The History of English Syntax

The subordinate object clause is found in OE texts most often. It usually depends upon such verbs as sechan (say),

The History of English Syntax

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reposition ymb governs The Accus. case: e. g. hū 3iorne hīe wæron…ymb liornun3a how aelous they were … concerning learning; the preposition from can sometimes govern the Dat. case: e. g. þā ārās hē from þæm slæpe then arose he from that sleep.

. There are 2 other ways of expressing syntactical relations between the components of a phrase in OE: adjoinment and enclosure) Adjoinment implies such subordination of the adjunct to its head which is achieved by their position and their meanings, but not by agreement or government or by any other special forms. The most typical OE example of adjoinment is between an adverb and a verb: e. g. Ælfric munuc grēt Æðelwærd ealdorman ēadmōdlīce monk Ælfric greets alderman Æthelward humbly (The adverb ēadmōdlīce is subordinated to the verb grētan). the phrase: hām ēode went home the word hām is adjoined to the verb hān.

b)Enclosure as a means of expressing syntactical relations is of minor importance in OE. By enclosure we understand the setting of a component of a phrase between 2 constituent elements of another component. In OE an attribute may be put between a preposition or an article.

Middle Englishgradual weakening and loss of many inflections and, as a result of it, great changes in the morphological system of the language in ME brought about modification in the means of expressing syntactical relations. is reduced to a small number of cases. An adjective or a pronoun is no longer able to agree with its head in gender and case. Only occasionally agreement in number between a noun and adjective/pronoun is found in ME texts: e. g. in alle the gramere scoles of England in all grammar schools of England; fresshe floures fresh number is also preserved between the demonstrative pronoun and the retained in ME. A verb may govern the Objective case of a pronoun or the Common case of a noun: e. g. some gentlymen which late blamed me some gentlemen who blamed me not long ago.noun may govern the Genitive case of another noun: e. g. In his hertes botme in the bottom of his heart.gains ground in ME since not only adverbs are subordinated to verbs by means of it, but also some adjectives and pronouns (used attributively) are adjoined to their heads: e.g. she understode him wel she understood him well.role of enclosure also increases. It becomes more important in the identification of the attributive function of the word which happens to be enclosed between an article/or a preposition and a head-word.NEthe decay of the adjective declension, agreement has totally lost except between the demonstrative pronoun and a noun: this book/these books which agree in number.also decreased greatly. It applies only to the Objective case forms of personal pronouns (me, him, her, us, them) and the form whom which are required by a verb or a preposition., unlike government or agreement, is on the increase in ENE. As no agreement is possible between an adjective and a noun, adjoinment becomes the only means of syntactical bond between them.becomes as significant in ModE as adjoinment. Not only adjectives and nouns, but also other parts of speech and even phrases can be found enclosed between a preposition/or an article and the noun which they refer to: e. g. the then government; He went on in a more-matter-of-fact tone.


4. The development of the composite sentence

is traditionally viewed that historically subordination (hypotaxis) as a kind of syntactical bond between clauses appears later on the basis of coordination. For OE it is not always easy to draw the line between the two phenomena. We often run into difficulties as we try to find out whether the clauses of a composite sentence are joined by means of coordination or subordination.we take, for e. g., such a composite sentence as: Ic wat D{t þu eart wlitih "I know that you are wonderful" and try to identify the function of the word "ðæt" , we at once face an alternative.

a)It may be a part of the 1 clause where it is a demonstrative pronoun and the sentence is a compound one.

b)It may be a conjunction introducing a subordinate object clause. The sentence then is complex.already in OE there existed a rather distinct system of both compound and complex sentences which fall under classification and description.


