Synonymity and Semantic Variability in Medieval French and Middle English

William Rothwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Texts in medieval French and English often string together two or even three (quasi-)synonyms carrying a wide range of senses, a feature commonly regarded by modern scholars as stylistic rather than semantic. However, while for the modern reader the dictionary has become the accepted arbiter of form and meaning, the printing-press which made possible the dictionary came only in the late Middle Ages. In the absence of any such prescriptive authority, the synonyms in a medieval text often play a semantic role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-380
Number of pages18
JournalModern Language Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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