The pragmatics of and-conjunctives in Middle English medical recipes
A Relevance Theory description
The present paper seeks to explore the multiple meanings of the conjunction and in Middle English medical recipes. The corpus used contains a total number of 6,300 words, mainly from the Middle English Medical Texts compiled by Taavitsainen, Pahta and Mäkinen (2005). The framework of analysis is Relevance Theory as in Sperber and Wilson (1995). Jucker (1993), Blakemore and Carston (1999), and Carston (2002) have proved that this theory can neatly describe the various functions and meanings of discourse markers, such as and, but and well. As I show in the conclusion, and constructions must be studied in detail so that we may identify their particular meaning, which is mostly context-dependent rather than semantically constrained. By doing so, we will have a better understanding of texts and this will benefit the comprehension of medieval English. Whether the meanings of and occur similarly in other genres is left for a future, contrastive analysis.