Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 2006 vol. 42


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    “But why do I describe what all must see?”: Verbal explication in the Stuart Masque
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Kołodziejska, Agnieszka
    Composed of signs taken from various art disciplines, the seventeenth-century masque involved a considerable amount of interaction between its constituents. Among these, word and image seem to have been particularly interdependent. One of the key aspects of the relationship between the two media in question was that the masque’s frequently obscure visual element conditioned the explicative character of the verbal component. This paper attempts to classify the elucidative passages to be found in masques: it shows that these referred both to the signalled fiction and to the material structure of the scenic arrangement. Moreover, the study proves that these comments, essentially devised to clarify pictorial signs, fulfilled a variety of other functions: for instance, they served as ostensive markers, invested the scenic composition with temporal qualities, and emphasised the close connection between the stage set and the figure.
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    Ideas of landscape in John Keats’ Teignmouth poems
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) MacKenzie, Clayton G.
    In the spring of 1818 John Keats journeyed to Teignmouth in Devon to care for his dying brother. This essay explores his idea of landscape in three poems of the period. The term “landscape” designates not only the geographical sense of land but also the meanings that are imposed upon or emanate from issues concerning land. Keats made clear in letters to close friends that he held Devon and its people in low esteem. Yet, in his poetry, he curiously rejoices in the beauties of Devon and its people, assuming even the idiosyncrasies of a south-west country brogue. What accounts for these extraordinary shifts in mood? The essay argues that even when the reality of Devonshire failed him, Keats’ poetry reflected a willingness to reach for an imagined landscape where, free of the tribulations of actual existence, he lay kissing a milk maiden in the fields and embracing the images of country life.
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    A popular code for the annunciation in Medieval English lyrics
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Kowalik, Barbara
    The paper deals with a popular type of the Annunciation lyric in medieval English poetry. A brief survey of the role of the angelic announcement to Mary in medieval art and culture is given. The argument then pursues several distinctive traits of this kind of lyric in a number of poems from the thirteenth through the sixteenth centuries. The distinguishing features include a tripartite structure, a common set of words, phrases, ideas and images, emphasis on singing, a spring setting, tryst between lovers, and the use of popular genres, particularly ballads and carols. By analogy with music, it is argued that a certain popular code for the Annunciation existed, against which interesting artistic transformations of the theme were introduced. For example, the Annunciation was evoked in a highly compressed and allusive manner by means of but a few elements of the code. The principal elements of the alleged code derived from popular art and imagination. Their application to theological issues frequently led to the blurring of boundaries between the sacred and the profane, and between the Christian and the pagan. The paper proposes a distinction between Lent and alleluia subtypes of the Annunciation lyric. It also demonstrates how the pastourelle, aubade, and chanson d’aventure conventions of secular love poetry were adapted to represent the Annunciation. Finally, it suggests a connection between the lyric “At a spryng wel” and a specific statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, like the much-reverenced statue of Our Lady at Walsingham.
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    Nature’s farthest verge or landscapes beyond allegory and rhetorical convention? The case of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and Petrarch’s "Ascent of Mount Ventoux"
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Sobecki, Sebastian
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Petrarch’s Ascent of Mount Ventoux have both been held up as marking pivotal stages in the development of naturalism in landscape descriptions. This article attempts to gauge to what extent non-referentiality (both in figurative and formalistic terms) is sustainable in representations of landscapes in these two late-medieval texts. On close inspection, the portrayal of landscape in these two works suggests that proto-modernity has little purchase on their topographic verisimilitude, which functions not so much as a harbinger of proto-modernity but as a naturalistic signifier operative in conventional figural situations.
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    De same ole Huck – America’s speculum meditantis. A (p)re-view
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Semrau, Janusz
    By common agreement, Huckleberry Finn is not only the most American boy in literature, but is also the character with whom American readers of all ages tend to identify most readily and most intimately. Against ready-made assumptions, the paper investigates the protagonist’s unique constitution, modus operandi, and existential appeal. As a passe-partout to the text, it is suggested that Huck is at one and the same time, and as a primary rather than a secondary phenomenon, a small boy as well as a full-grown man. An apparent repository of classically definable unnecessary desires, informed by a combined Carlylean-Melvillean-Whitmanesque discourse of the (magical) mirror, Twain’s figure in the carpet emerges as a nuanced negotiation and transposition: speculum meditantis – mirror of one meditating, speculum vitae humanae – mirror of human life, speculum totis paria corporibus – mirror equal to the body of the country at large, and ultimately hyperbolically as utilitarian speculum humanae salvationis.
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    Studies on Old and Middle English literature in Poland (1910-2006)
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Bukowska, Joanna
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    Syntactic innovation processes in Nigerian English
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Igboanusi, Herbert
    This study investigates the syntactic features of Nigerian English which have been created through the following processes – the use of subjectless sentences, reduplication, double subjects, Pidgin-influenced structures, discourse particles, verbless sentences, and substitution. It observes that the fact that some features of Nigerian English syntax are shared by other new Englishes is a healthy development for the identity of non-native varieties around the world. It finally recommends the codification of the new norms into variety-specific grammars and a common grammar of new Englishes.
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    A multi-dimensional description of Subject assignment in English: A corpus-based study
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Rodríguez Juárez, Carolina
    The accessibility of terms to the grammatical operation of Subject assignment seems to be constrained by properties which can predict their level of accessibility to this function and which are organised in a hierarchical fashion. The relevance of such feature hierarchies has been stressed in the theory of Functional (Discourse) Grammar, and it is within this framework that the present research has been conducted. Thus, it has been my main concern to test the validity of each of these priority hierarchies in the process of Subject assignment and to provide a descriptive analysis of the different factors determining Subject selection with regard to a particular language, namely English, by analysing a corpus sample of written English and by observing whether different levels of dominance could be determined among the relevant priority hierarchies both in active and passive constructions. On the basis of the results obtained, a new level of hierarchical organization has been suggested as regards these constructions, by presenting a hierarchy of hierarchies (the Prioritising Hierarchy) which describes the different degrees of fulfilment of these hierarchies in the accessibility of terms to Subject assignment in the English language.
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    Chicken or hen?: Domestic fowl metaphors denoting human beings
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) de la Cruz Cabanillas, Isabel; Tejedor Martínez, Cristina
    The native Anglo-Saxon vocabulary related to domestic animals denominations has been increased throughout the centuries and enriched with borrowings from different languages, like French, but also with loanwords from other languages. This work discusses some of the reasons that have traditionally been adduced to explain word loss and semantic change, and see how they can be applied to the field of generic denominations of fowl. It also investigates the various ways in which the introduction of new items has an influence on the recipient language and to what extent native words are affected. In the first section of the paper, we will basically deal with the straight meanings and the ways in which the field was stratified in the formative centuries, while in the second section we will discuss how some of these terms are applied to human beings in a figurative sense to denote a quality shared by humans and animals or rather a characteristic which does not seem to be present in the animal, but it is attributed to it, as there is a tendency to understand human behaviour in terms of human features. Thus, we attempt at providing a panoramic overview of the field concentrating on the most frequently used units and especially on those that underwent a metaphorization process.
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    Some contextual considerations in the use of synonymous verbs: The case of steal, rob, and burglarize
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Saeed, Aziz Thabit; Fareh, Shehdeh
    This paper explores the use of the synonymous verbs burglarize, rob and steal in various authentic contexts in an attempt to identify the semantic and syntactic constraints that differentiate them from one another. The study, drawing data from newspaper articles, books, spontaneous speech as well as the BNC and concordance systems, shows that each of these words possesses semantic and syntactic features that distinguish it form the other two. The study also shows how contextual factors determine the choice of one verb rather than the other. After presenting many illustrative examples that reveal the peculiar nature of each verb, the paper attempts a componential analysis of these three synonymous items that further illustrates the uniqueness of each one of them.
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    The formal composition of puns in Shakespeare’s "Love’s Labour’s Lost": A corpus-based study
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Adamczyk, Magdalena
    The present paper is a corpus-based study seeking to demonstrate, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the formal composition of puns in one of Shakespeare’s early festive comedies, i.e. Love’s labour’s lost (c1593/4). Pun is defined here after Delabastita (1993: 57) as a phenomenon depending for its existence on the juxtaposition of (at least two) similar/identical forms and (at least two) dissimilar meanings, where, broadly speaking, the subtler the formal contrast and the sharper the semantic one, the finer the punning effect. The reason behind selecting this particular play for the examination has been the initial assumption that, rich in verbal experiments of all sorts, it might prove a fertile source of punning forms which, indeed, run altogether to 423 instances. The qualitative study is essentially two-partite and, initially, sets out to investigate linguistic phenomena which lay down the framework of formal relationships in a pun (and are, thus, in a mutually exclusive way, obligatory for its creation), namely homonymy, homophony and paronymy. Next, punning forms are grouped into interlingual puns, proper name puns as well as idiom- and compound- based puns. On top of that, a quantitative analysis is carried out which demonstrates (in a tabular and graphic form) the overall numerical and percentage distribution of all categories of puns established in the present research study.
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    Scandinavian loanwords in English in the 15th century
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Bator, Magdalena
    The paper concentrates on the following two issues concerning Scandinavian loanwards in English in the fifteenth century: (i) the obsolescence of loanwords and (ii) the appearance of new Scandinavian loanwords which survived later in non-standard varieties of English. The possible reason for the disappearance of the obsolete loans seems to be the rivalry of synonyms, mostly of French and native origin. It is also interesting to observe that despite the influx of French vocabulary, Scandinavian loanwords surfaced in English dialects even four centuries after the Viking period. Some of them disappeared a few centuries later, e.g. hink, nait, ra, scraw, stoop, etc., however, most of them survived well into the 20th century, e.g. arwal, garth, marrow, slape and soop.
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    Anglo-Saxon verbs of sounds: Semantic architecture, lexical representation and constructions
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Cortes Rodriguez, Francesco J.; Gonzalez Orta, Marta
    This paper provides a detailed analysis of the semantic structure of Anglo-Saxon verbs of sound from the point of view of the Lexical Grammar Model (LGM). Firstly, a description of the theoretical foundations of the LGM for the analysis of lexical structures and the specific methodological principles developed for historical vocabularies will be provided. Secondly, the semantic architecture of the verbal domain of Old English sound predicates will be offered. Thirdly, the system of lexical decomposition proposed by the LGM and its application to the lexical class under study will be explained. This system has the format of a lexical template which will be fundamental to understand the linking algorithm that mediates between the semantic representation of sound predicates and their morpho-syntactic realizations. This linking process has two phases: the first one will bind the lexical template of verbs of sound with the representation of the constructions and alternations where these predicates appear whereas the second interface will account for their grammatical behaviour.
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    The semantic dissolution of the structure in ME shulen on its path to epistemicity
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Wawrzyniak, Agnieszka
    The present paper based on Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” offers a historical analysis of the semantic development of ME shulen with particular attention paid to the emergence of its future and epistemic senses. The study will juxtapose the analysis of OE sculan with ME shulen. In the drawn comparison, the paper will indicate that OE sculan was contextually contingent and constituted a structure, contrary to ME shulen which was contextually free. Moreover, the development of the ME sense of futurity when compared with the OE sense of prophecy, is to be viewed as the increase in the level of abstractness via defocusing of the divine conceptual subject. Furthermore, the present study will illustrate that the mechanism that affected the changes and led to the grammaticalisation process where neither purely metaphorical nor metonymic but metaphorical perspectivised metonymically thereby giving rise to “the emerging metaphor” (Radden 2003).
