On the position of adjectives in Middle English

OLGA FISCHER
2006 English Language and Linguistics  
The position of adjectives, and especially that of postnominal adjectives, in Middle English is compared to the adjective situation for Old English. Recently, Fischer (2000 , 2001 , followed to some extent by Haumann {2003}. has propo.scd that in Old English there is a difference in meaning between certain types of preposed and postposed adjectives, which is related to a number ofparameters such as definiteness vs indefinitenessoftheNP, weak vs strong forms of the adjective, and given vs new
more » ... and given vs new information. This article will investigate to what extent the same or similar parameters still hold in Middle English, a period in which postposed adjective position began to decline due to, among other things, the loss of the strong vs weak distinction in adjectives, the rise of a new determiner system and the gradual fixation of word order on boih a phrasal and a clausal level. Special attention will be paid to the postnominal and + adjective construction, which is here argued, pace Haumann for Old English, to be similar to postnominal adjectives without ami.
doi:10.1017/s1360674306001924 fatcat:qe5hecnyjfb7ld3u7kyd545uh4