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The order of adverbials of time and place in Old English

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Abstract

Syntactic analyses of adverbials in Present Day English describe a tendency for adverbials of place to precede adverbials of time in clusters. This paper investigates whether this preferred order of the adverbials of place and time was already established in Old English. Based on an analysis of the York-Toronto-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English Prose, it first of all shows that Old English adverbials indeed display a preferred order of occurrence in clusters. This order is the reverse of the one found in Present Day English, namely time-before-place. In a second step, the paper investigates which factors might motivate that order. Potentially influential factors are investigated individually as well as in a multifactorial analysis with the help of a binary logistic regression.

References

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