Anaphoric reference in Early Modern English: The case of said and same

Alex Leung, Wim Van Der Wurff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Work on the anaphoric NPs the said + N and the same has shown that both were frequent in sixteenth-century English but declined afterwards. We address the question why this happened. After reviewing earlier work on the two constructions, we present data showing that their properties and development are too dissimilar to assume that they declined for the same reason. Instead, we identify for each of the changes two separate causal factors, which involve tension between form and meaning of the anaphor. In exploring these case histories, we also offer some discussion of the general kinds of explanations that have been proposed for the decline of linguistic forms and constructions, which is an aspect of language change that deserves more systematic investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Noun Phrase in English: Past and present
PublisherJohn Benjamins
ISBN (Electronic)9789027264060
ISBN (Print)9789027200723
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2018

Publication series

NameThe Noun Phrase in English
ISSN (Print)0166-0829

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