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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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How sholden they love hem to gidre in the peyne of helle, whan they hated everich of hem oother. How the reciprocal marker each other developed (Letizia Vezzosi)

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Letizia Vezzosi

University Firenze, Italy

How sholden they love hem to gidre in the peyne of helle, whan they hated everich of hem oother. How the reciprocal marker each other developed

Abstract: As for reciprocity marking, Present Day English typologically differs from Middle English, which aligned with the other Indo-European languages, in that mutual situations are mainly encoded either with lexical reciprocals, or with reciprocal markers (each other or one another). Such a state of affaris is not reconstructable historically and is the outcome of a diachronic development beginning during the Middle English (henceforth ME) period and not completed until the Modern English (henceforth ModE) period. On the base of a data analysis of morphological and syntactic devices of the Middle English reciprocal system in terms of semantic or syntactic constraints of usage, the present paper tries to explain this development in terms of a general restructuring of co-reference (reflexive and reciprocal) marking which started in the Middle English period.

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