T’ Alliteration and Latin-English Contrasts in Langland’s Piers Plowman.
Many of the most thematically significant words in PPl (e.g., person, Preest, Profit, Prechour, parfit) alliterate with WL’s eponymous hero and by so doing form an alliterative network on the theme of the medieval clergy and, through chiming that echoes an opposite meaning or connotation (e.g. prophete/profit), its lapses from the ideal. The Latin origins of these key words allow the Latin and half-Latin lines to underscore the contrast between the ideal and the imperfect, by suggesting how English can be transfigured into the realm of an ideal Latin.
NM 93 (1992): 193-97.
Peters, Timothy, and Eugene Green.