Chapter

Syntax and discourse in Old and Middle English word order

Ans van Kemenade and Tanja Melićev

in Grammatical Change

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199582624
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731068 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582624.003.0012
Syntax and discourse in Old and Middle English word order

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This chapter presents an analysis of Old English word order in which discourse strategies are incorporated into a restrictive syntactic analysis. Building on recent work on clause structure in general, and Old and Middle English clause structure in particular, it proposes an analysis of Old English which formulates a number of ways in which discourse strategies are mapped with available syntactic options. In this analysis, clause-internal temporal adverbs play a special role. These adverbs act as focus particles which serve to mark the boundary between topic and focus material in the clause. The topic part of the clause is analyzed in the discourse terms inherent in Rizzi's (1997) clausal architecture, which is, however, reformulated in the spirit of Nilsen (2003).The focus part of the clause is taken to be the (extended) VP-domain.

Keywords: syntactic analysis; clause structure; discourse strategies; clause-internal temporal adverbs

Chapter.  6585 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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