under consideration, whereas the suffixes {-NESS} and {-SHIP} started to be pre-dominantly represented by new or previously less significant variants between 1528 and 1570. None of these changes can be definitely attributed to the influence of the contemporary theoreticians, though the spread of word-medial &lt;i&gt; could have been promoted by Hart (1569), and the form -lie, a minor spelling of {-LY}; could have emerged in Wa4 under the influence of Mulcaster (1582).

5. Borrowed derivational suffixes

Tables 5-8 present the graphemic realisations of the suffixes borrowed from Latin and French, including the nominal suffixes {-ANCE}, {-ITY}, {-TION} and the adjectival {-AL}.

The nominal suffix {-ANCE} (from French -ance < Latin -antia, OED2, s. v. "-ance, suffix") is represented by three main variants, -ans, -ance, and -aunce, in the first five editions of the KS (1506-c. 1570), two variants, -ance and -aunce, in the five subsequent editions (c. 1580-1611), and only the form -ance in the remaining three editions (1618-1656). Similarly to {-SHIP}, the graphemic representation of the suffix {-ANCE} undergoes a significant change in Wa2 where the variant -ance is nearly as popular as -aunce (see Table 5 and Figure 2). Both forms remain almost equally frequent in all the editions published by John Wally (Wa2, Wa3, and Wa4). The situation changes at the beginning of the seventeenth century, with the number of the -aunce tokens suddenly dropping in Ad2, and continuing to decrease in Ad3 and Ad4 until they disappear completely in Ad5.

As for the variants promoted in normative writings, in Huloet (1552) -aunce definitely prevails, and -ance is rare. In Huloet-Higgins (1572) -aunce still prevails, but -ance is more popular than in the previous edition of this dictionary. Hart (1569) used predominantly the -ance variant. However, the closeness of the dates of both publications (Hart and Po) makes it possible to suppose that Hart simply followed and thus strengthened a general trend which was already well advanced in 1569. Nevertheless, it is also worth mentioning that theoreticians were not unanimous in this respect. Although Mulcaster (1582) definitely preferred the form -ance (only two exceptions, in countenaunce and mumchaunce, can be found in his treatise), Clement (1587) used both -ance and -aunce without showing any clear preference for one or the other form. Coote (1596) and the later theoreticians used -ance almost exclusively. This tendency is reflected in the seventeenth-century editions of the KS.

The changes in the use of the suffix {-ITY} (from the French -ite and Latin -itat-, -itas, OED2, s. v. "-ity, suffix") proceeded in two stages (see Table 6 and Figure 3). The first one, between 1528 and 1556, was probably part of a general tendency started in this period (a similar change can be seen in Table 7 and Figure 4) to replace <y> with &lt;i&gt; word-medially, which resulted in the appearance of the new variant -hie in Po. Stage two consists in replacing <-ie> with <-y> word-finally which is first recorded in Ad3. In the following editions the form -ity yields more and more tokens, whereas the tokens of -itie gradually decrease in number.

However, taking into consideration that Huloet (1552), Huloet-Higgins (1572), Mulcaster (1582), Coote (1596), Cawdrey (1604 and 1617), Evans (1621), Hodges (1644, 1649, and 1653) and Wharton (1654) all prefer the form -itie, it is not clear what caused the radical change from -itie to -ity in Ad3. The form -ity is the only one used in Coote (1640),(17) Daines (1640) and Ellis (1660), yet none of these publications explain the sharp increase in the popularity of -ity in Ac/3. In view of this, one can suppose that the practice developed by the printers was later introduced as a norm into prescriptive works.

Table 7 presents the forms of the nominal suffix {-TION} (from the Old French -cion, -tion and Latin -tionem, OED2, s. v. "-tion, suffix") in certain editions. For the sake of clarity, it comprises only the forms of the lexemes derived from the Latin -tionem (for example, DECLARATION and PETITION), and omits those derived from the Latin -sionem (for example, PASSION and IMPRESSION).

