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The Role of Chancery Standard

 

        Chancery standard was a written form of English used by government bureaucracy and for other official purposes from the late 14th century 

  • The government required a clear and unambiguous form for use in its official documents. Chancery Standard was developed to meet this need
  • The standard was developed during the reign of King Henry V (1413-1422)
  • It had become broadly standardized by about the 1430s
 
  • It was largely based on the London and East Midland dialects, as those areas were the political and demographic "centres of gravity" of England
 
  • By the mid-15th century, Chancery Standard was used for most official purposes except the Church (which used Latin) and some legal matters (which used French and some Latin)
 
  • It was disseminated around England by bureaucrats on official business, and slowly gained prestige
 
  • Chancery Standard provided a widely-intelligible form of English for the first printers, who appeared later in the 15th century
 
  • There was still a remarkable amount of variation in Chancery texts far too much to enable this source to be viewed as the chief standardizing force
 

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EMERGING STANDARD

  Middle English Dialects

  A Wide Range of Variant Forms

  "Organic" Rise of Standard

  Chief Standardizing Forces

  The Role of Chancery Standard

  The Rise of the East Midlands Dialect

  The Basis of Standard English

MIDDLE ENGLISH

  Middle English Subperiods

  French vs. English

  Geoffrey Chaucer

  Emerging Standard

  More

 

 
 
 
 

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