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The definite determiner in Early Middle English: What happened with þe?

Cynthia L. Allen

Description

This paper offers new data bearing on the question of when English developed a definite article, distinct from the distal demonstrative. It focuses primarily on one criterion that has been used in dating this development, namely the inability of þe (Modern English the, the refl ex of the demonstrative se) to be used as a pronoun. I argue that this criterion is not a satisfactory one and propose a treatment of þe as a form which could occupy either the head D of DP or the specifier of DP. This...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorCynthia L. Allen
dc.date.accessioned2016-09-18T10:04:35Z
dc.date.available2016-09-18T10:04:35Z
dc.identifier.isbn9788791134036
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/108896
dc.description.abstractThis paper offers new data bearing on the question of when English developed a definite article, distinct from the distal demonstrative. It focuses primarily on one criterion that has been used in dating this development, namely the inability of þe (Modern English the, the refl ex of the demonstrative se) to be used as a pronoun. I argue that this criterion is not a satisfactory one and propose a treatment of þe as a form which could occupy either the head D of DP or the specifier of DP. This is an approach consistent with Crisma’s(2011) position that a definite article emerged within the Old English (OE)period. I offer a new piece of evidence supporting Crisma’s demonstration of a difference between OE poetry and the prose of the ninth century and later.
dc.publisherDept. of English, School of Communication & Culture, Aarhus University
dc.relation.ispartofLet us have articles betwixt us – Papers in Historical and Comparative Linguistics in Honour of Johanna L. Wood
dc.subjectMiddle English
dc.subjectHistory of English
dc.subjectSyntactic change
dc.subjectDeterminer
dc.titleThe definite determiner in Early Middle English: What happened with þe?
dc.typeBook chapter
local.description.notesAuthor holds copyright
dc.date.issued2016
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationCynthia Allen ,Australian National University
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage43
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage82
dcterms.accessRightsOpen access
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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