History 1

A history of English reflexive pronouns : person, self, and by Elly van Gelderen

By Elly van Gelderen

This ebook brings jointly a couple of doubtless precise phenomena within the background of English: the creation of certain reflexive pronouns (e.g. myself), the lack of verbal contract and pro-drop, and the disappearance of morphological Case. It offers titanic numbers of examples from previous and heart English texts exhibiting an individual break up among first, moment, and 3rd individual pronouns. Extending an research by Read more...

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The constructions are not substantially different from the ones in Beowulf and I will therefore not list them: except for subjects, most have the indefinite declension, indicating that they are still adjectives. In this text, the third person singular forms do not exclusively have definite inflection as 48 A HISTORY OF ENGLISH REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS they do in Beowulf. ’ ‘Self’ is used most often to modify third person singular pronouns (16 times), but considering the total numbers of pronouns, the difference between person and number is not significant, as in Beowulf.

Modern English pronouns are generally considered DPs but it is undecided whether the pronoun is base generated in D or if it moves to D. g. *the he, *her she, and *that me. In older versions of English, this is not so clear. c) finds examples in Early Middle English of sum heo ‘some they’. g. Traugott 1972: 85–7). Thus, the evidence for the presence of a D(P) is not as straightforward for Old English. This is not special to Old English. Kornfilt (1991) argues that Old Turkish lacks a D and Philippi (1997) argues that indefinites do not have a DP in Early Germanic.

The person split could be accounted for in structural terms as well, assuming that first and second person pronouns check their features in different FCs, as in Rice & Saxon (1995) and Ritter (1995). For instance, one might argue that first and second person pronouns are checked as in (34) but that third person ones, as in (35), need not be. I will not entertain these structures for Old and Middle English because (a) there is no person split in Old or Modern English, and (b) there is no structural evidence for such FCs in Middle English (cf.

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