In the first three editions an interesting development can be discerned (Figure 4). The form -cyon, which prevails in Py, yields a lower number of occurrences in No, giving way to -cion, but then returns as the only significant variant in Wo. In Po a new variant appears (in fact it was first recorded in Py, but only once, so it may have been a typo), and it immediately becomes the dominant one. It is the form -tion, with <t> (instead of the earlier <c>) and for &lt;i&gt; instead of <y> in the suffix. It is the main graphemic representation of {-TION} already in Huloet (1552), although -cion also remains an important variant in this dictionary (accounting for approximately one third of the tokens). (19) It is also possible that such recommendations existed already in Rastell's handbook of 1530, but this cannot be proved, due to the paucity of the material surviving. It seems likely that the increase in popularity of the form -tion may be motivated by the general classicising trend in Early Modern English, which consisted in making words look closer to their Latin etymons.

Analysing Table 7, one can also notice that de Worde's practice was more consistent than that of all the remaining printers. In his edition he employed the form -cyon, which was the prevailing variant already in the edition of 1518, but he eliminated most other variants. It is noteworthy that the use of the variant -tyon is not random either. They are found only in two lexemes, QUESTION (6 instances) and DIGESTION (2 instances). (20) The single occurrence of -cion (actually -cio, in teptacio, with a tilde over <o> representing the <n> in the suffix) appears in a woodcut, where limited space may have necessitated it.

As can be understood from Table 8 and Figure 5, the dominating variant of the adjectival suffix {-AL} (from the French -el and Latin -alem, -alis, OED3, s. v. "-al, [suffix.sup.I]") in all the editions was -all, but it was not used by all the printers with equal consistency. Pynson and de Worde were the most consistent early users of this variant, with its percentage share at the level of 95% and 94%, respectively. This percentage is exceeded only in Wr (96%) and approached in Ad5 (89%). For all the other printers -al remains an important form covering from 12% of all the occurrences of {-AL} in No to 26% in Wa2. Additionally, nearly all the printers employed at least one of the minor (older) variants, -ell and -el. In de Worde's edition, nine of the ten instances of -ell are forms of the adjective SPIRITUAL, including eight occurrences of the contraction spuell.

With regards to the early spelling reformers' and teachers' views, -all is the predominant variant in all the works published before 1644. Moreover, although Flodges recommended -al in 1644, and used it consistently in 1649 and 1653, Ellis employed nearly exclusively -all in 1660. Interestingly, most of the works which recommended the -al variant, i.e. Hodges (1649 and 1653) and Wharton (1654), were printed by the same printer, William Du-Gard, so it cannot be excluded that this form was chosen by the printer himself.

Summing up the research findings concerning the borrowed suffixes, only the suffix {-AL} was represented by the same prevailing form in the whole period between the first and the last edition of the KS. By contrast, the suffixes {-ITY} and {-TION} had undergone important graphemic changes by 1556, and the suffix {-ANCE} by c. 1570. Some new variants, including -ance and -tion had been recommended in theoretical works and dictionaries, which have been consulted for purposes of this study, before they were recorded as the dominant forms of the suffixes {-ANCE} and {-TION}, respectively, in the AS editions. In the case of -ity the printer of Ac/3 was the first to use it as the key variant representing {-ITY}. Of course, it cannot be excluded that this variant was recommended earlier in normative writing which has not been consulted here or has not survived until our times.

6. Conclusions

The analysis of the graphomorphemic information available in the editions of the Kalender of Shepherdes shows 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. The former is true particularly of the earliest printers who worked in the times when theoretical treatises, grammars and handbooks dealing with English spelling, as well as English dictionaries were not yet available, and could not provide models of spelling practice. Wynkyn de Worde, the printer of the edition published in 1528, merits special attention for his efforts at the regularisation of spelling. The findings on de Worde's usage discussed above also confirm those from earlier research, based on other, shorter texts published by this printer (Aronoff 1989, Rutkowska 2005). Even though the spelling rules used by de Worde differ from the present-day English ones (for example his employment of <y>, not &lt;i&gt;, word-medially), this printer's overall consistency deserves great respect and is a proof of his professionalism. (21) One may wonder whether such spelling consistency lay in the interest of the printers. The systematisation of orthographic principles seems to have contributed to the increased efficiency and effectiveness of printers' work, (22) which is confirmed by the fact that de Worde, who paid much attention to the regularisation of spelling, was an unquestionable leader among the contemporary printers publishing books in England. He printed between 700 and 800 books, which is several times more than his famous predecessor and mentor, William Caxton (Duff [1905] 1948: 174, Plomer [1925] 1996: 8, Plomer 1927: 175 and 181, Jennett 1958:44).

