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Syntactic Dislocation in English Congregational Song between 1500 and 1900

A Corpus-based Study


Kirsten Gather

A famous English hymn does not start with He who would be valiant, but He who would valiant be with valiant in dislocated position in the clause. The aim of this study is to analyse syntactic dislocation in English congregational song between 1500 and 1900 and to examine its motivations and developments. Poetic factors, like metre and rhyme, can be assumed as primary causes. Moreover, two contrasting dislocation patterns emerge, which show the interplay of poetic requirements and syntactic criteria. The first pattern occurs mainly in metrical psalms, while the second pattern is typical of hymns. With these patterns as a basis of comparison, syntactic dislocation is a decisive factor that makes congregational song conservative both compared to secular poetry and to religious prose.
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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at

Zugl.: Köln, Univ. Diss., 2013

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Gather, Kirsten, 1974- Syntactic dislocation in English congregational song between 1500 and 1900 : a corpus-based study / Kirsten Gather. — Peter Lang Edition. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-3-631-64590-1 — ISBN 978-3-653-03805-7 (E-Book) 1. Grammar, Comparative and general—Syntax--History 2. English language—Discourse analysis—History 3. Historical linguistics. 4. English language—Grammar, Generative. I. Title. P291.G38 2014 415—dc23


D 38 ISSN 1610-868X ISBN 978-3-631-64590-1 (Print) E-ISBN 978-3-653-03805-7 (E-Book) DOI 10.3726/978-3-653-03805-7

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