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Language Change and Variation from Old English to Late Modern English

A Festschrift for Minoji Akimoto


Edited By Merja Kytö, John Scahill and Harumi Tanabe

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.


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YOKO IYEIRI Negation in Fragments A, B and C of the Hunter Manuscript of The Romaunt of the Rose 79


YOKO IYEIRI Negation in Fragments A, B and C of the Hunter Manuscript of The Romaunt of the Rose 1. Introduction The extant manuscript of The Romaunt of the Rose in Middle English seems to have undergone some complicated processes in its compila- tion. It is now generally agreed in discussing the matter of authorship to split the text into three sections: Fragment A (ll. 1-1,705), Fragment B (ll. 1,706-5,810), and Fragment C (ll. 5,811-7,692). The three sections differ significantly in terms of their linguistic features. As David (1987: 685-686) argues, Fragment A is usually attributed to Chaucer, while B, written in a Northern dialect, is most unlikely to be Chaucerian. As for the remaining fragment, most scholars reject Chaucerian authorship, although some Chaucerian features in it have been noted in the literature. Furthermore, the recent discovery of a leaf of this text in the Na- tional Library of Scotland in Edinburgh has increased the complication of this issue. While the Romaunt has come down to us in the single manu- script of the Glasgow University Library (MS Hunter 409) and in Thynne’s edition (1532), the newly-discovered leaf testifies to the exis- tence of another manuscript at least in the past, suggesting possibly more complex relationships than have been so far supposed between the origi- nal Middle English translation and the extant texts (cf. Horobin 2006). Considering the fact that many, though not all, previous studies on this topic go back to earlier parts of...

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