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Title: Word Order Variation in Late Old English Texts: With Special Reference to the Evidence of Translations and Revisions
Author: Artamonova, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0000 5109 0246
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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The aims of the thesis are threefold: to investigate the amount of syntactic variation in late Old English prose texts; to assess the relation of these texts to their Latin originals and their usefulness for studies of Old English word order; and, finally, to describe individual stylistic peculiarities of these texts _and their impact on the resulting formal descriptions. The study focuses on two main kinds of text: Old English translations from Latin (including continuous glosses), which allow a close comparison of Latin and English wordorder principles; and revisions or adaptations of earlier Old English texts, which allow analysis of the changes made by different vernacular writers. The key text for the analysis is the Old English Rule of St. Benedict, its subsequent revisions and the comparable contemporary texts like the Rule of Chrodegang and the Capitula Theodulfi. A number of other texts, ranging from Early Old English to Early Middle English, have also been discussed. Each text has been subjected to a close analysis which considers the distribution of word order patterns within a wider context involving the circumstances of composition, c9Pying and revision, the relation of the texts to the manuscripts they survive in, the possible aims of translation/revision, and (for translated texts) the amount of our knowledge concerning the possible original. The method therefore entails both the presence of a large representative corpus and a detailed analysis combining the linguistic and philological data with the information from palaeography and textual history. The main conclusions that follow from such an analysis are that large-scale variation can be observed even within a narrow genre of ecclesiastical rule. iEthelwold's translation of the Rule of St. Benedict emerges as a text whose idiosyncratic word order cannot be attributed to the influence of the Latin original or any other factors apart from personal style. It is also significant that although attempts have been made to revise this translation, its word order was largely left intact. . Another important conclusion is that only a few syntactic peculiarities of the Old English translations can be attributed to the influence oftheir Latin originals. Even with rare and unusual patterns, Latin influence can be at most questionable. Thethesis is written within the framework of traditional grammar. Its ultimate aim is to provide information and material to as wide an audience as possible, including scholars of literature, historical linguistics and comparative philology, whatever their theoretical_background may be. It takes into account studies by both traditional and generative grammarians, including the most recent work, but it does not make any commitments to Particular theories.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available