What is the archaic language of the poem "Huswifery"?

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Take note of how different Edward Taylor's language might seem from how we speak and write in the present day, yet we are still able to understand his poems, such as "Huswifery." Taylor spoke and wrote in a time where much transition and transformation was occurring...

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Take note of how different Edward Taylor's language might seem from how we speak and write in the present day, yet we are still able to understand his poems, such as "Huswifery." Taylor spoke and wrote in a time where much transition and transformation was occurring in the English language. Taylor was born and educated in England but traveled to the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a grown man, and already the language in these two places would have been markedly different. England was still experiencing the aftermath of the Great Vowel Shift, but speakers in the Colonies were encountering a much wider variety of native tongues and accents, all of which have had a part in forming the American accent.

In this transitional period, English was transforming from Middle English (whose pronunciation found much more local particularities) to the more highly standardized Modern English. We call this in-between period Early Modern English. This language is really not so archaic at all, but it does demonstrate how much language can change in the space of three or four centuries.

The title, too, demonstrates the shift in language over time. Huswife is a term dating to at least the 13th century, but by the 18th, language had changed to prefer the pronunciation of housewife as having cleaner moral connotations than the older form.

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