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Language Change and Variation from Old English to Late Modern English

Kytö, Merja / Scahill, John / Tanabe, Harumi (eds)

Language Change and Variation from Old English to Late Modern English

A Festschrift for Minoji Akimoto

Series: Linguistic Insights - Volume 114

Year of Publication: 2010

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 422 pp., num. tables and graphs
ISBN 978-3-0343-0372-9 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.610 kg, 1.345 lbs

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Book synopsis

This collection reflects Minoji Akimoto’s concern with studies of change in English that are theoretically-informed, but founded on substantial bodies of data. Some of the contributors focus on individual texts and text-types, among them literature and journalism, others on specific periods, from Old English to the nineteenth century, but the majority trace a linguistic process – such as negation, passivisation, complementation or grammaticalisation – through the history of English. While several papers take a fresh look at manuscript evidence, the harnessing of wideranging electronic corpora is a recurring feature methodologically. The linguistic fields treated include word semantics, stylistics, orthography, word-order, pragmatics and lexicography. The volume also contains a bibliography of Professor Akimoto’s writings and an index of linguistic terms.


Contents: Udo Fries: Sentence Length, Sentence Complexity and the Noun Phrase in 18th-Century News Publications – Elly van Gelderen: Negative Concord and the Negative Cycle in the History of English – Michio Hosaka: The Rise of the Complementizer that in the History of English – Yoko Iyeiri: Negation in Fragments A, B and C of the Hunter Manuscript of The Romaunt of the Rose – Ohkado Masayuki: On Stylistic Fronting in Middle English Prose – Fuyo Osawa: Syntactic Passive: Its Rise and Growth in the History of English – Hironori Suzuki: Ordering Main and Modal Verbs in the Production of Old English Poetry – Dieter Kastovsky: Translation Techniques in the Terminology of Ælfric’s Grammar: Semantic Loans, Loan Translations and Word-Formation – Manfred Markus: Features of Spokenness in Joseph Wright’s English Dialect Dictionary – Meiko Matsumoto: Semantic Shifts in the Development of Color Terms in English – Fujio Nakamura: Uncovering of Rare or Unknown Usages: A History of seem Meaning ‘to pretend’ – John Scahill: Prodigal Early Middle English Orthographies: Minds and Manuscripts – Harumi Tanabe: The Rivalry of give up and its Synonymous Verbs in Modern English – Laurel J. Brinton: From Performative to Concessive Disjunct: I/you admit and admittedly – Tomohiro Kawabata: On the Rise of but-concessive Constructions: From the Viewpoint of Grammaticalization – Matti Rissanen: On the History of unless – Reijirou Shibasaki: On the Transition of Transitivity in English – Shihoko Yamamoto: The Comment Clause in the Spectator – A Bibliography of Professor Minoji Akimoto compiled by Shihoko Yamamoto.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Editors: Merja Kytö is Professor of English Language at Uppsala University. Her areas of interest cover English historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, language variation and change, historical pragmatics, and manuscript studies.
John Scahill holds a doctorate from the University of Sydney for research on Early Middle English manuscripts and literary history, and is a member of the Faculty of Letters at Keio University in Tokyo.
Harumi Tanabe is Professor of English at Seikei University, Tokyo. Her main academic interests are English historical linguistics and Middle English manuscript studies.


Linguistic Insights. Studies in Language and Communication. Vol. 114
Edited by Maurizio Gotti