Chapter

The Role of the Accessibility of the Subject in the Development of Adjectival Complementation from Old English to Present-Day English

An Van linden and Kristin Davidse

in Information Structure and Syntactic Change in the History of English

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860210
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949601 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860210.003.0009

Series: Oxford Studies in the History of English

The Role of the Accessibility of the Subject in the Development of Adjectival Complementation from Old English to Present-Day English

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter studies the role of the accessibility of subjects in the development of extraposed complements depending on deontic adjectives, such as it is important to honour those who have done honour to us. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 9.2 briefly discusses the data used in this study. Section 9.3 sketches the starting point of this study, namely the change in relative frequency of the complement types in the mandative extraposition construction. Section 9.4 sets out the referential parameters that will be applied to the subjects of the complements. Section 9.5 presents the quantified analyses of the diachronic and synchronic corpus data, while Sections 9.6 and 9.7 discuss the main findings in relation to the starting hypothesis of the chapter: was there, with the rise of the to-infinitive, an increase of subjects with more accessible reference in these complements? Section 9.8 draws conclusions and proposes some questions for further reflection.

Keywords: subject accessibility; extraposed complements; deontic adjectives; extraposition

Chapter.  13583 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.