Case Marking and Reanalysis: Grammatical Relations from Old to Early Modern English

Paperback | February 1, 1999

byCynthia L. Allen

not yet rated|write a review
It is commonly stated that the loss of case marking distinctions between Old and Middle English had profound consequences for the syntax of the language. In particular, linguists have attributed both the loss of the 'impersonal' constructions such as methinks and the introduction of newpassives such as he was given a book directly to the loss of case marking distinctions. However, the existing analyses generally suffer from empirical inadequacies; insufficient available information concerning the case marking systems (as opposed to the forms) makes it difficult to determineexactly when crucial marking distinctions disappeared. Dr Allen makes a careful examination of the primary evidence for how the loss of case distinctions proceeded, and of the temporal relationship between changes in morphology and particular syntactic changes. She demonstrates that morphologicalchange had a less direct role in the triggering of syntactic change than is usually assumed, and that some changes traditionally considered to be the result of syntactic reanalysis are better treated in other ways. Some changes to grammatical relations werenot the result of syntactic reanalysis, butwere caused by changes in verbal semantics, while others which have been treated as syntactic reanalysis in fact involved no change to grammatical relations, but only to the possible case marking associated with subjects. Endorsement: 'Fruitful interaction between historical linguistics and linguistic theory is rarely the aim and even more rarely achieved ... Allen's work is a remarkable exception. It is her avowed intention to being together the methodology, assumptions and principles of the two disciplines, to show that eachcan benefit from the other. This she does with signal success. Allen presents a careful and detailed examination of changes in case marking and claimed relationships to syntactic changes. This in itself is valuable and significant. More than this, Allen provides a thoroughly worked-out, clearlypresented model of historical linguistic investigation ... a rewarding blend of descriptive rigour and theoretical insight.' Australian Journal of Linguistics (24/02/1998)

Pricing and Purchase Info

$94.50

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

It is commonly stated that the loss of case marking distinctions between Old and Middle English had profound consequences for the syntax of the language. In particular, linguists have attributed both the loss of the 'impersonal' constructions such as methinks and the introduction of newpassives such as he was given a book directly to t...

Dr Cynthia L. Allen is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the Australian National University. She is co-editor of the Australian Journal of Linguistics, and author of Topics in Diachronic English Syntax (1980).

other books by Cynthia L. Allen

Aging Heroes: Growing Old in Popular Culture
Aging Heroes: Growing Old in Popular Culture

Kobo ebook|May 6 2015

$63.99 online$82.99list price(save 22%)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Her Contemporaries: Literary and Intellectual Contexts
Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Her Contemporaries: Litera...

Kobo ebook|May 6 2011

$30.29 online$39.30list price(save 22%)
see all books by Cynthia L. Allen
Format:PaperbackPublished:February 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198238673

ISBN - 13:9780198238676

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Case Marking and Reanalysis: Grammatical Relations from Old to Early Modern English

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. An Overview of Old English Syntax3. Case Marking and the Experiencer Verbs in Old English4. The Syntax of the Experiencer Verbs in Old English5. The Loss of Case Marking6. The Development of the Experiencer Verbs7. Explaining the Demise of the Preposed Dative Experiencer8. Change in Passives: Single Objects9. Changes in Passives: Verbs with More than One Object-like Argument10. ConclusionAppendices

Editorial Reviews

`It is rich in historical detail, and there are inevitably many points to discuss ... I recommend this book for its detailed, careful and explicit historical account.'Journal of Linguistics