Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Development of the Nominal Plural Forms in Early Middle English

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Development of the Nominal Plural Forms in Early Middle English

Article excerpt

Ryuichi Hotta, The Development of the Nominal Plural Forms in Early Middle English, Hituzi Linguistics in English 10 (Tokyo: Hituzi Shobo, 2009). xix + 291 pp. ISBN 978-4-89476-403-3. ¥13,650.00.

This valuable study is a published version of Ryuichi Hotta's doctoral thesis (Glasgow, 2005). It represents a painstakingly close analysis of nominal plural forms in 247 scribal texts, mainly copied between the second half of the twelfth and the first half of the fourteenth centuries; 134 of these were searched electronically courtesy of pre-publication access to the tagged texts prepared by the Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English project, and the book therefore stands as one of the first published studies to draw extensively on LAEME data. Following introductory sections surveying previous scholarship and looking into the Germanic background, the centrepiece of the book is its presentation of its extensive data-set. For each of his texts, Hotta has collected the 'common case plural forms of prototypical nouns that occur outside rhyming positions' (p. 40), and classifies every one of these forms according to the gender and plural type of its Old English antecedents), and hence the changes it has undergone by early Middle English. This enables a number of analyses, most significandy the creation of 'plural forms profiles' which map the evolution of nominal plural systems on a text-by-text and dialect-by-dialect basis (section 3.2); this information is presented with a plethora of maps and tables, and supported by a set of detailed appendices. A number of interesting generalizations result (albeit the evidence for some dialects is much better than it is for others), and these are then fleshed out for selected important texts in chapter 4, and read in the Hght of lexical diffusion models in chapter 5 . …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.