Edited By Javier E. Díaz Vera and Rosario Caballero
Null Objects in Middle English Medical Texts 1. Introduction Null objects have been the focus of several studies from both a syn- chronic and a diachronic standpoint. The diachronic part, however, has not been sufficiently exemplified because the authors’s intentions in all the studies consulted (Görlach 1992, Culy 1996, Bender 1999) have been to show the tradition of null objects in the history of Eng- lish rather than to thoroughly explore their distribution in a fairly well represented corpus of historical texts from past periods of English. In spite of this, these studies have opened the door to more specific dia- chronic research so that extensively documented descriptions could be done to see whether null complementation had something of an old and well-established existence or its presence in Middle English texts was rare. This chapter aims to describe null objects in Middle English. For this, I have selected texts from the Middle English Medical Texts (MEMT) corpus. This corpus has proven to be adequate for the study of historical English, as shown by the studies carried out by Taavit- sainen (2006), and Alonso-Almeida (forthcoming). My main interest for the study of zero complementation arises from the divergent views in Culy (1996) and Görlach (1992) in their analysis of Middle English recipe texts. My intention is to revise the statements in both works and corroborate one or another with new data and research to elucidate the variety mostly used in the period surveyed. The present investigation considers other textual...
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