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The relatives who and what in northern East Anglia
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Modern Languages. English Linguistics.
2006 (English)In: Types of Variation: Diachronic, dialectal and typological interfaces, John Benjamins, Amsterdam/Philadelphia , 2006, 378- p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The twin rises of who and what as subject relatives were dialectal developments in East Anglia. I show from tape-recorded dialect corpora that what and the zero relative have arisen overall in Norfolk, but who mostly in the Norwich region. Norfolk showed two main relativisation typologies, a West Germanic type north-west of Norwich, and a Scandinavian to the south-east, near Yarmouth. The spread of Scandinavian preposition-stranding seems to have particlised the East Anglian pronominal relatives in cycles, producing Middle English the and who, and dialectal where and what. Modern what probably resulted from P-stranding operating on relative adverbials such as whereon, giving where...(PREP), later regularised to what...(PREP). The /eth/ relative forms remaining in subject position were gradually eroded by phonological processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Benjamins, Amsterdam/Philadelphia , 2006. 378- p.
Keyword [en]
"subject relative", "zero relative", "pronominal relative", "preposition-stranding", "animacy"
National Category
Specific Languages Specific Languages Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-18121ISBN: 90 272 3086 2OAI: diva2:157794
Chapter 14, pp321-350.Available from: 2007-02-05 Created: 2007-02-05Bibliographically approved

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