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Approaches to Middle English

Variation, Contact and Change


Edited By Juan Camilo Conde-Silvestre and Javier Calle-Martín

This volume contains a selection of papers presented at the 8 th International Conference of Middle English, held in Spain at the University of Murcia in 2013. The contributions embrace a variety of research topics and approaches, with a particular interest in multilingualism, multidialectalism and language contact in medieval England, together with other more linguistically-oriented approaches on the phonology, syntax, morphology, semantics and pragmatics of Middle English. The volume gives a specialized stance on various aspects of the Middle English language and reveals how the interdisciplinary confluence of different approaches can shed light on manifold evidences of variation, contact and change in the period.
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Final -e in Gower’s and Chaucer’s monosyllabic premodifying adjectives. A grammatical/metrical analysis: Gyöngyi Werthmüller


Gyöngyi WerthmüllerEötvös Loránd University, Budapest

Final -e in Gower’s and Chaucer’s monosyllabic premodifying adjectives. A grammatical/metrical analysis



The following paper intends to provide some further contribution towards the question of word-final -e in monosyllabic premodifying adjectives in Middle English (iambic) verse – a question that has been shed light on from various angles by many scholars (among others, Morsbach 1896: 112–113, Bihl 1916: 25–27,1 Donaldson 1948: 1116–19, Samuels 1972/88:7–13, Burnley 1982, and Pearsall 1999). We shall look at what metre tells us about this phenomenon, and attempt to highlight some hitherto neglected details about the presence, but mostly about the possible reasons of absence of the -e. Our analysis expands to -e’s of all categories, i. e. lexical (grene < OE grene), weak singular (the yonge sonne, CT A. 7), and weak and strong plural (the brighte swerdes, CT A. 1700; smale foweles, CT A. 9). However, the all-inclusive nature of the analysis does not entail that we are ← 179 | 180 → not interested in the grammatical role of the -e – at least ample attention will be paid to whether it is lexical/etymological (grene) or not.

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