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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


Academic Paper


Title: Prosodic evidence for incipient VO order in Old English
Author: Ann Taylor
Institution: University of York
Linguistic Field: Syntax; Phonology; Typology
Subject Language: English
Abstract: In this article I investigate the prosodic structure of verb–object sequences in three Old English metrical texts: Beowulf, Ælfric's Lives of Saints, and The Metres of Boethius. I show that while OV sequences are rarely separated by a line break in any of the texts, the prosodic structure of VO sequences is different in each text, with a high rate of separation of the verb and object in Beowulf, followed by the Metres with less separation, and finally the Lives of Saints with less again. I relate these facts to the ongoing change in headedness in the VP that has been claimed to begin in the Old English period. I take a separated verb–object sequence to indicate a postposed object, and thus the fall in the frequency of separation across the texts indicates a fall in the proportion of VO sequences that are derived by postposition, with a concomitant increase in base-generated VO order.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 9, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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