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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008


This chapter discusses the most important syntactic constructions in Early Modern English, with particular attention to the features which underwent major changes. In the formation of noun phrases, the use of the articles becomes more systematic than in Middle English, and the possibility of using adjectives or the adjectival forms of indefinite pronouns as heads more restricted. The majority of the examples illustrating the syntactic constructions and their development are taken from the Early Modern English section of the Helsinki Corpus of English Texts. The most important Early Modern developments in the structure of the clause are the establishment of the subject-verb order in most statement types and the regularization of do in questions and negations. Composite sentences consist of two or more clauses. The chapter explains many interesting aspects of the structure and linking of the subordinate clauses including nominal clause, relative clause and adverbial clause.
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The Cambridge History of the English Language
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