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Binomials in the History of English
Fixed and Flexible


Part of Studies in English Language

  • Editors:
  • Joanna Kopaczyk, University of Edinburgh and Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
  • Hans Sauer, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Joanna Kopaczyk, Hans Sauer, R. D. Fulk, Don Chapman, Michiko Ogura, Tadashi Kotake, Paulina Zagórska, Ulrike Schenk, Elisabeth Kubaschewski, Marcin Krygier, Hanna Rutkowska, Melanie Sprau, Ulrich Bach, Kathleen L. Doty, Mark Wicklund, Anu Lehto, Sandra Mollin, Jukka Tyrkkö, Ursula Schaefer
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  • Date Published: July 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107118478

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About the Authors
  • Binomials, such as for and against, dead or alive, to have and to hold, can be broadly defined as two words belonging to the same grammatical category and linked by a semantic relationship. They are an important phraseological phenomenon present throughout the history of the English language. This volume offers a range of studies on binomials, their types and functions from Old English through to the present day. Searching for motivations and characteristic features of binomials in a particular genre or writer, the chapters engage with many linguistic levels of analysis, such as phonology or semantics, and explore the important role of translation. Drawing on philological and corpus-linguistic approaches, the authors employ qualitative and quantitative methods, setting the discussion firmly in the extra-linguistic context. Binomials and their extended forms - multinomials - emerge from these discussions as an important phraseological tool, with rich applications and complex motivations.

    • Offers a comprehensive historical outlook on linguistic fixedness and flexibility
    • Introduces a comprehensive range of motivations behind binomials and their features
    • Presents a wide range of qualitative and quantitative linguistic approaches, from philological, through text-based to corpus-based
    • Led by authors representing scholarly backgrounds and institutions worldwide, discussions are grounded in an extensive textual base - from manuscripts, through well-known authors (e.g. Wulfstan or Chaucer), to previously unexplored texts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Binomials in the History of English contains chapters providing detailed, interesting, and highly informative historical descriptions of binomials in English: fixed structures such as to and fro or knife and fork that are joined by a coordinator. Individual chapters contain descriptions of the form and function of these structures in texts taken from all the major periods of English, ranging from the roles that they played in Old English poetry and law to their stylistic uses in modern English novels.' Charles Meyer, University of Massachusetts, Boston

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107118478
    • length: 392 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • contains: 32 b/w illus. 73 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Defining and exploring binomials Joanna Kopaczyk and Hans Sauer
    Part I. Old English:
    2. Pragmatic and stylistic functions of binomials in Old English R. D. Fulk
    3. Fixity and flexibility in Wulfstan's binomials Don Chapman
    4. Binomials, word pairs and variation as a feature of style in Old English poetry Michiko Ogura
    5. Binomials or not? Double glosses in Farman's gloss to the Rushworth Gospels Tadashi Kotake
    6. Lexical pairs and their function in the Eadwine Psalter manuscript Paulina Zagórska
    Part II. Middle English:
    7. Binomials in Middle English poetry: Havelok, Ywain and Gawain, The Canterbury Tales Ulrike Schenk
    8. Binomials in Caxton's Ovid (Book I) Elisabeth Kubaschewski
    9. Binomial glosses in translation: the case of the Wycliffite Bible Marcin Krygier
    Part III. Early Modern English:
    10. Binomials in several editions of the Kalender of Shepherdes, an Early Modern English almanac Hanna Rutkowska
    11. Binomials and multinomials in Sir Thomas Elyot's The Boke Named The Gouernour Melanie Sprau
    12. 'I do make and ordayne this my last wyll and testament in maner and forme Folowing': functions of binomials in Early Modern English Protestant wills Ulrich Bach
    13. 'Shee gave Selfe both Soule and body to the Devill': the use of binomials in the Salem witchcraft trials Kathleen L. Doty and Mark Wicklund
    14. Binomials and multinomials in early modern English parliamentary acts Anu Lehto
    Part IV. To the Present:
    15. Developments in the frequency of English binomials, 1600–2000 Sandra Mollin
    16. Binomials in English novels of the late modern period: fixedness, formulaicity and style Jukka Tyrkkö
    17. On the linguistic and social development of a binomial: the example of to have and to hold Ursula Schaefer.

  • Editors

    Joanna Kopaczyk, University of Edinburgh and Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
    Joanna Kopaczyk is a researcher in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh and an associate professor at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. She is a historical linguist with an interest in corpus methods, formulaic language, the history of Scots and historical multilingualism. She has given talks at conferences in Europe, the USA and Australia, and taught on various aspects of the history of English and Scots at universities in Poland, Germany, Finland, and the UK.

    Hans Sauer, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
    Hans Sauer is emeritus professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in München and currently also professor at Vistula University, Warsaw. He received a festschrift on his 65th birthday, and the commemorative medal of the faculty of arts at the Masarykova Univerzita v Brnĕ, Czech Republic. He was president of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS) in 2004–5, and a member of the advisory board of the Richard Rawlinson Center (RRC) at the Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo for twenty years.


    Joanna Kopaczyk, Hans Sauer, R. D. Fulk, Don Chapman, Michiko Ogura, Tadashi Kotake, Paulina Zagórska, Ulrike Schenk, Elisabeth Kubaschewski, Marcin Krygier, Hanna Rutkowska, Melanie Sprau, Ulrich Bach, Kathleen L. Doty, Mark Wicklund, Anu Lehto, Sandra Mollin, Jukka Tyrkkö, Ursula Schaefer

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