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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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What really happened to ‘impersonal’ and ‘reflexive’ constructions in medieval English (Michiko Ogura)

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Michiko Ogura

Tokyo Woman’s Christian University

What really happened to ‘impersonal’ and ‘reflexive’ constructions in medieval English

Abstract: In Ogura (1986) and (1989) I made investigations on ‘impersonal’ (i.e. with a verb in the third person singular that takes the dative of person) and ‘reflexive’ (i.e. with a coreferential pronoun with or without self) constructions from about the ninth to the thirteenth century. It is obvious that these constructions continue throughout the medieval period, but the same criteria cannot be adopted after the thirteenth century owing to the morphological leveling. In this paper I exemplify the Middle English situation of these constructions, together with the problems found in the Old English period, and try to explain how they survived being partly reinforced by Old Norse and Old French verbs and partly remodeled by the native feature of Old English syntax.

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