An Historical Syntax of the English Language

Front Cover
Brill Archive, 1984 - Architecture - 657 pages
The aim of this study is to provide an outline of the development, from the earliest times to the present day, of all the English syntatical constructions with a verbal form as their nucleus. Professor Visser's description is based on a very extensive collection of documentary material covering every kind of writing in prose and poetry in the Old, Middle and Modern periods, drawing on quotations illustrating syntactical phenomena in Bosworth & Toller, O.E.D., M.M.E.D., E.D.D., and D.O.S.T., but also making reference to obsolete usages not found in any grammar, and to the views of English and American grammarians of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries on the various syntactical constructions. The volumes of this work originally appeared in the early sixties and seventies and were well received by readers and reviewers. Volumes 1 and 2 underwent correction in the light of these early reactions. We should like to think that this work will continue to be available to the scholarly world without great increases in the price. We are however only reprinting the individual volumes in small numbers, and so we have decided that in order to guarantee a consistent reprint and pricing policy for the future, the work should be available henceforth only as a set of four volumes.

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Contents

Bibliography
643
Old English 1151
648
Adverbial Clauses 8 87795
651
THE PRESENT TENSE FORM
661
B TIMESPHERE THE FUTURE
669
Futural Present 71722
693
have done it versus before I shall have done it 754
702
Middle English 8 11523
713
Type He was a shrewed chamberlein So to beguile a worthi queene 954
1005
Type Would you not suppose Your bondage happy to be made a Queene? 956
1007
Adverbs in ungainga
1008
Type He was not man enough to confess the tuth 962
1013
Type She made as if to hide him 966
1019
Type Clene religion is helpen widuwen 917
1026
Confusion in spelling of endings in Middle English 102730
1031
THE SPLIT INFINITIVE
1035

With the forms bip beoſ beo etc 723
723
Present tense in narratives as a variant of the Preterite 76079
726
Type God ws is and beo 7267
730
Type 579 B C Nebuchadnezar takes Tyre 784
732
Futural can must may will and ought
736
Type It is behovefull at we do pis
742
CHAPTER
745
In adverbial clauses not opening with conjunction
751
Type sume cwdon he is crist 8212
771
Type Seiden that thes man hath not don ony thing worthi deeth 8268
779
Independent Indirect Reporting 833
785
Type Si Gode lof 841
796
Type Thy lady sent aftir hir frendes alle
798
Type Cume se blinda to me 846
802
Type He asked who preached tomorrow Futural
804
Type Ciricsceattas sin agifene be sce Martines mssan 8479
810
Type O that I had wings 8123
814
Subject Clauses 8638
819
Object Clauses 8 86973
827
Attributive Clauses 876
859
In adverbial clauses 81920
866
Type All we can do is wish each other a Happy New Year
918
CHAPTER EIGHT
942
Type She wepte that pity was to hereſ 902
954
Modern English 11545
956
Type It is nat good for to take the breed of sonys 909
960
Type It was semely to be for to folowe swych a rowte 913
967
THE INFINITIVE AS OBJECT
975
Type He broughte a yerde to scourge the childſ 929
981
Type He stood in aunter for to die 934
987
Type He was an easy man to yeve penaunce 941
993
Type He bore his sword to the cutlers to grinde 947
999
Type Brennende fyre soukynge childryn 1043
1043
Types How to question hem? Why not give it up? 983
1048
Type A desire of enlarging his Empire
1049
Type As for to speken in comune Thei folwen the favour of Fortune 989
1054
New functions of form in ing in Middle English 103989
1067
Type The reading aloud often sent him asleep 1040
1100
THE FORM IN ING AS A PREDICATIVE ADJUNCT
1118
Type Knowing causes loving SS 10524
1125
THE FORM IN ING AS A RELATED FREE ADJUNCT
1132
Type They runnen to the apostle hus and carpand o that grisli crak 1071
1139
Type And knocking at the gate twas opend wide 1072
1140
Type Speaking of daughters I have seen Miss Dombey 1075
1146
idem condition 1082
1157
Type It was difficult to see properly and the train moving all the time 1089
1163
Past participle equivalent to a conjunction or conjunctional preposition
1169
Type From the arysing of the sonne 1095
1170
Type At the sun rising S 10961101
1184
Type Restrayne yow of vengence taking 110814
1196
Type Wenches sitt in the shade singing of ballads S 1121
1203
Type Pending the result I want you to remain 1125
1217
CHAPTER
1223
Type A returned soldier in search of work 1129
1230
Type The wishedfor day had arrived 1136
1237
Type A poore man met the bishop riding on his gelding 1072
1241
Type A mirour polisshed bright 1141
1244
1200
1245
Type He was worried a little 1145
1250
Type Dont speak until spoken to 1148
1257
THE PAST PARTICIPLE USED INDEPENDENTLY
1296
1255
1301
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