John Lydgate’s Use of Prepositions and Adverbs Meaning ‘Between’

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Abstract

The aim of the present study is to thoroughly analyse the prepositions and adverbs meaning ‘between’ in the works of a Late Middle English poet John Lydgate. As regards their quality, aspects such as the etymology, syntax, dialect, temporal and textual distribution of the analysed lexemes will be presented. In terms of the quantity, the actual number of tokens of the prepositions and adverbs meaning ‘between’ employed in John Lydgate’s works will be provided and compared to the parallel statistics concerning Middle English texts collected by the Middle English Dictionary online and the Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse.

The most spectacular finding is that John Lydgate regularly uses atwēn, twēn(e) and atwix(t)(en), which are recorded in hardly any other Middle English texts. Moreover, the former two lexemes, and sporadically also atwix(t)(en), produce the highest number of tokens of all lexemes meaning ‘between’ in each analysed Lydgate’s text, which is unique in the whole history of the English language.

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