Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Modern cultural, literary and linguistic perspectives

Viktória Albert: It Takes Two to Tangle: A Look at Syntactic Changes and Rhetoric Value of The Absolute Infinitive Construction in English


DOI 10.51313/Freeside-2020-2-1


This paper discusses certain internal changes and external influences which affect the language and the way the speakers respond to them by utilizing the economy principle as part of a rhetorical strategy. Furthermore, it also touches upon some diachronic changes which occurred within the structure of the absolute infinitive constructions (AIC) throughout its development focusing on the period from Middle English or “a period of experiment and transition” (Lenker 2010: 6), through the 17th century, commonly referred to as ‘the age of normalization and correctness’, up till the end of the 19th century, called Modern English or Late New English. This timeframe is of special interest since the language was going through tremendous structural and syntactical changes which involved losing most of the language’s grammatical inflections triggering the re-establishment of its basic word order.

 Keywords: absolute infinitive construction (AIC), non-extended and extended types and subtypes, Old English (OE), Middle English (ME), Early New English (ENE), Modern English (ModE), SOV (subject-object-verb), SVO (subject-verb-object), Proto-Indo-European, word order, rhetorical device, the economy principle in language.

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ISSN 1786-7967

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