Aus unseren Neuerwerbungen – Anglistik 2023.5

How adjec­ti­val can a par­tici­ple be? Sub­sec­tive gra­di­ence in Eng­lish 2nd par­tici­ples
BuchcoverMost analy­ses of the Eng­lish pas­sive (formed with be + V‑ed) claim that there is a ver­bal pas­sive and an adjec­ti­val pas­sive. How can the same form express polar oppo­site mean­ings? This study of the adjec­ti­val pas­sive rec­on­ciles the con­tra­dic­tion using Christo­pher Beedham’s aspect analy­sis of the pas­sive, in which the so-called action­al pas­sive (ver­bal pas­sive) is said to express an action and its resul­tant state.
In the study, the author pre­sent­ed approx­i­mate­ly one thou­sand 2nd par­tici­ples, main­ly from tran­si­tive verbs, to three native speak­er infor­mants in puta­tive noun phras­es such as an accept­ed prac­tice and puta­tive claus­es with un‑, such as It is unac­cept­ed, and asked the infor­mants to say if they are gram­mat­i­cal, ungram­mat­i­cal or bor­der­line. She also inter­ro­gat­ed her par­tici­ples in the British Nation­al Cor­pus for their adjec­ti­val prop­er­ties. In this way, she arrived at five adjec­tive-like prop­er­ties which a 2nd par­tici­ple can have. Final­ly, she put her par­tici­ples into eight groups, rang­ing from «0% state, 100% action» to «50% state, 50% action», depend­ing on how many and which of the five adjec­tive-like prop­er­ties they can exhib­it. The result is a new gra­di­ent scale of adjec­ti­val pas­sives.
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Intro­duc­ing the medieval swan
BuchcoverWhat comes to mind when we think of swans? Like­ly their beau­ty in domes­tic set­tings, their pre­served sta­tus, their asso­ci­a­tion with roy­al­ty, and pos­si­bly even the phrase ‘swan song’. This book explores the emer­gence of each of these ideas, start­ing with an exam­i­na­tion of the medieval swan in nat­ur­al his­to­ry, explor­ing clas­si­cal writ­ings and their medieval inter­pre­ta­tions and demon­strat­ing how the idea of a swan’s song devel­oped. The book then pro­ceeds to con­sid­er lit­er­ary motifs of swan-to-human trans­for­ma­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly the leg­end of the Knight of the Swan. Although this leg­end is known today large­ly through Wagner’s opera, it was a best-sell­er in the Mid­dle Ages, and courts through­out Europe strove to be asso­ci­at­ed as descen­dants of this Swan Knight. Con­se­quent­ly, the swan was pro­ject­ed as an icon of court­ly and even­tu­al roy­al sta­tus. The book’s third chap­ter looks at the swan as icon of the Lan­cast­ers, par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant dur­ing the reign of Richard II and the War of the Ros­es, and the final chap­ter exam­ines the swan as an impor­tant item of feast­ing, focus­ing on cook­ery and hus­bandry to argue that over time the right to keep swans became an increas­ing­ly restrict­ed right con­trolled by the Eng­lish crown. Each of the swan’s medieval asso­ci­a­tions are explored as they devel­oped over time to the mod­ern day.
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