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Main Title: The case of the “impersonal” construction in Old English
Author(s): Pishwa, Hanna
Type: Article
Language Code: en
Abstract: This paper investigates the "impersonal" construction of type him (dative) scamede 'He was ashamed' in Old English (hence OE), in which the preverbal argument appears in the dative or accusative case, and the verb in the third person singular. This structure has been a frequent object of research because of the syntactically unclear Status of the preverbal argument. While the focus has mostly been on morphological and syntactic causes of the loss of this structure in Middle English (hence ME) (Allen 1995, Fischer - Van der Leek 1983, Seefranz-Montag 1983), this paper demonstrates that the impersonal construction disappeared not only for syntactic and morphological reasons but also because it was a relatively isolated phenomenon in the linguistic System of OE. To illustrate this, we will examine "impersonal" mental verbs out of a psychological and semantic perspective. The results are investigated in terms of case grammars and syntactic categories in order to explain the deviating surface structure, in which the experiencer appears in the preverbal position and carries an oblique case. Finally, the System is compared with modern Finnish, which exhibits a similar structure.
Issue Date: 1999
Date Available: 9-Nov-2018
DDC Class: 400 Sprache
Subject(s): Old English
impersonal costruction
Journal Title: Folia linguistica historica
Publisher: De Gruyter
Publisher Place: Berlin
Volume: 20
Issue: 1-2
Publisher DOI: 10.1515/flih.1999.20.1-2.129
Page Start: 129
Page End: 151
EISSN: 1614-7316
ISSN: 0168-647X
Notes: Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.
Appears in Collections:Inst. Sprache und Kommunikation » Publications

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