Variation, Contact and Change
Edited By Juan Camilo Conde-Silvestre and Javier Calle-Martín
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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