It is often said that English has developed from synthetic language to analytic one. As for the case, in OE there existed four cases, each of which showed various case endings, while in PE all the cases have disappeared except the genitive case. In this paper, we will consider why only the “genitive case” has survived. In the course of disscussion, we will examine the following two secondary questions together. ( i )Isn't the fact that only the genitive case has survived inconsistent with the general tendency from synthesis to analysis ? ( ii ) What is the characteristic of the genitive case ending's in PE ? I will argue that the survival of 's is not inconsistent with the tendency, but is a result of the development of English. It will also be shown that's, which has evolved from the original case ending, has changed into an element which relates the head N to the NP in the specifier position.
The present paper deals with the historical development of the verbparticle constructions/combinations (VPCs) in English within the framework of the Government and Binding theory developed by Chomsky (1981,1986a, b). It is proposed that the VPCs in Old English are subject to a condition called the M-Government Condition (MGC), and that the VPCs in Middle English to Present-day English are subject to both the MGC and a condition called the C-Government Condition (CGC). M-government and c-government are defined in terms of m -command and c-command, respectively. The MGC requires a particle to be m-governed by a verb at LF, while the CGC requires a particle to be c-governed by a verb at D-structure. It is argued that the direct correspondence between the basic word order change of a sentence, i. e. from SOV to SVO, and that of a VPC, i. e. from Prt (...) V to V (...) Prt, can be attributed to the change of the direction of government of a verbal head in VP. The fact that a construction like Out he went is not found in Old English but in Middle English is explained under the assumption that the CGC is not operative in Old English but is in Middle English. With the Barriers approach proposed by Chomsky (1986b), the MGC and the CGC provide us with a straightforward account for the possible movements of particles as well as their possible positions.
It is generally agreed that so-called impersonal constructions which occurred with high frequency in Old English rapidly decreased in Middle English and that it became obsolete by the Modern English period. However, it is not the case that each construction type disappeared in the same fashion. The present paper is an attempt to give a natural explanation to the following two questions within the framework of the GB theory, especially by using the notion “parameter. ” (A) Why did all the impersonal constructions not disappear in the same period ? (B) What kinds of historical changes in English syntax are relevant to the demise of impersonal constructions ? If it is exhibited that the language change is, in fact, the change of the value of certain parameters which is initially proposed to explain the diversity of synchronically-existing language, the theory of language change is to be supported by synchronic studies. At the same time, the plausibility of the proposed parameters is strengthened by diachronic data.
This paper is an attempt to shed light on the cause of the occurrence of the numerals “tens and digits” in these biblical translations, [a] the Rushworth Gospels, [b] the Lindisfarne Gospels, [c] the West-Saxon Gospels, [d] the Old English Version of the Heptateuch, [e] the Wycliffite Bible, [f] the Story of Genesis and Exodus: an Early English Song about A. D.1250, [g] Tyndale's Bible and [h] the Authorized Version. The results of the examination of the texts may be summarized as follows.1) The numerals “tens and digits” appear in the interlinear glosses [a] and [b] and even in the free translation [d], as the translation of the Latin numerals "tens et digits" (e. g., quadraginta et sex, John ii.20)or “tens digits” (e. g., nonaginta nouem, Luke xv.7). They are also used in [f], which is written “in the vulgar tongue and in easy language” for “laymen” according to the author of [f]. These facts suggest that the expressions “tens and digits”, which appeared in the OE period, might continue to be used at least in biblical English until they were superseded by the expressions “tens-digits”, though it is generally accepted that the former first occurred in English at the end of the thirteenth century.2) The frequent occurrence of the numerals "tens and digits" in [h]is caused by the influence of biblical Hebrew, where the most typical numerical expression is very similar to the expressions "tens and digits".