Starting from the mid-sixteenth century, printers' practice is likely to have become more and more influenced by theoreticians, such as orthoepists, grammarians and spelling reformers, thus the opinions ventured by some linguists (Brengelman 1980, Carney 1994) who claim that the differences in early printers' usage were a result of the adoption of the forms recommended by the authors of theoretical treatises and handbooks, are to some extent confirmed by the findings regarding the KS editions printed in the second half of the sixteenth century and in the seventeenth century, where some correlation between the opinions of contemporary linguistic authorities and printers' spelling practice can be found. However, the influence of proscriptive and prescriptive writings does not explain the adoption of all the variants of the suffixes analysed in this study. For example, it does not justify the emergence of -nesse as the prevailing form of {-NESS} in Po, and -ity as the main representation of {-ITY} in Ad3.

Summing up, although the level of variation among graphemic realisations remains high in the majority of the editions of the Kalender, one can see a clear tendency (particularly strong in de Worde's edition of 1528 and that by Ibbitson of 1656) to lower the number of variants and apply particular spelling rules which, in the first half of the sixteenth century, should be ascribed to the printers' invention rather than the normative influence of the contemporary linguistic authorities, though the growing importance of the latter is noticeable in the spelling of the KS editions published in the second half of the seventeenth century and later.

doi: 10.2478/stap-2013-0001


The Kalender of Shepherdes editions analysed in this study

year          Sigil   Publisher's and Printer's Name

1506          Py      Richard Pynson
[1518]        No      [Julian Notaryl
1528          Wo      Wynkyn de Worde
1556          Po      William Powell
|c. 1570]     Wa2     Thomas Este for John Wally
[c. 15801     Wa3     [J. Charlewood for] John Wally
[c. 1585]     Wa4     [J. Charlewood, G. Robinson for] John Wally
[16001        Ad2     V. Simmes for T. Adams
1604          Ad3     G. Elde for Thomas Adams
1611          Ad4     Anon, for Thomas Adams
1618          Ad5     Anon, for Thomas Adams
1631          Wr      [Eliot's Court Press for] J. Wright
1656          lb      Robert Ibbitson

Publication                     Word Count
year          Catalogue No.   (in thousands)
1506            STC 22408          47.7
[1518]          STC 22410          66.6
1528            STC 22411          76.3
1556            STC 22412          76.5
|c. 1570]       STC 22415          73.8
[c. 15801       STC 22416          52.7
[c. 1585]      STC 22416.5          73
[16001          STC 22419          74.5
1604            STC 22420           74
1611            STC 22421          74.2
1618            STC 22422          74.1
1631            STC 22423          74.1
1656            Wing B713          74.6
                  TOTAL           912.1



The Kalender of Shepherdes editions (in chronological order)

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

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

1528 The kaleder 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 begimeth 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].

1604 The Shepheards Kalender. Here beginneth the Kalender of Shepheards. Newly augmented and corrected. London: George Elde for Thomas Adams.

1611 The Shepheards Kalender. Here beginneth the Kalender of Shepheards. Newly augmented and corrected. London: for Thomas Adams.

1618 The Shepheards Kalender. Here beginneth the Kalender of Shepheards. Newly augmented and corrected. London: for Thomas Adams.

1631 The Shepherds Kalender. Here beginneth the Kalender of Shepherds. Newly augmented and corrected. London: [Eliot's Court Press] for John Wright.

1656 The Shepheards Kalender. Newly Augmented and Corrected. London: Robert Ibbitson.

Dictionaries. Grammars. Handbooks, and Treatises

Cawdrey, Robert 1604 A Table Alphabetical!, conteyning and teaching the true writing, and vnderstanding of hard vsuall English wordes ... London: Edmund Weaver.

