Chapter 5: An Analysis of the Preverb a-
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An Analysis of the Preverb a-
This chapter will discuss the Old English verbal prefix a-, which is no longer productive in Modern English, but survives in a number of lexical relics such as the univerbated forms arise, awake or ashame. For present-day speakers of English the meaning of this fossilized morpheme is not transparent.
After a brief overview of how the meaning of the prefix a- is explained in the literature, this chapter investigates the etymology of a-, followed by a subchapter that illustrates the most frequent function of a-, which is that of a perfectivizer. This subchapter also compares a-prefixed verbs with their prefixless counterparts in context. The next subchapter examines completive and resultative meanings of a-, followed by two subchapters that explore inchoative and instantaneous meanings of a- respectively. Then there is a subchapter that shows the results of a contrastive analysis of a-prefixed verbs: Old English is contrasted with Modern English and with Croatian, presenting the correspondences of the prefix a- to Modern English post-verbal particles in a map. The following subchapter is dedicated to a brief analysis of the prefix a- co-occurring with particles. The next two subchapters briefly show the use of the prefix a- in Middle English. Finally, some conclusions are reached and discussed in the last section of this chapter.
One of the main objectives of this chapter is to investigate a range of meanings...
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