This paper discusses Gothic relative and explicative clauses introduced by the enclitic complementizer . Their structural similarity has led to the uniform treatment of these two types of dependent clauses by, for example, von der Gabelentz - Loebe (1846). Functionally, however, relative and explicative clauses are obviously distinct: relative clauses modify a constituent of the principal clause, whereas explicative clauses refer to the whole proposition expressed by the principal clause. Separate analysis reveals that in relative clauses, the enclitic complementizer is in overlapping distribution with the relative pronoun and the relativizers and ; in explicative clauses, is in overlapping distribution with the complementizers and In addition, this paper argues against analyzing the cataphoric demonstrative with the enclitic as complementizer introducing content clauses after verbs governing oblique cases. Among the proponents of this distinction are von Sallwürk (1875) and Delbrück (1904).
The Gothic invariant relativizers and have been analyzed in different ways. Von der Gabelentz and Loebe (1836/1846), Harbert (1992), Klinghardt (1877), and Streitberg (1910) treated and as indeclinable relative particles. Musić (1929) and Wright (1954), on the other hand, regarded them as relative pronouns. The present study shows that in the attested Gothic, and do not form a symmetric system with the opposition of gender. In addition, and appear to lack the grammatical categories of number and case applicable to the pronominal relativizers in Gothic and therefore cannot be classified as pronouns. Significantly, the elements and are reserved for certain types of antecedents and constructions, which might indicate that diachronically, they might have been in complementary distribution with relative pronouns, as suggested by Delbrück (1909). Synchronically, however, it is impossible to account for overlapping distribution of the relativizers and , the relative pronoun based on the demonstrative, and the complementizers and .
The B text of the Old English Bede copied in the first half of the eleventh century into CCCC 41 by two scribes differs editorially, linguistically, and rhetorically from other witnesses. Although the two B scribes are generally credited with the alterations, Campbell (1951), Scragg (1990), and Waite (2014) point out that some of the distinctive traits of the B version may have originated in an anterior copy or copies. Waite (2014) also objects to the indiscriminate treatment of the work of the two B scribes as it obscures the contribution of each copyist. The present study examines seven distinctive linguistic characteristics of the B text. To determine which traits may derive from an anterior copy and which ones may be attributed to the B scribes, it compares and contrasts the Bede manuscripts and the B scribes’ practices. This inquiry not only sheds light on the methods of scribal revision but also the English of the first half of the eleventh century.
The Taunton Fragment is an eleventh-century bilingual (Latin-Old English) collection of expositions of gospel pericopes. In addition to contributing to understanding of pastoral care in Anglo-Saxon England, it provides invaluable information about linguistic innovations that take place during the transition period from Late Old to Early Middle English. The present article focuses on one such development—the form ðrowian. Taken at its face value, that is, as a ii class weak verb meaning ‘to suffer; torment’, it causes discrepancy between the syntactic structure and the lexical meaning in the Old English text, on the one hand, and lack of correspondence between the Latin and Old English rendition, on the other. A close examination of this form in the Old English corpus suggests that it might be the earliest recorded example of the verb throw in the sense ‘to hurl’. The present article proposes that this semantic development originates in the glosses and Latin-influenced texts. Among the major causes of this innovation are polysemy and homonymy resulting from phonological and morphological changes as well as linguistic creativity of the Anglo-Saxon translators, glossators, and scribes.
One of the very few ‘rules’ that operate (almost) without exceptions in Old English prose and poetry is that in se-relatives, se is preceded by the preposition that governs it. In the entire Old English corpus, Mitchell (1985: §2244) finds only one counterexample in the Exeter Book Riddle 6, lines 7–8. In this relative clause, the preposition on governing the demonstrative þa that functions as both antecedent and relative is postposed. The present article suggests grouping the preposition on (7b) with the adverb feorran ‘far’ (8a) that immediately follows it and analysing the main verb of the relative clause as transitive. As a result, the relative clause follows the ‘rule’: the preposition on is no longer postposed, and the pronoun þa, which functions as a direct object in the principal and relative clauses, is assigned accusative by the main verbs of both clauses.
Over the past decade, steady progress has been made in identifying the Latin witnesses to the Homiliary of Angers; however, no new copies of its Old English rendition have surfaced. The singular source of information about the vernacular adaptation and dissemination of this important preaching resource in Anglo-Saxon England remains the Taunton Fragment (Taunton, Somerset County Record Office, DD/SAS C/1193/77), two bifolia of unknown origin and uncertain date. The previous discussions, which centered around orthography, morphology, and morphosyntax, determined that the Taunton Fragment is a copy produced towards the end of the Old English period, probably deriving from an Anglian archetype. To complement these findings, the present study focuses on lexis. A close examination of the two layers of the Taunton Fragment’s vocabulary—the lexemes which primarily occur in texts of Anglian origin or exhibiting the influence of Anglian works and the lexemes which typically replace obsolescent lexis in late copies of Old English material—supports the hypothesis that the Old English translation preserved in the Taunton Fragment is a copy descending from an Anglian archetype produced in a scriptorium dominated by the late West-Saxon writing tradition in the second half of the eleventh century.