Old Northumbrian Verbal Morphosyntax and the (Northern) Subject Rule

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This volume provides both a quantitative statistical and qualitative analysis of Late Northumbrian verbal morphosyntax as recorded in the Old English interlinear gloss to the Lindisfarne Gospels. It focuses in particular on the attestation of the subject type and adjacency constraints that characterise the so-called Northern Subject Rule concord system. The study presents new evidence which challenges the traditional Early Middle English dating attributed to the emergence of subject-type concord in the North of England and demonstrates that the syntactic configuration of the Northern Subject Rule was already a feature of Old English. By setting the Northumbrian developments within a broad framework of diachronic and diatopic variation, in which manifestations of subject-type concord are explored in a wide range of varieties of English, the author argues that a concord system based on subject type rather than person/number features is in fact a far less local and more universal tendency in English than previously believed.
[NOWELE Supplement Series, 25]  2014.  xvii, 286 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
xi
List of figures
xiii
List of tables
xv–xvi
Abbreviations
xvii
1. Introduction
1–5
2. Old Northumbrian
7–34
3. A Diachronic overview of the (Northern) Subject Rule
35–86
4. A variationist study of -s/-ð present-tense markings in late Old Northumbrian
87–157
5. Reduced verbal morphology in late Old Northumbrian
159–194
6. Explaining subject and adjacency effects
195–214
7. Conclusions
215–218
References
219–234
Appendices
235–281
Index
283–286
“[A]n important contribution to the study of the Northern Subject Rule. It is methodologically exceptionally rigorous, lavish in its presentation of the data and careful and fair in its summaries of past scholarship. By demonstrating the operation of a Subject Rule in the Lindisfarne Gloss, it opens the way to considering whether such a rule was characteristic of Old Northumbrian more broadly, and what the preceptual saliency of this feature was in the late Old English and early Middle English period.”
“Marcelle Cole’s monograph is predominantly a linguistic study of verb endings and syntax in the Lindisfarne Gospels. Of interest to literature scholars, however, is the way Cole brings her analysis to bear on the question of the authorship of the gospel glosses.”
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CF/2AB – Linguistics/English
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014011871