Word-Order of Aelfric

Author: Davis, Graeme
One of the most interesting issues in Old English syntax is word-order or element-order. This volume provides a descriptive study of word-order (or element-order) within specified clause types in a corpus drawn from Ælfric's Catholic Homilies and Supplementary Homilies. A sample of 11,543 clauses has been analyzed, divided into fourteen clause categories. A survey of the element-order within each category is presented, with copious examples and full statistics. Attention is paid both to the order of single elements in relation to the verb phrase, and to patterns of element-order within clauses. An extensive description of the position of the adverbial element is included. The rhythmic and non-rhythmic prose of Ælfric is contrasted, showing that although there is a broad similarity between the two styles, significant differences do nonetheless exist. The results show both that there are marked tendencies within element-order which approach the status of rules, and also that there is a substantial measure of stylistic freedom.