Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Style, Mediation, and Change

Edited by Janus Mortensen, Nikolas Coupland, and Jacob Thogersen

Style, Mediation, and Change "Offers a coherent view of style as a unifying concept for the sociolinguistics of talking media."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Intonation and Prosodic Structure

By Caroline Féry

Intonation and Prosodic Structure "provides a state-of-the-art survey of intonation and prosodic structure."


The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics students and faculty, and supported by your donations. Please support LINGUIST List during the 2017 Fund Drive.

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.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page