The indefinite article a introduced in the beginning of the thirteenth century contributed to the predominance of distributive use of many in the form of many a, as observed in the poetical works like The Canterbury Tales, which eventually ousted other forms of the same use like ‘many + a singular noun’ inherited from Old English. However, the loss of the plural ending -e in manye started in the late Middle English period resulted in requiring a plural form to the head-word of many, which led to the rapid and considerable increase of collective use of many in the form of ‘many +a plural noun’ and also to the marked and progressive decrease of distributive use of many a, as attested in the poetical works of Spenser and Shakespeare in the early Modern English period. The two types of phonetic forms of many with or without cliticization do not affect the rhythm of almost all lines of the poetical works involved in the present analysis.
This paper presents an analysis of the usage of I say in Shakespeare from the viewpoint of grammaticalization. Our main concern is first of all to describe in which circumstances I say appears as a pragmatic marker. Then, we will argue that I say functions as a pragmatic marker when it is used in imperatives and vocatives. Next, we will claim that differences in the punctuation among Shakespeare's four Folios indicate the development from a repetition marker to a pragmatic marker. Furthermore, the examples of I say taken from other dramatists and the Helsinki Corpus will be dealt with in order to compare them with those in Shakespeare. We would like to show in what syntactical conditions and in what genres it was mainly used in Early Modern English.
Looking through Shakespeare's tragedies, we have an impression that each play has its own particular use of simile. How is it that we have such an impression ? This paper surveys Shakespeare's use of similes, focusing on their distribution, and their linguistic structure, especially as they appear in Titus Andronicus, Richard III, Othello and Macbeth. It also examines the difference between similes and metaphors in their communicative and cognitive functions, which leads to the discussion of how similes affect the recognition of the dramatic reality in each tragedy, and how Shakespeare's use of similes has developed through his career. The analysis shows that Macbeth and Titus Andronicus have twice as many similes as Richard III, and, in Richard III, the use of similes is suppressed for various rhetorical reasons. The similes in Macbeth are concentrated in Act 1 and decrease as the story develops. In later plays, some linguistic structures of similes, like aspreposition similes in Othello and copula similes in Macbeth, are effectively used to imply a jeopardous situation in the dramatic world in which “is” and “is not”coexist and antagonize.
In present-day English the present perfect form ‘have plus the perfect participle’ is not compatible with definite-past-time adverbs, such as yesterday. On the other hand, in earlier English the same form could be used with the definite-past-time adverbs, just like the simple past. This phenomenon is labeled the present perfect puzzle in the literature and is observable in some modern Germanic and Romance languages. The purpose of this paper is to provide a syntactic account for this puzzle. Specifically, after showing a correlation between finite and non-finite verb movement, support will be provided for the argument that while languages with independent V-to-T movement allow the definite-past-time adverbs to be used in the present perfect, languages without independent V-to-T movement do not. In addition, a claim will be made that the obsolescence of the present perfect puzzle in the history of English can be attributed to the loss of overt verb movement.