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Word order patterns in Early Modern English By Bjørg Bækken (review)

Word order patterns in Early Modern English By Bjørg Bækken (review) LANGUAGE, VOLUME 76, NUMBER 1 (2000) Finally, Ch. 1 1 looks at the types of verbs in inversion contexts, finding significantly higher rates of inversion with intransitive verbs, particularly verbs of appearance or existence, over transitive and linking verbs. The work contains numerous illustrative exam- that it has finally seen the light of day. [Marc Pierce, University of Michigan.] Word order patterns in Early Modern English. By Bjorg Barren. Oslo: Novus Press, 1998. Pp. xviii, 461. Bsekken's book is a corpus-based study of word order in Early Modern English (EME) based on some 3000 pages of text dating between 1480 and 1730. In the history of English there was a major restructuring from Old English to Modern English. While the former had some kind of verb-second constraint, the cunent language has a dominant verb medial SVO order. B's largely descriptive study is a contribution towards answering the questions of when this shift took place and what the contributing factors were. The domain of investigation is thus non-subject-initial declarative main clauses, inverted XVS and non- ples, statistical studies, and various cross-classifications of the data. Furthermore, each chapter ends with a useful summary of the observed patterns. Ch. 12 is a fine comprehensive overview of the work' s findings and could profitably be read first. Not surprisingly, B concludes that word order in EME is ultimately determined by a complex interplay of syntactic, discourse, and pragmatic factors. [Eric Potsdam, Yale University.] inverted XSV. B's main finding is that during the EME period the language stabilized, leading to dominant XSV order towards the end. B identifies Adverb placement: A case study in antisymmetric syntax. By Artemis Alexiadou. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1997. Pp. x, 256. Cloth $65.00. Adverbs have for a long time challenged linguists in many domains, and there has been a recent revival of interest in their analysis and implications for linguistic theory. In this book, Alexiadou argues for an original, largely syntactic approach to adverb placement. 1 680- 1 730 as the period during which the most radical decrease in the use of inversion structures took place. The body of the book investigates particular factors which might account for the gradual shift. Ch 5 looks at the effect of text type and individual author on the rate of inversion. In general, the results here are somewhat enatic. For example, B observes that while some authors use inversion quite consistently, others show considerable variation even within texts Ch. 1 introduces the vanous puzzles posed by adverbs. A sees the two pnmary facts for syntax to explain as (1) the limited number of adverb classes and (2) their rigid order in the clause. Ch. 2 summarizes the work's theoretical foundation: Noam Chom- of the same category. Chs. 6-8 discuss patterns with three particular initial elements: predicates, direct objects, and adverbials. B suggests that numerous factors including textual cohesion, emphasis, the category of the fronted element, the form of the subject, the relative weight of the subject and verb, and a tendency to reserve the postverbal position for focused and heavy elements are relevant for whether or not inversion is present. Ch. 9 documents the behavior of certain adverbs sky's minimalist program and Richard Kayne's antisymmetric clause structure. In this framework, adjunction is disallowed, specifiers are licensed via feature checking with a head, and X' projections have strict specifier-head-complement ordenng. These assumptions entail the work's main proposal: individual adverb classes are syntactically licensed as specifiers of semantically-contentful functional projections in the clausal domain. The core of the book uses a wealth of data, largely from Modern Greek (MG), to explore and support this thesis. Ch. 3 develops MG clause structure, arguing for a highly articulated architecture in which CP, IP, and VP are each replaced by numerous functional projections. These projections provide some of the specifiers for the various adverb classes. For example, Ch. 4 investigates aspectual and temporal adverbs, which are licensed in the specifier of AspectP and TenseP respectively. A's evidence comes from their ordering with other adverb classes, complementarity restrictions, and relativized minimality effects. Ch. 5 extends the study to manner adverbs, clause-final adverbs, negative adverbs, and sentential adverbs in both simple and periphrastic constructions. A attempts to show that the varied and complex data can be accommodated with adverbs in specifiers. Surface known to have triggered inversion in Old and Middle English (for example here, then, neither, never). B claims that individual adverbs developed differently. For negative adverbs, which require inversion in Modern English, this means that so-called negative preposing was not always a unified phenomenon. For nonnegative adverbs, inversion rates in most cases dropped dramatically over the EME period, converging on the modern situation. Ch. 10 investigates the discourse status, given vs. new information, of the initial elements and subjects. B finds that there is a strong tendency for the subject to be given information but that inversion increases the possibility that the subject will be new information. Initial elements, by contrast, may be either given or new information with roughly equal frequency. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Language Linguistic Society of America

