[On the disappearance of genitive types in Middle English, Part II. Morphology, syntax and semantics]
This paper looks at the disappearance of the ‘objective’ genitive with nouns of emotion in which the Stimulus of Emotion is a prenominal genitive, e.g. <i>godes lufu</i> ‘God’s love’ in the meaning of someone’s love towards God. A systematic corpus-based investigation involving three nouns of emotion indicates that this construction was obsolescent by the end of the Middle English period. I suggest that the favouring of <i>of</i> phrases over genitives reduced the evidence available to language learners necessary to construct grammars incorporating a marked assignment of semantic to grammatical roles.