Formal variation and semantic change in the Middle English demonstratives

Takenouchi, Yoko (2015) Formal variation and semantic change in the Middle English demonstratives. MRes thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the history of the Middle English demonstratives these and those with a strong emphasis on their geographical distribution and use of various forms found in texts in the late Middle English period.

Most of the forms that are used at present are surviving descendants of myriads of variants which emerged in the Middle English period, and the plural demonstratives these and those are no exception. However, it is known that each of these two distinct
but similar-looking words has traced a different path in its development which does not allow a simple explanation. In particular, the emergence of the present-day standard form those remains wrapped in mystery owing to its complexity.

This study has attempted to gain a better insight into this intricate history using the extensive mass of data gained from the notable linguistic atlas called eLALME. Findings presented in this study demonstrate diverse aspects of functional selection of variables which occurred and then would produce the present-day system. Above all, this study has shown that the A-curve distribution pattern provides a useful clue to the evolution of linguistic variations.

Item Type: Thesis (MRes)
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: History of English, Middle English, English demonstratives.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PD Germanic languages
P Language and Literature > PE English
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Professor Jeremy
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Miss Yoko Takenouchi
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-7184
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2016 15:35
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 07:47
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7184

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