|Title:||Cooking Verbs in Fourteenth-Century English: A semantic class and its syntactic behaviour||Add Dissertation|
|Author:||Ruth Carroll||Update Dissertation|
|Email:||click here to access email|
|Institution:||University of Oxford, Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics|
|Abstract:||This thesis provides a systematic account of the attested patterns of behaviour of the fourteenth-century Cooking Verbs, and compares them to other verbs which are semantically similar but syntactically dissimilar, identifying semantic components which distinguish them.
Chapter One presents summaries of lexical semantic approaches used in the study of Middle English, and those which have identified the Cooking Verbs of English as a semantic class manifesting shared syntactic behaviour (Lehrer 1974; Levin 1993). Chapter Two outlines methodological conventions and introduces the sources of data used. It describes the computer-readable corpus of fourteenth-century instructional material compiled for this study, and specifies the characteristics of the Middle English recipe, identified as a text-type by Gvrlach (1992). Chapter Three introduces syntactic distinctions between Middle English and Modern English verb phrases. It then enumerates the syntactic properties identified by Levin (1993) as semantically determined in English, and identifies those which are of interest to the study at hand.
In Chapter Four the syntactic behaviour of the four most common fourteenth-century Cooking Verbs, BOILLEN, FRIEN, ROSTEN, and SETHEN, is examined. In Chapter Five the characteristics of the verbs considered in Chapter Four are compared with the characteristics of the other verbs which can denote the cooking process. The class of Cooking Verbs is identified, and shown to differ in systematic ways from other Verbs of Change of State and from Verbs of Creation and Transformation. The concluding chapter identifies semantic components determining the syntactic characteristics demonstrated by the Cooking Verbs. The lexicalisation of manner and result are shown to have syntactic consequences, as is the aspectual classification of the situations denoted by the verbs. The thesis concludes by considering the way forward for studies of the syntactico-semantic interface and the Middle English lexicon.