This paper discusses a historical change in the grammar of English Noun Phrases with a special focus on the cooccurrence restricti on of Determiners and possessive Noun Phrases. It is known that (early)Modern English allowed a collocation like, “this your picture”, which is ungrammatical in Present-day English. If this fact is to be explained in structural terms only, the grammar requires a major change of the specifier system of English Noun Phrases between these two adjacent periods, which suggests that the language experienced a shift from a multispecifier language to a uni-specifier language. The main a rgument of this paper is that there occurred no significant structural change in English Noun Phrases between the periods discussed. An analysis, using the Determiner Phrase hypothesis in Government-Binding framework, reveals that a historical change of one indexing rule, which is concerned with the Empty Category Principle, has created a deceptive contrast regarding the structure of English Noun Phrases in the two periods discussed. The final portion of the paper provides some independent motivation for the proposal.
The purpose of the present paper is to investigate the vocabulary in The Prelude. By observing what system they show, we will be able to get a Wordsworthian way of grasping the outer world. The vocabulary of the The Prelude consists of 62,738 tokens and 8,315 types, out of which we will treat 769 words which appear more than ten times in the text. As a model of classification, we consulted A Classified Vocabulary List compiled by the National Japanese Language Research Institute. We attempt to approach The Prelude vocabulary from four points of view. What is most striking about the poet's use of nouns is that his abstract nouns tend to take on a concrete quality, and his concrete nouns, on the contrary, an abstract quality. Concerning the verb class, there is abundant use of verbs of perception and cognition. The observation of the adjective class reveals that he uses many words expressing emotional feelings. From another class, we pick out a preposition ‘through’, which shows a considerable frequency difference, compared with the LOB corpus rank. ‘Through’ seems to us a key to the interpretation of The Prelude. The abundant use of ‘through’clearly shows the frequent interrelation of the poet's inner world with the outer world of Nature.
言語変化についてSapir(1921,171)は次のようなフンボルト流の思想を明らかにした。 Every word, every grammatical element, every locution, everysound and accent is a slowly changing configuration, molded by theinvisible and impersonal drift that is the life of language. どんな語,どんな文法的要素,どんな言回し,どんな音やアクセントも,言語の生命である,目に見えない,非個人的な漂流によって,形成され,徐々に変化していく外貌である。