Aspects of Old English Poetic Syntax: Where Clauses Begin
InAspects of Old English Poetic Syntax, Mary Blockley uses modern linguistics to tackle the thorny problem of how to interpret a written language that relied neither on punctuation nor on capitalization to mark clause boundaries and subordination.Distinguished by a remarkable combination of erudition and lucidity,Aspects of Old English Poetic Syntaxprovides new insight into the rules that govern syntactic relationships and indicates how these rules differ for prose and verse. Blockley considers the functions of four of the most common and most syntactically important words in Old English, as well as such features of clauses as verb-initial order, negative contraction, and unexpressed but understood subjects. Picking up where Bruce Mitchell's classicOld English Syntaxleft off, Blockley shows how such common words and structures mark the relationships between phrases and clauses. Blockley also considers how the poetic tradition compensated for the loss in written texts of the syntactic functions served by intonation and inflection. Arguing that verse relied instead on a prescriptively regulated, unambiguous syntax, she suggests principles that promise more complex and subtle interpretations of familiar texts such as Beowulf as well as a wealth of other Old English writings.
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Questions in Prose and Verse
Phrasal Coordination and Apposition
ClauseInitial Adverbs and the Ambiguous
ClauseInitial Verbs and the Continuity of Reference
Uncontracted Negation as a Cue to Sentence Structure
Perfecting the Old English Past
adjective adverb adverbial clauses alliteration ambiguous Andrew Anglo-Saxon Anglo-Saxon Chronicle antecedent appears apposition baet Beowulf clausal conjunction clausal ond clause beginning clause-initial clause-initial half-line clitic comma complementizer conjoined context contracted coordinating conjunction coreference correlation difference edition editors elements Elfric's Catholic Homilies enumeration example expressed finite verb function grammatical half-line headword hwcet hypotaxis immediately followed indefinite past independent clause indicate instances interpretation interrogative juxtaposition Klaeber Kuhn's laws Latin linguistic main clause manuscript Meters metrical Mitchell Modern English nexus-question noun clause noun phrase Old English Poetry Old English prose Old English verse paet parallel parataxis particle passage pattern pcet periphrastic phrasal conjunction phrasal ond plural poem poet poetic preceding clause principal clause proclitic pronoun subject prose and verse punctuation question referent simple past statement stress structure subordinate clause syntactic Syntax tion translation unambiguous uncontracted forms uncontracted negation unexpressed subject unstressed verb-initial clauses waes wces words x-question