Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Yousif A. Elhindi

Committee Members

Sonya H. Cashdan, James R. Reese, Anne K. LeCroy


Through the process of historical linguistics it is possible to determine approximate dates of authorship and meaning that establish the conventions of a particular genre. To accomplish such a study, elements of phonology, morphology, and syntax are compared and the results create a field of descriptors representative of a style of writing of a period.

By using the method on eight well-known Christmas carols, four were determined to have been written prior to the dates previously speculated, possibly originating in the Middle Ages. The remaining four were written based on the conventions set by the earlier medieval carols.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.