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Title: Word order and structure of Old English : with special reference to Ælfric’s Catholic Homilies
Author: Yoon, Hee-Cheol
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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The aim of the study is to analyze word order of Old English in terms of the minimalist framework suggested in Chomsky (1995-2000). Old English data for the analysis are mainly drawn from Ælfric’s Catholic Homilies, which is most likely to represent the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England around the end of the 10th century. According to Kayne’s (1994) version of universal base hypothesis, the analysis assumes that Old English has head-initial structure for every projection. It is therefore presupposed that linear order in Old English is closely related to structural hierarchy determined at syntax. The study suggests that Old English ordering patterns other than the base one result from uninterpretable feature-driven operations. However, economy considerations under the minimalist framework require an additional uninterpretable feature to force a costly operation of movement. Those optional features indispensable for movement are generalized in the study depending on the type of movement: the [+Affix] feature for head movement and the EPP features for XP movement. The postulation of the [+Affix] feature forcing affixation provides a unified account for various head movement-type operations in Old English. The optional nature of the feature in a derivation accords with optionality in head movement in Old English, which denies the traditional head-final hypothesis presuming a fixed position for finite verbs both in main and subordinate clauses. It is therefore no longer necessary to introduce empirically and conceptually unmotivated assumptions including string-vacuous verb movement, various types of extraposition, and the clitic analysis of personal pronouns based on head movement. The head movement analysis suggested in the study accounts for various positions of finite verbs in main and subordinate clauses, the distribution of verb-particle constructions, and all the ordering patterns in verbal complexes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available