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From «Beowulf» to Caxton

Studies in Medieval Languages and Literature, Texts and Manuscripts


Edited By Tomonori Matsushita, A.V.C. Schmidt and David J. Wallace

Senshu University has hosted many international conferences on medieval English literature – primarily on Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland – as well as in the related fields of Old Germanic, medieval French and Renaissance Italian literature. These international collaborations inform and contribute to the present volume, which addresses the heritage bequeathed to medieval English language and literature by the classical world.
This volume explores the development of medieval English literature in light of contact with Germanic and Old Norse cultures, on the one hand, and Romance languages, on the other. The book includes a comparative study of Beowulf in the Germanic context, discusses aspects of Piers Plowman and its tradition, and offers philological approaches to Chaucer (especially his Troilus and Criseyde). The articles assembled here collectively suggest how the torches of classical learning were carried from continental Europe to illuminate the pages of medieval English literature.


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Akinobu Tani - 12. Word Pairs or Doublets in Caxton’s History of Reynard the Fox: Rampant and Tedious? -281


Akinobu Tani 12 Word Pairs or Doublets in Caxton’s History of Reynard the Fox: Rampant and Tedious?1 12.0. Introduction This study aims at examining the use of word pairs (WPs) or doublets in Caxton’s History of Reynard the Fox (Reynard), with special reference to their frequency and etymological make-up, to shed more light on what is called ‘rampant use’ of WPs by Caxton. WPs are defined by Malkiel (1959:113) as ‘the sequence of two words pertaining to the same form-class, placed on an identical level of syntactic hierarchy, and ordinarily connected by some kind of lexical link’. WPs have some semantic relations between the members like synonymy, complemen- tarity or antonymy. Examples are found in the opening of Reynard: In this historye ben wreton the parables / goode lerynge / and dyuerse poyntes to be merkyd / by whiche poyntes men maye lerne to come to the subtyl knoweleche of suche thynges as dayly ben vsed and had in the counseyllys of lordes and prelates gostly and worldly / and / also emonge marchantes and other comone peple (Rey- nard 6/2–6) (underlining mine) 1 This is a revised version of the paper presented at 14 ICEHL in Bergamo, Italy. My sincerest thanks go to Professor Graham Caie and Professor Jeremy Smith, both of University of Glasgow for their generous help, and to Professor Manfred Markus of University of Innsbruck for helpful comments at the conference. All the quota- tions of Reynard are made from N.F. Blake’s edition...

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