1617 A Table Alphabetical!, or the English expositor, containing and teaching the true writing and vnderstanding of hard vsuall English words ... London: Edmund Weaver.

Clement, Francis 1587 The Petie Schole with an English Orthographic, wherin by rules lately prescribed is taught a method to enable both a childe to reade perfectly within one moneth, & also the vnperfect to write English aright.... London: Thomas Vautrollier.

Coote, Edmund 1596 [The English Schoole-maister ...] London: Widow Orwin, for Ralph Jackson and Robert Dextar.

1640 The English Schoole-Master ... London: E.A. and T.F. for the Company of Stationers.

Daines, Simon 1640 Orthoepia Anglicana: Or, The First Principal Part of the English Grammar: Teaching The Art of right speaking and pronouncing English, With certaine exact rules of Orthography, and rules of spelling... London: Robert Young and Richard Badger for the Company of Stationers.

Ellis, Clement 1660 The Gentile Sinner, or, England's Brave Gentleman: Characterized In a Letter to a Friend, Both As he is, and as he should be. Oxford: Henry Hall for Edward and John Forrest.

Evans, John 1621 The Palace of profitable Pleasure. Contayning and teaching with ease and delight, whatsoeuer is necessary to bee learned of an English Scholler ... London: W. Stansby.

Hart, John 1569 An Orthographic, conteyning the due order and reason, howe to write or paint thimage of mannes voice, most like to the life or nature. Composed by I. H. Chester" Heralt. London: William Seres.

Hodges, Richard 1644a A Special Help to Orthographie, or, The true-writing of English. Consisting of such Words as are alike in sound, and unlike both in their signification and Writing: As also, Of such Words which are so neer alike in sound, that they are sometimes taken one for another ... London: Richard Cotes.

1649 The Plainest Directions for the True-Writing of English... London: William Du-gard for Thomas Euster.

1653 Most Plain Directions for True-Writing ... London: William Du-Gard for Richard Hodges.

Huloet, Richard 1552 Abcedarium Anglico Latinum, pro Tyrunculis Richardo Huloeto Exscriptore. London: William Riddel.

Huloet, Richard-John Higgins 1572 Huloets dictionarie, newelye corrected, amended, set in order and enlarged ... London: Thomas Marsh.

Mulcaster, Richard 1582 The First Part of the Elementarie which entreateth chefelie of the right writing of our English lung ... London: Thomas Vautroullier.

Wharton, Jeremiah 1654 The English-Grammar: Or, The Institution of Letters, Syllables, and Words in the English-Tongue ... London: William Du-Gard.


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Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan

(1) The title of the almanac was subject to minor orthographic modifications in the course of time. Here I adopted the version of the title found in the earliest analysed edition.

(2) This project is financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (project no NN104 055438).

(3) I am indebted to Stephen Tabor and Kevin Miller of the Henry E. Huntington Library (San Marino, CA) for the scans of the 36 pages from Notary's and de Worde's editions of KS (STC 22410 and STC 22411) which are not available at the EEBO database. Early English Books Online is a project conducted by The Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership, a comprehensive database with facsimiles of over 125,000 books published in England, and English books printed in other countries between 1475 and 1700.

(4) The reconstructed information (as provided in Jackson et al. 1976: 329) is enclosed in square brackets. It concerns those editions in which colophons either have not survived or do not provide all the relevant details.

(5) The sigils Wal and Adi are not used, because the first editions by Wally and Adams, respectively, are missing from EEBO, and therefore not analysed here.

(6) For evidence concerning the role of printers in the regularisation of English spelling see, e.g., Osselton (1985), Aronoff (1989) and Salmon (1989).

(7) Brengelman (1980: 333), claims that "[t]here is no evidence that any sort of mutual dissemination of information about spelling among printers was taking place--not even within the same printing house".

(8) By contrast to England, in other European countries, official bodies were established for the codification of national languages, for example Accademia della Crusca (founded in 1582), Academie Francaise (1635) and Real Academia Espanola (1713).

(9) All these publications were consulted in the form of facsimiles available at the Early English Books Online website.