a. The compound sentence

clauses of a compound sentence in OE are linked together by means of coordinative conjunctions, the most frequent of which are: and, ac (but), oþþe (or).is necessary to mention that very often the structure of the composite sentence on the whole is dependent on the requirements of style. Thus, in OE frequent repetition of the connective "and" is characteristic of the narrative style of chronicles.clauses of a compound sentence may be joined without any special conjunctions or conjunction words. Here the relations are expressed by intonation and by the lexical meaning of the words they consist of.ME and later in ENE with the appearance of new conjunctions and the use of the old ones for expressing new relations between clauses it became possible to specify these relations and to clarify the sentence structure. coordinative conjunctions: and, not only … but, neither … nor, or, either … or, otherwise, else, but, yet, still, for, therefore etc. are employed in ModE to express copulative, adversative, disjunctive and other types of relations between the clauses in a compound sentence.the other hand lexical meaning of the words is still an important factor in expressing semantic relations between the clauses.


b. The complex sentence

were different types of complex sentences in OE. Subordinative conjunctions were of major importance in making a variety of syntactical relations between the principle and the subordinate clauses additional means signalizing interdependence of the clauses there should be mentioned the use of the subjunctive mood in indirect discourse in order to form different types og subordinate object clauses, and also resultative, conditional and other clauses.subordinate subject clause is introduced by the conjunctions D{t, hif, hw{þer e.g. Dā w{s {fter monehum dahum, þ{t þe cyninh cōm tō þām eālode "it was after many days, that the king came to that island".

The subordinate object clause is found in OE texts most often. It usually depends upon such verbs as sechan (say), cweDan (speak), þyncan (think), witan (know) etc. Subordinate object clauses are introduced by such conjunctions as: D{t, hif, hw{þer, also by conjunctive pronouns and adverbs: hwā, hw{t, hwilc, hū, hwær, hwider etc.attributive clauses are introduced in OE by the relative particle þe, also by a combination of þe + a demonstrative pronoun: sē, sēþe, þ{tþe, seoþe. clauses introduced by the particle þe are mostly of a limiting character, by the demonstrative pronoun "sē" - of descriptive character.subordinate adverbial clauses those of time, place, cause, result, purpose, condition, concession are most common in OE.OE complex sentence reveals traits which attest to a lack of accuracy in the means of subordination. Correlation must also be mentioned as a traditional construction from parataxis to hypotaxis. It is a wide-spread phenomenon in complex sentences with subordinate adverbial and object clauses. In adverbial clauses of time, for example, subordinate conjunctions þā, þonne, hwanne, siþþan etc. often correlate with the adverbs þa or þonne in the main clause.conjunction "D{t" introducing a subordinate object clause may be correlated with the demonstrative pronoun "D{t" or personal pronoun "hit" functioning as objects in the main clause: e.g. Ne wiDcweDe ic þām nānwiht D{t þu swā dō "I am not at all against that that you should do so".subordination is not frequent in OE, (example p.117) and it is treated in the same way as correlation, pleonastic use of pronouns, shifting from indirect to direct discourse, whish testify to immaturity of formal expression in the sphere of subordination.Englishthe ME complex sentence preserved many features inherited from OE which illustrated incomplete subordination, at the same time it aquired new properties attesting to the gradual elaboration of subordinate clauses. The development of hypotaxis was largely predetermined by the emergence of the national language and the rise of the written standard. in ME still occurs, but comparing with OE, it diminished, because it's nature appears to be different from what it used to be. The correlated elements in the main and the subordinate clauses often do not coincide in form: e.g. Auh forgif hit me nu, þet ich hit habbe itold te "forgive me it that I have told you about it".presume that such a correlation was a step made towards its total abandonment as a means reinforcing the subordinative conjunction. In ModE correlation would appear redundant at all, except for its stylistic value: e.g. he wondered more whether she could see his eagerness to get back to that which she had brought him away from. He the emphasis is achieved by putting "that" in the main clause.system of connectives in ME and later on underwent a number of changes too. Some of OE conjunctions fell into disuse: e.g. oþ þa (до того як), mid þam (з тим, щоб). Some connectives became specialized as indicators of new relationships. For example, OE temporal conjunction "sith" (з тих пір) began to express causal relationships as well. And, finally, a great number of new connectives came into being: e.g. save, except, in case, because, till, before etc.appearance of relative pronouns from interrogatives whō, wh

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