Network Core Mechanisms of Exponence

Allen, Cynthia (1997)


In this paper Allen looks at syncretism of case-markings in Old English. She argues that the rise of the ‘group genitive’ is a result of increasing syncretism and the following reanalysis of the genitive as a clitic. She gives examples supporting her analysis and notes that the change from inflection to clitic did not happen at once, but that in late Middle English both the genitive clitic and the inflectional genitive existed next to each other. The clitic first attached to conjoined nouns and appositives and later to noun phrases. She suggests that the separated genitive in Middle English was an orthographic genitive of the inflectional genitive and which did not serve as a model for the group genitive.

authorAllen, Cynthia
titleThe origins of the ‘group genitive’ in English
journalTransactions of the Philological Society


    author = {Allen, Cynthia},
    year = {1997},
    title = {The origins of the ‘group genitive’ in English},
    journal = {Transactions of the Philological Society},
    volume = {95},
    number = {1},
    pages = {111-131},
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