William Harvey's Prelectiones anatomie universalis (1616) : code-switching in early modern English lecture notes

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2009, vol. 35, iss. 2, pp. [185]-198
Extent
[185]-198
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
Language
English
Latin
License: Not specified license
Abstract(s)
Historical code-switching has attracted increasing interest in recent years. From the Middle Ages onwards, medical texts have not only reflected the complex multilingualism of Britain, but also the increasing vernacularisation of scientific writing in general. This vernacularisation is often linked to a high incidence of code-switching throughout the medieval and well into the early modern period. The present paper analyses the frequent occurrence of code-switching from Latin into English in a medical text, namely William Harvey's Prelectiones Anatomie Universalis (1616). The Prelectiones represent Harvey's personal hand-written notes for a cycle of anatomical lectures accompanying a dissection. As such they have been claimed to be rather close to spoken language, though they often consist of incomplete and elliptical syntactic structures. The paper presents a brief analysis of structural and functional aspects of code-switching in these notes and concludes with a discussion of the relation between the written code-switches and their possible spoken realisation in the course of the anatomical lectures.
Document
References:
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