Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

THE USE OF "ÞA" IN OLD AND MIDDLE ENGLISH NARRATIVES

Robert Foster
Neuphilologische Mitteilungen
Vol. 76, No. 3 (1975), pp. 404-414
Published by: Modern Language Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43342989
Page Count: 11
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
THE USE OF "ÞA" IN OLD AND MIDDLE ENGLISH NARRATIVES
Preview not available

Abstract

The grammatical role of the Old English sequential particle pa, and the underlying problem of the distinction of paratactic and hypotactic constructions, remain controversial. However, the presence of strings of clauses each headed by Þa and the frequent appearance of Þa in conjunction with other adverbs suggests that many narrative passages are composed of strings of largely independent units marked and coordinated by Þa, which functions as an infinitely-repeatable marker of temporal sequentiality and carries little or no grammatical information. This use of Þa may be borrowed from the OE and ME spoken languages. The pa construction, because of the organization of narrative material it requires, enables the analysis of stylistic techniques in simple narratives. Digressions or descriptions can be inserted into discourse units and other adverbs may be substituted for Þa. An analysis of two passages from Aelfric suggests the possibilities of this device for developing perspective, tension and other attractive narrative features.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
404
    404
  • Thumbnail: Page 
405
    405
  • Thumbnail: Page 
406
    406
  • Thumbnail: Page 
407
    407
  • Thumbnail: Page 
408
    408
  • Thumbnail: Page 
409
    409
  • Thumbnail: Page 
410
    410
  • Thumbnail: Page 
411
    411
  • Thumbnail: Page 
412
    412
  • Thumbnail: Page 
413
    413
  • Thumbnail: Page 
414
    414