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Essays and Studies in Middle English

9th International Conference on Middle English, Philological School of Higher Education in Wrocław, 2015

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Edited By Jacek Fisiak, Magdalena Bator and Marta Sylwanowicz

This volume is a selection of papers presented at the 9th International Conference on Middle English held at Wyższa Szkoła Filologiczna (Philological School of Higher Education) in Wrocław, Poland, from April 30 to May 3, 2015. The contributors cover a wide range of topics in the area of language and literature. The linguistic papers constitute the majority of contributions and focus on problems from phonology to grammar, semantics and pragmatics. The literary contributions discuss various aspects of Middle English texts.

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Paradigmatic isolation of while forms in Middle English (Olga Chupryna)

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Olga Chupryna

Moscow City Teacher Training University

Paradigmatic isolation of while forms in Middle English

Abstract: The article is focused on the problem of while grammaticalization. In respect to its origin while in Modern English is the result of functional split of the Accusative Singular and the Dative Plural of OE hwīl and their historical transposition into the adverb and conjunction. Having begun in Old English, isolation of hwīl-forms in Middle English resulted in a row of new adverbs and several variants of the conjunction. Analogy was involved in the process of producing new forms. The use of the variants was not codified. While continued functioning as a noun though its usage was restricted to a number of set expressions only. Compound forms were typical of the adverb. Another tendency was securing þe while þe < Þa hwīle Þe as a means of clause linking. The mainstream of while development in Middle English was characterized by variation of two forms ‒ time adverb and time conjunction.

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