(10) The copy of No is a composite one, where leaves M5-7 are supplied from Po, and N1-6 from Wa2, and where leaves N7-8 are faked. All these leaves have been excluded from the corpus used for the present study.

(11) According to my query conducted over 35% of the whole volume (in the transcription available at EEBO), i.e. approximately 160,000 words (entries starting with letters A-F).

(12) The plural forms, such as sick(e)nesses (sy(c)k(e)nesses) and likenesses have been excluded from the count, because they can be interpreted as representing either -nesse or -ness, with the plural ending <-s> or <-es>, respectively.

(13) Sommer (1892: 67) mentioned 1508 as the year of the publication of Copland's translation. This information was later corrected by Jackson et al. (1976: 329). Copland was de Worde's "assistant for many years and later a printer himself, and he both translated texts and wrote" verses of the introductions of his books (Duff [1905] 1948: 31).

(14) This table includes plural forms of {-SHIP} to avoid the ambiguity concerning the association of <e> with either the root of the word or the plural ending.

(15) The abbreviated forms (with a tilde) are counted together with full forms which they represent, e.g. -as as -ans, -ace as -ance etc."

(16) Including one instance (0.2 occurrences per 10,000 words) of -anse in Py.

(17) Printed thirty years after Coote's death for the Company of Stationers, "[p]erused and approved by publike Authority" (Coote 1640, Alr).

(18) The abbreviated forms (with a tilde) are counted together with full forms which they represent, e.g. -cio as -cion, -tio as -tion etc.

(19) On the basis of the entries A-C.

(20) The figures in the brackets are absolute ones here.

(21) Compare also Nevalainen--Tieken-Boon van Ostade (2006: 289), who claimed that de Worde, as a foreigner, "could not be expected to direct a variable spelling system towards greater regularity".

(22) This point of view was earlier argued by Aronoff (1989: 92-93).

Table 1. The nominal suffix {-NESS} (12)

            Py     No     Wo     Po     Wa2    Wa3

-nes        32.1   24.8   16.3   11.6   12.8   16
-nesse      3.3    6      14.1   17.3   17.4   20.9
-ness       --     --     --     --     --     --

            Wa4    Ad2    Ad3    Ad4    Ad5    Wr     Ib

-nes        13.7   12.9   9.7    9.6    7.8    1.5    3.6
-nesse      18.1   17.7   21.1   21.8   23.4   29.5   23.5
-ness       --     --     --     0.1    --     --     3.2

Table 2. The nominal suffic {-SHIP} (14)

            Py     No     Wo     Po     Wa2    Wa3

-ship       0.2    --     --     --     0.8    1.1
-shippe     0.2    --     --     --     0.1    --
-shyp       2.7    1      1.2    1      0.3    0.2
-shyppe     0.4    0.1    0.3    0.4    0.3    --

            Wa4    Ad2    Ad3    Ad4    Ad5    Wr     Ib

-ship       1.4    1.3    1.5    1.5    1.5    1.5    1.5
-shippe     0.1    0.1    --     --     --     --     --
-shyp       --     --     --     --     --     --     --
-shyppe     --     --     --     --     --     --     --

Table 3. The adjectival suffix {-FUL}

            Py     No     Wo     Po     Wa2    Wa3

-ful        1.5    2.5    0.8    2.2    1.9    1.5
-full       13.8   8.7    11.1   10     11.2   12.6

            Wa4    Ad2    Ad3    Ad4    Ad5    Wr     Ib

-ful        1.6    4.1    2.9    3.1    1.1    0.4    0.8
-full       11.5   9.2    10.4   10.4   12.3   13     12.5

Table 4. The adjectival and adverbial suffix {-LY}

            Py     No     Wo     Po     Wa2    Wa3

-ly         74.2   11     77.2   74.5   72.8   83.4
-lye        --     --     --     --     1.4    0.9
-ley        0.4    --     --     --     0.3    0.2
-li         0.2    0.1    --     --     --     --
-lie        --     --     --     --     --     --

