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Genitives in Early EnglishTypology and Evidence$
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Cynthia L. Allen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216680

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216680.001.0001

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Genitive case in Old English

Genitive case in Old English

(p.60) 3 Genitive case in Old English
Genitives in Early English

Cynthia L. Allen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the use and syntax of the genitive case in Old English. It forms the basis for the discussion of the changes examined in the remaining chapters. Particular attention is paid to arguments that possessives were not definite in Old English and that Old English lacked a category of determiners. It is established that the postnominal position of the genitive was less frequent in the Old English stage than the prenominal position, demonstrating the inadequacy of the widely held view that the deterioration of case marking in English was responsible for the loss of the postnominal genitive.

Keywords:   case marking, genitive case, possessive, determiner

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