The Early Modern English Genitive Its and Factors Involved in Genitive Variation
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Publisher:Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics
Citation:Working Papers in Linguistics, no. 59 (2010), 33-43.
This article explores the variation between the emergent genitive its and the periphrastic form of it in Early Modern English, situating this case in the larger picture of English genitive variation. As previous studies have often focused on non-pronominal possessors (given that Present Day English pronominal possessors often appear prenominally, with limited variation), this early pronominal genitive variation provides unique insight as it illustrates some of the same factors significant in pronominal genitive variation as in other cases. Additionally, as neuter pronouns commonly correlate with inanimate referents, this variation provides new evidence on the independence of weight and animacy in genitive variation. The importance of another factor, pressure from the pronoun paradigm, is also illustrated.
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