Negative constructions in selected Middle English verse texts
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The objective of the present study is to investigate the historical development of negative constructions in ME verse and to provide a descriptive account of it. The central issues analyzed in this thesis are: (1) the usage of the negative adverbs 'ne', 'not' and some other negative elements such as 'never', 'no', etc.; (2) the occurrence of negative contraction as illustrated by 'nam' (< ne am) and 'nolde' (< ne wolde); and (3) the development and the decline of multiple negation. The thesis has both a chronological and a geographical perspective, since it examines changes in usage which took place during the ME period and various dialectal types. The thesis also includes a discussion of pleonastic negation and the omission of negative elements (termed 'unexpressed negation'). For the purpose of these analyses, twenty manuscripts of eighteen verse texts ranging chronologically from early ME to later ME are selected from various geographical areas of England. The texts investigated are: (1) Poema Morale, (2) The Owl and the Nightingale, (3) King Horn, (4) Havelok, (5) The South English Legendary, (6) English Metrical Homilies, (7) The Middle English Genesis and Exodus, (8) The Poems of William of Shoreham, (8) Cursor Mundi, (10) Sir Ferumbras, (11) Confessio Amantis, (12) Handlyng Synne, (13) Kyng Alisaunder, (14) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, (15) The Affiterative Morte Arthure, (16) Alexander and Dindimus, (17) The Destruction of Troy, and (18) The Stanzaic Morte Arthur. Due to the paucity of suitable material for linguistic analysis at the beginning of the ME period, Poema Morale is investigated in three selected manuscripts (MS Lambeth, MS Trinity, and MS Digby), all of which are localized in different areas of England.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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