Multilingualism in the vocabulary of dress and textiles in late medieval Britain

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This paper initially examines data from the Lexis of Cloth and Clothing in Britain ca. 700<i>&#8211;</i>1450 project in order to investigate the contemporary status of what are now classified as separate languages. In relation to this question, it briefly considers the methodologies of a variety of historical dictionaries. The paper then introduces the first findings of the Medieval Dress and Textile Vocabulary in Unpublished Sources project. The aim of this new project is the examination of language choices in a corpus of documents from the late medieval Royal Wardrobe accounts and petitions to Parliament. The paper considers the findings of this project in the context of theoretical accounts of code-switching that propose the use of the scribal abbreviation system to obscure the language of origin of content nouns in the administrative register of the period and which posit a connection between technicality of meaning and language choice.


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