It was during the eighteenth century that perhaps the greatest efforts were made to set up standards of correctness and force all grammar and usage to conform to such standards. Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (1755) and Lowth's Short Introduction to English Grammar (1762) are two of the major milestones in the process of prescribing (i, e. standardizing, refining and fixing) the English language. In this paper we will consider in detail what roles prescriptivism has played in the grammatical and lexicographical description of English. In the course of the discussion of how prescriptivism has been codified by subsequent grammarians and lexicographers and how it has undergone various charges from descriptivists, we will clarify why Lowth tends to be less evaluated by modern linguists than Johnson in spite of the fact that they shared much the same normative attitude toward language. In the final section we will point out the linguistic potential of prescriptivism and argue that to condemn prescriptive grammar for failure to describe accurately is not to dismiss its whole conception as unscientific and pointless.
In this paper we will discuss impersonal constructions in terms of Case theory and theta theory. Considering how Case alternation effects on the semantic relation between verbs and their arguments, Fischer and Leek (1987) argue that NP complements in impersonal constructions have non-argument status. These NPs are supposed to have independent θ-roles that are not assigned by the verb. We will explain what kind of structure the non-argument status of these NPs is attributed to. We suppose that dative NPs and genitive NPs appear in a structure similar to that of PP. It will be argued that lexical Cases, dative and genitive, are a sort of abstract preposition, which is inserted in the deep structure as a head on the basis of semantics and assigns θ-role to its complement NP.
Although Old English voiceless velar fricative /x/ had a wide range of distribution, its Present-day English reflex, i. e., /h/, occurs only initially before vowels as in house, head, hard, heat, etc. This restricti on of distributional freedom was brought about by a series of processes eliminating /x/ (or /h/) in the history of English. In this paper it is argued that the fricative /x/ was reinterpreted as the glide /h/, and that this reinterpretation caused elimination of all the occurrences of /h/ in the contexts where a glide does not normally occur, i. e., in the first member of an onset cluster and in the coda. This reinterpretation in turn was caused by (i) the preference of a symmetrical phonemic structure and (ii) the articulatory and acoustic instability of velar obstruents. Furtherm ore, the reanalysis, or the development of the glide /h/ may be ascribed to the establishment of the status of glides in the consonant system of English.
In PE the occurrence of infinitival clauses with a lexical subject which are not introduced by the complementizer for is restricted to the complement position of such a verb as believe, In ME, however, this type of infinitival clauses was allowed to occur in various contexts, as observed by Koma (1982) and Arimura (1982). In this paper I will attempt to classify them into some types and show how Case was assigned to the lexical subject of such infinitival clauses, making the following two points. (i) To contained in such infinitival clauses can be analyzed as INFL with the feature [ Tense, + AG], like -ing of NP -ing constructions in PE. (ii) The to, like -ing of NP-ing constructions in PE, assigned Case to its subject in the following ways: (a) if [NP to VP] is governed by a Case assigner, to is assigned the Cas e which the governor assigns, and transmits it to the subject; (b) if [NP to VP] is ungoverned, to assigns nominative Case. In the last section, I will refer to two facts about the introduction of the complementizer for.