Word order patterns in Early Modern English By Bjørg Bækken (review)

Language , Volume 76 (1) – Apr 1, 2000

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Abstract

LANGUAGE, VOLUME 76, NUMBER 1 (2000) Finally, Ch. 1 1 looks at the types of verbs in inversion contexts, finding significantly higher rates of inversion with intransitive verbs, particularly verbs of appearance or existence, over transitive and linking verbs. The work contains numerous illustrative exam- that it has finally seen the light of day. [Marc Pierce, University of Michigan.] Word order patterns in Early Modern English. By Bjorg Barren. Oslo: Novus Press, 1998. Pp. xviii, 461. Bsekken's book is a corpus-based study of word order in Early Modern English (EME) based on some 3000 pages of text dating between 1480 and 1730. In the history of English there was a major restructuring from Old English to Modern English. While the former had some kind of verb-second constraint, the cunent language has a dominant verb medial SVO order. B's largely descriptive study is a contribution towards answering the questions of when this shift took place and what the contributing factors were. The domain of investigation is thus non-subject-initial declarative main clauses, inverted XVS and non- ples, statistical studies, and various cross-classifications of the data. Furthermore, each chapter ends with a useful summary of the observed patterns. Ch. 12 is a fine comprehensive overview of the work' s findings and could profitably be read first. Not surprisingly, B concludes that word order in EME is ultimately determined by a complex interplay of syntactic, discourse, and pragmatic factors. [Eric Potsdam, Yale University.] inverted XSV. B's main finding is that during the EME period the language stabilized, leading to dominant XSV order towards the end. B identifies Adverb placement: A case study in antisymmetric syntax. By Artemis Alexiadou. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1997. Pp. x, 256. Cloth $65.00. Adverbs have for a long time challenged linguists in many domains, and there has been a recent revival of interest in their analysis and implications for linguistic theory. In this book, Alexiadou argues for an original, largely syntactic approach to adverb placement. 1 680- 1 730 as the period during which the most radical decrease in the use of inversion structures took place. The body of the book investigates particular factors which might account for the gradual shift. Ch 5 looks at the effect of text type and individual author on the rate of inversion. In general, the results here are somewhat enatic. For example, B observes that while some authors use inversion quite consistently, others show considerable variation even within texts Ch. 1 introduces the vanous puzzles posed by adverbs. A sees the two pnmary facts for syntax to explain as (1) the limited number of adverb classes and (2) their rigid order in the clause. Ch. 2 summarizes the work's theoretical foundation: Noam Chom- of the same category. Chs. 6-8 discuss patterns with three particular initial elements: predicates, direct objects, and adverbials. B suggests that numerous factors including textual cohesion, emphasis, the category of the fronted element, the form of the subject, the relative weight of the subject and verb, and a tendency to reserve the postverbal position for focused and heavy elements are relevant for whether or not inversion is present. Ch. 9 documents the behavior of certain adverbs sky's minimalist program and Richard Kayne's antisymmetric clause structure. In this framework, adjunction is disallowed, specifiers are licensed via feature checking with a head, and X' projections have strict specifier-head-complement ordenng. These assumptions entail the work's main proposal: individual adverb classes are syntactically licensed as specifiers of semantically-contentful functional projections in the clausal domain. The core of the book uses a wealth of data, largely from Modern Greek (MG), to explore and support this thesis. Ch. 3 develops MG clause structure, arguing for a highly articulated architecture in which CP, IP, and VP are each replaced by numerous functional projections. These projections provide some of the specifiers for the various adverb classes. For example, Ch. 4 investigates aspectual and temporal adverbs, which are licensed in the specifier of AspectP and TenseP respectively. A's evidence comes from their ordering with other adverb classes, complementarity restrictions, and relativized minimality effects. Ch. 5 extends the study to manner adverbs, clause-final adverbs, negative adverbs, and sentential adverbs in both simple and periphrastic constructions. A attempts to show that the varied and complex data can be accommodated with adverbs in specifiers. Surface known to have triggered inversion in Old and Middle English (for example here, then, neither, never). B claims that individual adverbs developed differently. For negative adverbs, which require inversion in Modern English, this means that so-called negative preposing was not always a unified phenomenon. For nonnegative adverbs, inversion rates in most cases dropped dramatically over the EME period, converging on the modern situation. Ch. 10 investigates the discourse status, given vs. new information, of the initial elements and subjects. B finds that there is a strong tendency for the subject to be given information but that inversion increases the possibility that the subject will be new information. Initial elements, by contrast, may be either given or new information with roughly equal frequency.

Journal

LanguageLinguistic Society of America

Published: Apr 1, 2000

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