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Title: Aspects of the history of English group-verbs : with particular attention to the syntax of the _Ormulum_
Author: Denison, David
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1981
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Two complementary investigations are made of verb-particle collocations: a diachronic study of a range of texts from Alfredian prose to the _Paston Letters_, with some later examples, and a synchronic study of the _Ormulum_, a collection of metrical homilies dated c.1200. An introduction, description of particle group-verbs in present-day English and assessment of the syntactic evidence of the _Ormulum_ are followed by chapters on the adverb/preposition/prefix distinctions, the phrasal verb (e.g. _fall out_, _use up_), the prepositional verb (e.g. _deal with_), and other group-verbs (e.g. _get on with_, _take notice of_). Each of the main chapters deals first with the general history and then with the _Ormulum_. An eighth chapter weighs the evidence for Scandinavian influence on the English development, followed by a concluding chapter and classified bibliography. The development of word-order and growth of idiomatic meaning in the phrasal verb are traced. Completive _up_ is a probable but unproven semantic borrowing from Old Norse, whereas other idiomatic particle functions are seen as indigenous developments. Early evidence of syntactic restructuring of prepositional verbs in active clauses is collected, and amongst the many factors adduced for the appearance of the prepositional passive is a short-lived development of quasi-elliptical prepositional use before clauses. The prepositional passive (_He was dealt with_) is found to be quite different in origin from the indirect passive (_He was dealt an ace_).A detailed analysis of particle usage in the _Ormulum_, including survivals of the Old English prefixal system, reveals that post-verbal position for adverbial particles is the norm, that particles introducing infinitive clauses show interesting adverb/preposition indeterminacy and greatest idiomatic development, and that Scandinavian influence is surprisingly low.
Supervisor: Ball, Christopher ; Davis, Norman Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature