Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 2007 vol. 43


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    The dis-closure of "Huckleberry Finn:. Natura naturata vs. lumen naturale, lighting out vs. Lichtung
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Semrau, Janusz
    Against the popular frontier-wilderness discourse, the paper offers to discuss one of the most celebrated lines in all American literature, Huck Finn’s closing resolution to light out ahead of the rest, as an adverbial-existential rather than as a categorical-territorial affair. Drawing on Heidegger’s notion of “resoluteness”, it is argued that the novel discloses at the very end – ‘lights out’ – a mode of presencing rather than of disappearing. More broadly, this is to show that the received image of Huck as a maverick dodger, incorrigible vagabond and, most emphatically of all, as a celebrant of Nature is not borne out by the reality of the text and is informed instead by the dynamics of cultural (auto-)stereotyping.
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    History or journalism: Two narrative paradigms in "Bloody Sunday. Scenes from the Saville Inquiry" by Richard Norton-Taylor
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Lachman, Michał
    The article focuses on one of the most controversial plays in contemporary Irish theatre, Richard Norton-Taylor’s Bloody Sunday. Scenes from the Saville Inquiry. The play belongs to the popular form of drama called verbatim or documentary and attempts to render factual material and recorded evidence about the Bloody Sunday tragedy in a possibly most objective and reliable way. The aim of the article is to present Norton-Taylor’s work against the long and interesting tradition of the genre of documentary theatre. What is more, the central subject of the analysis is the complex interconnection between journalistic methods of rendering facts and strictly fictional strategies – such as for instance metaphor, metonymy or synecdoche – which according to Hayden White belong to modern historical discourse. The seamless blurring of journalism and elements of historical writing makes it possible for Norton-Taylor to maintain realistic objectivity of the medium, while still holding the reader’s interpretations and understanding under politicised and ideologically biased control.
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    Paradise revisited: Images of the first woman in the poetry of Joy Kogawa and the fiction of Thomas King
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Filipczak, Dorota
    The article offers a comparative analysis of a poem by Joy Kogawa entitled A song of Lilith, and the chosen texts by Thomas King, namely his short-story “One good story, that one” and his novel Green grass, running water. Despite being rooted in their respective cultures, these two Canadian writers are interested in the Book of Genesis. Kogawa, of Japanese origin, and King, of Cherokee and Greek origin, rewrite the story of the first woman by deconstructing the images of femininity from Old and New Testaments. King’s and Kogawa’s interpretations communicate much about the authors’ status within the Canadian mainstream.
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    The author and the reader – “Us and them” in Maria Edgeworth’s texts for children and young adults
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Mazurek, Monika
    The paper attempts to tackle the hyphenated self of Maria Edgeworth as Anglo-Irish writer in her books for children and young adults, reflected not only in the fact of the occasional introduction of Irish characters or Irish setting but also at the deeper level of the identity of the narrative voice and the implied reader of these texts. It attempts to show that the Anglo/Irish ratio in the narrative voice of Edgeworth’s texts is a fluctuating value, defining itself in the opposition to the implied reader, whose identity is in turn constantly changing sides as well, hovering between the poles of “us” and “them”.
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    The protean nature of Irish tale: The generic analysis of Maria Edgeworth’s "Ennui"
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Maciulewicz, Joanna
    The aim of the article is to demonstrate the derivative nature of Irish tale, a short-lived genre which thrived in the Romantic period. The analysis is based on Maria Edgeworth Ennui (1809), which skillfully and self-consciously combines various kinds of factual discourse (e.g. memoirs, autobiographies, travelogues) with diverse fictional modes (romance, melodrama) with a view to expose the shallowness of English stereotypes about Ireland as well as to call for the modernization of Ireland through the professionalisation of its gentry.
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    The unruly household in John Heywood’s "Johan Johan"
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Borowska-Szerszun, Sylwia
    The very title of John Heywood’s interlude A mery play between Johan Johan, the husband, Tyb his wife, and Sir Johan the priest (in print by 1533) suggests a fabliaux-like, farcical intrigue, which can be enacted by three characters only: a hen-pecked husband, a shrewish wife and a parish priest, i.e. the wife’s lover. The play centres on the motif of eternal triangle, Tyb being at the heart of the whole intrigue and responsible for disrupting order within the household. This paper examines how the official ideology of household is subverted in the play, deals with carnivalesque empowerment of the female character which results from this subversion, shows how female rebellion is counterattacked with misogynist implications of the play, and, finally tries to hint at political implications the interlude might have had despite its entertaining and comic qualities.
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    Chaucer’s Clergeon, or towards holiness in "The Prioress’s Tale"
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Czarnowus, Anna
    A narrative aestheticized in Pre-Raphaelite visual arts and a politically charged issue in contemporary criticism, Chaucer’s Prioress’s tale focuses on the figure of an “enigmatic child”, whose body is severed by the Jews. The boy’s uncanniness and holiness are constructed in stages, while the ethnic identity of his persecutors may not be as important as some critics once thought, since the Jews function as yet another group of “infidels” in Chaucer. The clergeon symbolizes otherness through his deformity, which makes him similar to the Jews as embodiments of difference. However, only the contrast between the child and the Jews is emphasized. Middle English dramatizations of the Slaughter of the Innocents could be read as yet another source influencing Chaucer. A parallelism between the clergeon’s suffering and the persecution of Christ typified by the slaughter can be traced in the two tales. At the end of The Prioress’s tale the boy achieves holiness, while violence is directed against ethnic others. The highly aesthetic Victorian representation merely continues to show this narrative of violence as primarily a work about Marian devotion.
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    The noun phrase structure in Nigerian English
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Lamidi, Mufutau T.
    Scholars have described Nigerian English in different ways. While some see it as a language that is evolving from a bilingual/multilingual background with influences from multiple languages, some see it as a deviation from the norm (and therefore a body of institutionalised errors): the former, from the perspective of a foreign or L2 speaker; the latter, from the perspective of a native speaker. Nevertheless the arguments for the existence of Nigerian English are quite convincing. It is therefore necessary to codify the grammar of the evolving language. Based on the data generated from newspapers, scholarly works in English and speeches recorded from the broadcast media, this study explains the grammatical/syntactic structure of the Noun Phrase in Nigerian English. Using a simple descriptive method, this paper discusses the Noun Phrase structure of Nigerian English from the perspective of accommodation rather than deviation. This idea (of accommodation) makes it possible to adduce reasons for the occurrence of specific structures and identify errors which are not products of language contact.
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    Natural Syntax: English dependent clauses
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Orešnik, Janez
    Natural Syntax is a developing deductive theory. The naturalness judgements are couched in naturalness scales, which follow from the basic parameters (or “axioms”) listed at the beginning of the paper. The predictions of the theory are calculated in the deductions, whose chief components are a pair of naturalness scales and the rules governing the alignment of corresponding naturalness values. Parallel and chiastic alignments are distinguished, in complementary distribution. Chiastic alignment is mandatory in deductions limited to unnatural environments. This paper wishes to acquaint the reader with the current version of Natural Syntax. By way of exemplification the paper covers selected topics within English dependent clauses.
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    “More strenger and mightier”: Some remarks on double comparison in Middle English
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Włodarczyk, Matylda
    The marginal participation of double comparison1, like more nicer, in adjective gradation in historical and contemporary English has been corroborated by numerical evidence (Kytö and Romaine 1997, 2000; González-Díaz 2004, 2006a). The studies in question, however, failed to address some data limitations and their distorting impact on the picture of real language use. Although this omission may seem less striking regarding the historical sources, it nevertheless calls for an immediate remedy. Also, the alleged marginal participation of the construction in adjective gradation, as well as its grounds, require thorough verification. What cannot be ignored, is the fact that a clear contradiction exists between the disappearance of double comparison from standard English and its popularity and persistence in colloquial speech and manifold nonstandard varieties of English and other genetically related languages. In other words, even though in the analysed data, the appearance of double comparison in English appears to be as abrupt as is its demise, its ubiquity outside the standard varieties points to a continuous development not reflected in the surviving record or the analysed contemporary corpora. With a view to this, this paper aims at an analysis based on data (so far excluded from investigations) representing the period of the highest incidence of the construction, i.e. Middle English. Also, bearing in mind the limitations of historical record, apart from synchronicallyor diachronically-oriented explanations, the study proposes resorting to some externally-oriented explanations (cf. Good, forthcoming).
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    Evidence for morphological restructuring in the second person pronoun in early English correspondence
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Rutkowska, Hanna
    The focus of this article is morphosyntactic. Its aim is to provide evidence for a particular type of syntactic reanalysis which is likely to have contributed to the establishment of you as a universal form of the second person pronoun in both subject and oblique positions. The issue of the developments in the paradigm of the second person pronoun in Early and Late Modern English has received much coverage in the recent decades. The focus of previous works has been mainly on external, socio-pragmatic factors (Brown and Gilman 1972; Wales 1983; Hope 1993). Among internal factors, phonological ones were emphasised (Graband 1965; Strang 1970; Görlach 1978; Barber 1997). To date, few linguists have paid attention to morphosyntactic causes of the changes. In particular, impersonal constructions, involving such verbs as LIKE and PLEASE, have been recognised as the environment conducive to the reanalysis of the second person forms (van der Gaaf 1904; Lutz 1998). This article will discuss structures of a different type, i.e. those containing verbs such as PRAY and BESEECH. My analysis will show that the confusion between the imperative and subjunctive moods, frequent in those constructions, is a plausible explanation for the weakening of the case distinction and the spread of the you form to the subject position in the sentence. Such grammatical constructions are particularly common in early English personal correspondence. Therefore, the following analysis is based on a database of epistolary documents, including the letters of Paston, Plumpton, Stonor and Cely families.
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    The Scandinavian element beyond the Danelaw
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Bator, Magdalena
    The Scandinavian element is present in English mainly due to the Viking invasions and later settlement of the Vikings in the British Isles. Hence, it has been usually assumed that the Scandinavian loanwords entered the English language in the areas where the number of Scandinavian settlers was the highest, i.e. the Danelaw, inhabited by the Danes and the northern counties (Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire) settled by the Norwegians. The present paper will present evidence that the Scandinavian loanwords not only were also common in the non-Scandinavian parts of England but in some cases occurred exclusively in the west and south of the country. Additionally, the evidence collected for the present study will be compared to the area of “the Great Scandinavian Belt” proposed by Samuels (1985), in order to check whether the distribution of the investigated items agrees with Samuels’ focal area.
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    The pre-verbal i- in Early Middle English: An analysis of the formal parameters of the prefixed verbs
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Mokrowiecki, Tomasz
    In contrast to the majority of works on the pre-verbal i-/y- in Middle English which usually attempt to explain the loss of the prefix, the present study focuses on the formal traits of the prefixed verbs. The intended aim of the study is to ascertain whether in the early Middle English period verbs had to meet any formal criteria for the use of the prefix. The linguistic data collected from seven prose texts composed at the beginning of the thirteenth century in West Midlands show that the morphological status of the EME i- extends beyond that of the preterite participle marker. The morphological dualism of the prefix – often blurred by its opaque semantics – becomes even more evident in a comparative analysis of the verbs taking the pre-verbal ge- in Modern Dutch and German with those preceded by i- in Early Middle English.
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    Possible origins of different usages in Present-Day spoken and written English
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Wolf, Gőran
    Within the continuum of spoken and written English some variations, e. g. the varying usage of negation and the opposition of pronominal usage, can be explained with reference to the varying characteristics of speech and writing. The origins of these variations, however, cannot be explained along these lines. After rendering some basic concepts, I would like to propose a view which accounts for the given variations with regards to the mentioned period of the history of the Standard English dialect. The paper will show that quite a lot of the variations which nowadays occur along the spoken/written divide equal those features which early grammarians, such as Robert Lowth or Joseph Priestley, discussed referring to good or bad language use. Therefore, I would like to argue that the grammatical structures found in spoken or written Present Day English originate from suggestions for seventeenth- and eighteenth-century norms of English.
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    Resolution of ellipsis: Evidence from Old English sluicing
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Nykiel, Joanna
    English sluicing presents some puzzling patterns: as expected, it operates over syntactically related antecedents and orphans, but it also operates over those that show a less direct relationship. It is not immediately obvious how much syntax there is in the relationship. This paper reports on the Old English (henceforth OE) data that can serve a practical purpose by providing the key to this puzzle: syntax is not the only option, though originally it is the default one. My analysis documents the distribution of sluicing in the extant resources according to temporal and textual criteria, suggesting furthermore how its past motivates its present behavior. Briefly put, it shows that a successful theoretical framework needs to accommodate the early and the later developments alike.
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    Categorial heterogenity: Old English determiners
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Bartnik, Artur
    This paper examines the syntactic properties of two structures illustrated in (1) and (2): 1) his þone readan gim his the red gem ‘his red gem’ (coblick,HomU_18_[BlHom_1]:9.125.121), 2) þæs his cwides that his saying ‘that saying’ (coblick,LS_17.1_[MartinMor[BlHom_17]]:215.79.2742). Example (1) features a possessive – determiner sequence, which is characterized by the obligatory occurrence of both an adjective and simple determiners of the paradigm se/seo/þæt (Mitchell 1985: §103-112). The reversed order (determiner – possessive) does not display such restrictions. In particular, the adjective is optional and compound determiners (þes/þeos/þis) are also licit in these sequences, as shown in example (2). The analysis proposed in this paper accounts for these facts by assuming that Old English determiners are not a homogeneous group because they combine both adjectival (specifier) and pronominal (head) properties.
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    The word order of Old English and Old High German non-conjoined declarative clauses in different text types
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Kamińska, Anna
    The aim of the present paper is to compare word-order patterns of two West Germanic languages, English and High German, at the early stage of their development, on the example of one clause type, namely non-conjoined declarative clauses. The word-order patterns have been analysed for three basic text types (poetry, authentic prose and translated prose) in order to check whether text type has a similar influence on word order of those closely related languages. The paper is a fragment of a more detailed Ph. D. project entitled: A corpus-based comparative study of Old English and Old High German word order in different text types (to be completed in 2009). The most interesting results of the first stage of the study have been presented here. All details and aspects of the analysis which have not been included in the presents paper (e.g. word order of other clause types, the behaviour of objects and complex verb phrases) can be found in the forthcoming dissertation.
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    Twin lexical collocations in legal late Middle English
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Iglesias-Rábade, Luis
    The aim of this study is an attempt to examine the occurrence and expansion of lexical clusters (collocations) in legal late Middle English and to determine whether or not these multi-word items are recurrent, cohesive, arbitrary and domain-dependent lexical clusters. The definition and categorisation of collocations are analysed on the basis of the statistical probability of co-occurrence of some vocabulary items (textual perspective). For this purpose non-technical English texts of late Middle English were chosen that provided us with a common corpus that operated as a point of reference. Likewise a smaller body of legal texts of the same period was collected. The WordSmith program was used to create word lists of the two corpora and compute the key words of the legal corpus. This study concentrates on twin lexical collocations (e.g. geue & bequeath) found in the first 100 salient words of the legal corpus as it is assumed here that a significantly frequent lexical word in the legal corpus plays an important role in collocational patterns.
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    The loss of [ei] : [ai] opposition in Middle English
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2007) Wełna, Jerzy
    On the basis of several electronic and online corpora this paper discusses the temporal and regional conditioning of the elimination of the diphthong [ei] in Middle English, a process which led to a restructuring of the system of English diphthongs. The study exploits the so-called impure rhymes found in poetic texts from various areas of England. Although Luick’s hypothesis concerning an early change in the North is not invalidated, the examples adduced here seem to indicate that an early merger of [ei] with [ai] may have also taken place in the northern areas of the West Midland.
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