            Wa4    Ad2    Ad3    Ad4    Ad5    Wr     Ib

-ly         73.3   72.7   72.9   13.2   64.2   73.4   72.1
-lye        0.5    --     --     0.1    --     --     --
-ley        0.1    --     --            --     --     --
-li         --     --     --     0.1    --     --     --
-lie        1.1    0.3    0.1    0.3    10.4   0.1    0.8

Table 5. The nominal suffix {-ANCE} (15)

            Py     No     Wo     Po     Wa2    Wa3

-ans (16)   3.1    0.1    0.1    0.4    0.1    --
-auns       3.1    --     --     --     --     --
-ance       0.2    0.6    0.3    0.3    10.1   11.9
-aunce      10.2   22.5   20.9   20.8   10.9   13.8

            Wa4    Ad2    Ad3    Ad4    Ad5    Wr     Ib

-ans (16)   --     --     --     --     --     --     --
-auns       --     --     --     --     --     --     --
-ance       9.9    19.7   19.9   20.4   20.7   21.2   20.5
-aunce      11.2   1.2    0.9    0.7    --     --     --

Table 6. The nominal suffix {-ITY}

            Py     No     Wo     Po     Wa2    Wa3

-ite        2.3    0.7    0.3    0.3    0.1    0.4
-itie       --     --     --     22.9   21.6   26.8
-ity        --     --     --     --     1.2    2.3
-yte        19.6   24     24.3   0.5    0.1    0.2
-ytie       --     --     --     1.6    0.4    0.2
-yty        --     0.3    0.1    --     0.1    --

            Wa4    Ad2    Ad3    Ad4    Ad5    Wr     Ib

-ite        0.3    --     --     --     --     --     --
-itie       20.1   17.1   9.3    7      4.7    3.2    2.1
-ity        4.1    6.5    14.3   16.5   18.9   20.4   21.1
-yte        0.1    --     --     --     --     --     --
-ytie       --     --     --     --     --     --     --
-yty        --

Table 7. The nominal suffix {-HON} (18)

            Py     No     Wo     Po     Wa2    Wa3

-cion       1.5    33.6   0.1    14.4   13.8   11.5
-cione      0.6    --     --     --     --     0.2
-cyon       27.5   20.4   58     5.3    2      0.9
-cyone      2.3    --     --     --     --     --
-lion       0.2                  32.2   38.4   48.1
-tyon       0.8    0.9    1.1    1.7    0.5    0.8
-xion              2.1           3.5    3.5    4
-xyon       1.3    --     --     0.1    --     --
-sion       0.4    0.4    --     0.3    0.1    0.2
-syon       12.9   0.3    --     --     --     --

            Wa4    Ad2    Ad3    Ad4    Ad5    Wr     Ib

-cion       10.1   0.7    0.4    0.3    3.2    0.7    0.3
-cione      0.1    --     --     --     --     --     --
-cyon       0.3    --     --     --     --     --     --
-cyone      --     --     --     --     --     --     --
-lion       44.2   53.9   54.7   55.7   50.1   53.1   52.1
-tyon       0.5    --     --     --     --     --     --
-xion       3.6    2.3    2.5    2      4.5    4.5    4.3
-xyon       --     --     --     --     --     --     --
-sion       0.1    --     --     --     --     --     --
-syon       --     --     --     --     --     --     --

Table 8. The adjectival suffix {-AL}

            Py     No     Wo     Po     Wa2    Wa3

-all        29.6   30.9   32.9   27.1   26.8   32.5
-al         0.8    4.6    0.7    7.9    9.7    7.9
-ell        0.6    1      1.3    0.3    0.1    --
-el         --     0.7    0.1    0.1    0.3    --

            Wa4    Ad2    Ad3    Ad4    Ad5    Wr     Ib

-all        30     28.8   32     28.8   32.7   36.1   30
-al         7.1    7.3    4.3    7.4    3.8    0.7    6.1
-ell        --     0.1    0.1    0.3    0.1    0.1
-el         0.1    0.1    0.1    --     --     --     --
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Title Annotation:LINGUISTICS
Author:Rutkowska, Hanna
Publication:Studia Anglica Posnaniensia: international review of English Studies
Article Type:Essay
Date:Jun 1, 2013
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