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Middle English Prepositions and Adverbs with the Prefix «be-» in Prose Texts

A Study in Their Semantics, Dialectology and Frequency


Ewa Ciszek-Kiliszewska

This book offers the first comprehensive study of Middle English prepositions and adverbs combining the prefix «be-» with a preposition, an adverb or a numeral recorded in prose texts. Six best established lexemes, i.e., «before, beyond, behind, beneath, between» and «betwixt» are analysed. The investigated aspects include the semantics of the prepositions and adverbs, their dialectal and textual distribution as well as their frequency of use viewed both from a synchronic and diachronic perspective. The study draws on the linguistic data retrieved from a collection of specially selected complete prose texts from the «Innsbruck Corpus of Middle English Prose». The description of the obtained results is enhanced with numerous tables and figures.

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I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Katarzyna Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, Dean of the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland) for her strong support at different stages of the present project.

I would also like to thank Professor Jacek Fisiak, formerly Head of the School of English at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, and Professor Marcin Krygier, Head of the Department of the History of English at the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań for their interest in my research and motivation. I am grateful to Professor Jerzy Wełna from the University of Warsaw and to Professor Rafał Molencki from the University of Silesia for their encouragement and support expressed at various international conferences.

Last but not least, I am grateful to my family. I warmly thank my parents Hanna and Władysław for their faith in me. My most special thanks go to my husband Tomek for his love, patience and motivating me to always develop and reach further. It is to whom that I dedicate this book.

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