“The Positioning of Adverbial Clauses in the Paston Letters”
From ICEHL 17 (Zürich, August 2012)
This paper is a contribution to Meaning in the History of English: Words and Texts in Context, which is a volume of proceedings of the 17th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics, University of Zürich, August 2012.
Iyeiri, Yoko. 2013. “The Positioning of Adverbial Clauses in the Paston Letters”, in Meaning in the History of English: Words and Texts in Context, ed. Andreas H. Jucker, Daniela Landert, Annina Seiler, & Nicole Studer-Joho, pp. 211-229. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Adverbial clauses and their position in sentences
While there are a number of studies on the positioning of adverbial clauses in sentences in contemporary English, those discussing the same issue in the history of English are not numerous. This paper discusses the ordering of some adverbial clauses (if, though (although), when, because (be cause), till (until)) and the main clause in the Paston Letters in Middle English. It considers various factors such as information structure, the length of adverbial clauses, and also deals with subordinate clauses within subordinate clauses, highlighting mainly the continuity between Middle and Modern English.