It is sometimes argued that the greatest contribution that this work made to English literature was in popularising the literary use of the vernacular English, rather than French or Latin. English had, however, been used as a literary language for centuries before Chaucer's life, and several of Chaucer's contemporaries—John Gower, William Langland, and the Pearl Poet—also wrote major literary works in English. It is unclear to what extent Chaucer was responsible for starting a trend rather than simply being part of it. Although Chaucer had a powerful influence in poetic and artistic terms, which can be seen in the great number of forgeries and mistaken attributions (such as The Floure and the Leafe, which was translated by John Dryden), modern English spelling and orthography owe much more to the innovations made by the Court of Chancery in the decades during and after his lifetime.
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