Humanities and Teacher Education
Reginald Pecock, translation, Middle English, Latin, vocabulary, lexical innovation, word formation, vernacular
This article examines the Middle English and Latin word formations of Bishop Reginald Pecock (d. 1459). In particular, it addresses the false assumption that Pecock was intentionally writing in an English that was primarily Germanic in etymology. The article concludes that Pecock’s lexical innovations were primarily Latinate, that he was unlikely to be concerned with the “purity” of his word formation, and that it was highly unlikely that he was trying to eschew Latinate vocabulary. These conclusions were ascertained through a comprehensive assessment of Pecock’s vocabulary which shows that Pecock created 715 new words out of a total estimated vocabulary of 7,273 words. To put it another way, roughly 10% of Pecock’s vocabulary was composed of neologisms of his own making. Finally, it demonstrates that the lexical practices that Pecock puts to work in his English word formations are also at work in his Latin word formations.
Smith, J. A. T. (2016). English and Latin Lexical Innovations in Reginald Pecock’s Corpus. Neophilologus, 100(2), 315-333. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11061-015-9457-1