The aim of this paper is to clarify the use of comparative and superlative adjectives in 16th-century English on the basis of a corpus of 24texts. In this period there are four patterns through which adjectives form comparatives and superlatives. Adjectives belonging to the Pattern A (11.2% of the total) use the inflectional comparison alone (the addition of -er/-est to their stems). Adjectives belonging to the Pattern B (18.5%) employ inflectional and periphrastic comparisons (the placing of adverbs more/most before their positives) alternatively. Adjectives belonging to the Pattern C (62.5%) employ the periphrastic comparison alone. The Pattern D (7.8%) is what is usually called double comparison, in which more and most are used with the inflectional comparative and superlative. From the 14th century through the 16th century the frequency of the Pattern A decreased gradually, while the Pattern B continued to be used with much the same frequency. Conversely, the frequency of the Pattern C increased by degrees. As for the Pattern D, it appears that in the 16th century it decreased somewhat as compared with the previous century, but in reality it proved to be in much wider use.
The aim of this paper1 is to show that the 1-compound, which became particularly common in the 16th and 17th centuries, differed considerably according to its syntactic nature, i. e. (i) kinds of antecedents, (ii) relations of the relative clause to the antecedents and (iii)functions of a relative pronoun with its preposition (or the where-compound)in a clause as (A) prepositional objects of a verb, an adjective, and an equivalent expression, and (B) adverbials (as adjuncts). Circumstantial relations such as TEMPORAL, LOCATIVE, PROCESS, RESPECT, and CONTINGENCY are considered in (B). The discussion is mainly based on examples having non-personal antecedents from shakespeare's tragedies.