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Multiple Perspectives on English Philology and History of Linguistics

A Festschrift for Shoichi Watanabe on his 80 th Birthday


Edited By Tetsuji Oda and Hiroyuki Eto

This collection of articles covers a wide range of topics in English philology and history of linguistics. The volume proceeds from Old English studies offering a unique perspective and approach in literary and linguistic research into Anglo-Saxon England. Two articles deal with English phonology from both historical and contemporary standpoints, and another with a theoretical discussion of etymological inquiry. The last section contains three articles focusing on the history of linguistics or the history of ideas. The wide range of topics addressed in the 12 chapters of this volume reflects the diversity of interests in the research efforts of Shoichi Watanabe, professor emeritus at Sophia University, to whom this volume is dedicated by his former students. He is not only highly valued as a distinguished professor of English philology, but also acknowledged for his critique of civilization with his unique view of history and culture.


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KAZUTOMO KARASAWA The Negative Conceptions of OE dream and their Origin 157


KAZUTOMO KARASAWA The Negative Conceptions of OE Dream and their Origin OE dream is generally known as a joy and a music/noise term meaning ‘joy, gladness, delight, ecstasy, mirth, rejoicing’ and ‘melody, music, song, singing.’1 It is especially prominent as a poetic locution, since it is one of the key words in OE poetry representing joy (at a feast) in a prosperous (aristocratic) society and joy in heaven. Apart from such well-known, dominant meanings, however, it can also mean ‘frenzy, delirium, madness, demonic possession’2 in such a phrase as wod dream in prose works. Considering that it is much more popular as a term for some positive concept,3 its application to such negative concepts seems rather exceptional. In fact, it seems scholars have vaguely regarded them as anomalistic meanings developed in some way from ‘joy’ probably through ‘ecstasy.’4 1 These definitions are taken from Clark Hall (41960). As we shall see below, 2 This definition is taken from the DOE under the heading of dream. According to my calculation, dream is attested only eleven times with this meaning. 3 According to my calculation, OE dream occurs 222 times as a simplex and 76 times as an element of compounds. Among these examples, 287 are those as either a joy or a music/noise term. With three exceptions, where it represents a sorrowful noise or cry raised by dwellers in hell, all of them are basically used in some positive meaning, representing joy or joyous sound, noise, song, music, etc. In...

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