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In Search of Jane Austen – The Language of the Letters - Oxford Scholarship Online
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In Search of Jane Austen: The Language of the Letters

Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade


Along with Shakespeare, Jane Austen (1775–1817) can be said to be the most widely studied author in the history of English literature. But unlike Shakespeare’s, her language has received little scholarly attention. This is especially true for the language of her letters. Jane Austen’s letters have been described as the equivalent of telephone conversations, and if you read them, you can almost hear her speak. The letters therefore take us as close to the spoken language of the period as you might hope to get. This study, for the first time, offers a detailed sociolinguistic account of all aspe ... More

Keywords: Jane Austen’s language, sociolinguistic variation, dating The Watsons, Late Modern English usage, the language of letters, authorial spelling, Jane Austen’s communicative competence, Jane Austen’s letters, letter corpus

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199945115
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945115.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, author
University of Leiden