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    Thou and ye: A collocational-phraseological approach to pronoun change in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Knappe, Gabriele; Schumann, Michael
    Chaucer’s use of the singular or plural form of the second person pronoun to address a single person in his Canterbury Tales usually follows the established standards of his time. However, some ninety instances of pronoun switching do occur, and explanations drawing on pragmatic parameters, rhyme and textual corruption have not been able to explain all of these deviations. Complementary to these approaches, this paper offers a novel explanatory hypothesis. The “collocational- phraseological hypothesis” suggested here takes into account the force of the syntagmatic relationship of words. On the basis of an original electronic compilation of all instances of pronoun switches in the Canterbury Tales and a classification according to three main types, we argue that frequently and/or habitually used lexical combinations (collocations, formulae, quotations) can account for a significant number of the cases in question.
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    Verb forms in medieval Anglo-Irish texts
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Jakubowski, Piotr
    The object of the present study is the shift of strong to weak verbs in medieval Irish English of the fourteenth century as represented by the text of the Kildare Poems. A comparison with the developments in other dialects of English of the same period reveals a degree of conservatism in Irish English. In fact, some of the verbs which either became weak or developed parallel weak forms remain strong in the Irish English dialect. The forms which retained the strong pattern are discussed in detail and are provided as evidence of the archaic character of Irish English.
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    On derivational suffixes in three Late Middle English romances: Guy of Warwick, Bevis of Hampton, and Sultan of Babylon
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Jakubowski, Piotr
    The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of derivational suffixes in three Late Middle English romances. Since a number of new, foreign suffixes appeared in Middle English, more specifically of French origin, it is of interest to the author of the study to what extent these were adopted in medieval romances. One might expect that the number of French suffixes might be significantly higher than that of other texts given that romances were as a genre based on a French model. The paper investigates whether this was the case in the texts of Guy of Warwick, Bevis of Hampton, and Sowdon of Babylon, which represent the East Midland dialect in Late Middle English.
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    LME -ship(e)
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Ciszek, Ewa
    In the paper I attempt to present the semantic evolution of the suffix -ship(e) from Early to Late Middle English. The major development in Late Middle English was the replacement of the dominant EME sense ‘a quality’ in a fairly large number of derivatives by one of the originally minor senses, i.e. ‘a status, rank, an office’. The original EME sense ‘a condition, state of being’, however, was commonly preserved in Late Middle English. The suffix was highly productive in the period not only in new coinages of native origin but also in Scandinavian and French hybrids. It appeared in all the dialects.
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    Markers of futurity in Old English and the grammaticalization of shall and will
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Wischer, Ilse
    This paper examines the use of potential source lexemes of future markers in Old English, such as willan, sculan, beon and weorþan. First their frequency is analysed in a selection of texts from the OE part of the Helsinki Corpus and compared to the frequency of their cognate forms in Old High German. This quantitative analysis is followed by an examination of the use of these verbs in their respective construction types. In this way it will be demonstrated why in Old English willan and sculan were more suitable candidates for grammaticalisation as auxiliaries to denote future time than beon and weorþan.
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    In-phrases from a semantic perspective: Evidence from The York Cycle
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2006) Mourón-Figueroa, Cristina
    The York Cycle has been chosen as the corpus for a semantic study of in-prepositional phrases. The text belongs to a linguistic period in which the presence of in-phs had already increased. The total number of instances amounts to 1,420, which have been classified according to the semantic criteria of the MED. Taking into account the different semantic fields of the MED, the samples have been ascribed to three main distinct categories: spatial, temporal, and figurative. Generally speaking, the analysis will show a slight predominance of the figurative sense (52.81%) over the spatial sense (45.21%). Likewise, it will also emphasize the extremely low frequency of in-phs with a temporal meaning (1.97%). In addition, it will also account for in-phs dependent of a verb and an adjective. Moreover, the study will also prove that, in The York Cycle, the most common spatial meaning in PE of the preposition in when referring to something ‘enclosed’ or within a building, ship, etc. only amounts to 13.86% (within the spatial sense) whereas the use of the figurative meaning of the preposition plus a noun implying a state or condition rises to 59.06% within the figurative sense.
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