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OE VERBS OF THINKING

Michiko Ogura
Neuphilologische Mitteilungen
Vol. 87, No. 3 (1986), pp. 325-341
Published by: Modern Language Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43343751
Page Count: 17
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OE VERBS OF THINKING
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Abstract

OE verbs of thinking can be classified into three groups: those denoting chiefly (I) to think' or 'to consider', (II) 'to believe' or 'to doubt', and (III) 'to remember' or 'to forget'. This paper limits itself to describing the distinctive uses of those verbs which have the signification 'to think' or 'to consider' as their primary or secondary meaning (1.). Six verbs — we nan, þyncan, þencan, þepencan, smeagan and gemunan — are used in most of the OE poems and prose texts investigated (2.). I discuss those syntactic features which the six verbs generally take (2.2.), especially þat-clauses (2.3.) and indirect questions (2.4.). Other verbs of thinking worthy of notice are also examined (3.). I sum up my conclusions in 4. Perhaps the most interesting is 4.2., where I suggest that wenan fell into ultimate disuse because it had occurred most frequently with one particular construction in OE, while pencan survived into ME and MnE because it was so versatile that it had not usually been combined with any particular syntactic feature.

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