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Title: Words for 'to speak' in Old English poetry and the uses poets make of them
Author: Frenkel, Myriam
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 0510
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This project is the first holistic survey of the major verbs of speech in Old English Poetry. In particular, the thesis examines those numerous verbs of speech which have seemed to modern scholars and readers to be nearly synonymous; a supposition probably due to the loss of the connotative distinctions between these words which would have been evident to contemporary speakers of Anglo-Saxon. Underlying the written project there are several large Excel databases in which data used for analysis are gathered. Although these form the factual basis for the written project, the thesis does not require the reader to have access to the databases. The introduction discusses the significance of speech as a field, before examining the complex problems and theories which underpin semantic field studies. The literature review is used to examine the practical application of these theories, and the scope of the project and methodology are also explained therein. Chapter One looks at the maþelian, mælan, mæþlan group of verbs, including examining the problem of disentangling their etymologies, and discussing possible post-conquest usage. Chapter Two explores the ( )secgan group of verbs, uncovering evidence of connotations which were hitherto unknown. The Conclusion discusses the (-)cweðan and (-)sprecan groups, which show little evidence of connotational differences, and, in addition to this discussion, provides an overview of the connotations of the verbs of speech in Old English. A selective examination of the Old Norse cognate verbs of speech in the poems of the Codex Regius, focussed particularly on segja, forms a forward-looking Epilogue.
Supervisor: Griffith, Mark ; O'Donoghue, Heather Sponsor: University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available