The Principal Middle English Dialects



The clerks in the Reeve's Tale are from Strother, in the Northern dialect area (north of the river Humber, which divides the Northern from the East Midland dialect area). The Reeve himself is from Norfolk, in the northern East Midlands.

Chaucer is from London. on the Thames, which divides the Kentish and East Midlands dialect areas; it is a distinct area on its own.

The Parson says he is a "Southern man," from the area south of the Thames; but he speaks in the London Dialect.

For some details on Middle English dialects, see the note on dialects.

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