The Proclamation of the Provisions of Oxford (1258): The (re)birth of official English

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English legal discourse is a register with a long history. This paper presents a case study in the history of official (statutory) English, focusing on the interplay between power and language use. Attention is called to the English Proclamation of the Provisions of Oxford (1258), often mentioned as the first royal legal document in English after the Conquest, one of the few exceptions in the dominance of Latin and French at the official level. After an overview of the historical events that prompted the drafting of this document, the parallel English and French texts are compared in order to highlight the lexical and syntactical features of this early example of Middle English 'officialese'.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteSpecialised Texts - Features, strategies and intercultural aspects
Numero di pagine18
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Middle English, legal English, power and language use


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