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Motion and the English VerbA Diachronic Study$
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Judith Huber

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190657802

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190657802.001.0001

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Talking about MOTION in medieval English

Talking about MOTION in medieval English

Aims, material, and method

(p.65) Chapter 4 Talking about MOTION in medieval English
Motion and the English Verb

Judith Huber

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 outlines the aims, material, and methodology of the different studies of motion expression in Old and Middle English presented in chapters 5–6: The inventories of motion verbs (based primarily on the Thesaurus of Old English and a definition search in the Middle English Dictionary) investigate which kinds of verbs can be used to talk about motion, including various non-motion verbs coerced into motion readings by the construction. They also allow a first impression of the combinability of manner verbs and path satellites and of the general manner salience of Old and Middle English. The analysis of roughly 1000 motion expressions in exemplary Old and Middle English texts, which are presented in this chapter (chronicles, saints’ lives, non-imaginative narration, and fiction), shows which verbs and structures are typically used to talk about motion in different text types.

Keywords:   motion verb, intransitive motion construction, Old English, Middle English, Thesaurus of Old English, Middle English Dictionary

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