Chapter

Genitive case in Old English

Cynthia L. Allen

in Genitives in Early English

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780199216680
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191711893 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216680.003.0003
Genitive case in Old English

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This chapter looks at the use and syntax of the genitive case in Old English. It forms the basis for the discussion of the changes examined in the remaining chapters. Particular attention is paid to arguments that possessives were not definite in Old English and that Old English lacked a category of determiners. It is established that the postnominal position of the genitive was less frequent in the Old English stage than the prenominal position, demonstrating the inadequacy of the widely held view that the deterioration of case marking in English was responsible for the loss of the postnominal genitive.

Keywords: case marking; genitive case; possessive; determiner

Chapter.  24773 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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