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Essays and Studies in Middle English

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


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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A thousand Middle English names for hunting hounds: Neologising, borrowing, and compounding in a 15th-century list (Hans Sauer / David Scott-Macnab)


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Hans Sauer & David Scott-Macnab

Ludwig-Maximilians University, MunichUniversity of Johannesburg

A thousand Middle English names for hunting hounds: Neologising, borrowing, and compounding in a 15th-century list

Abstract: This article examines a unique list of 1065 Middle English names for hunting hounds preserved in a fifteenth-century manuscript. We begin by considering the practical necessity of having names for the hounds that make up even a small pack, and review what can be gleaned about this essential, but very occluded, aspect of the hunt from literary texts and practical treatises ranging from Classical antiquity to the Renaissance. We then turn our attention to the Middle English text that is the main subject of this article – the enormous list of proper nouns already alluded to – briefly describing its main characteristics, together with those of the manuscript in which it occurs. Next, we turn our attention to notable linguistic features of the list, especially its many neologisms that are unattested in standard reference works such as the Middle English Dictionary. Of particular interest are the many novel compounds found in the list. We give a survey of the composition types (noun + noun, noun in the genitive + noun, adjective + noun, verb + noun, etc., and the exocentric compounds), and we briefly discuss some of the many cases where one or both elements of a compound are ambiguous, and where accordingly two (or even more) interpretations are possible. We also point out that relatively...

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