Dative external possessors in early English / Cynthia L. Allen.
- First edition.
- Oxford ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2019.
- Oxford studies in diachronic and historical linguistics; 39.
Oxford studies in diachronic and historical linguistics ; 39
xviii, 284 pages ; 24 cm.
- English language -- Old English, ca. 450-1100 -- Possessives.
English language -- Middle English, 1100-1500 -- Possessives.
English language -- Old English, ca. 450-1100 -- Clauses.
English language -- Middle English, 1100-1500 -- Clauses.
English language -- Old English -- Clauses.
English language -- Middle English -- Clauses.
- This volume is the first systematic, corpus-based examination of dative external possessors in Old and Early Middle English and their diachronic development. Modern English is unusual among European languages in not having a productive dative external possessor construction, whereby the possessor is in the dative case and behaves like an element of the sentence rather than part of the possessive phrase. This type of construction was found in Old English, however, especially in expressions of inalienable possession; it appeared in variation with the internal possessors in the genitive case, which then became the only productive possibility in Middle English. 0In this book, Cynthia Allen traces the use of dative external possessors in the texts of the Old and early Middle English periods and explores how the empirical data fit with the hypotheses put forward to date. She draws on recent developments in linguistic theory to evaluate both language-internal explanations for the loss of the dative construction and the possible role of language contact, especially with the Brythonic Celtic languages. The book will be of interest to students and researchers in the fields of historical syntax and morphology, language variation and change, and the comparative syntax of the Germanic languages.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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