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LEXICAL OBSOLESCENCE IN LATE MIDDLE ENGLISH: A COGNITIVE LINGUISTIC INVESTIGATION

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Date Issued:
2023
Abstract/Description:
Lexical obsolescence is a topic whose study spans centuries, and yet it is not well-understood. Variously termed lexical mortality, lexical death, and lexical loss, among other names, the phenomenon has been described as both a product and a process, but the scholarship on how and why expressions go out of use has, until recently, been sporadic and sparse. The last few years have seen attempts to situate obsolescence among other processes of language change, but these have mostly focused on obsolescing constructions in modern languages. The present study, by contrast, investigates words that went obsolete in Late Middle English, suggesting a methodological approach designed to overcome the challenge of finding that which is no longer there, namely the consultation of a comprehensive online historical dictionary, and proposing an explanatory framework within the tradition of onomasiology and semasiology that positions obsolescence as a diachronic result of the habitual and contextually driven corporate deselection of linguistic constructions.
Title: LEXICAL OBSOLESCENCE IN LATE MIDDLE ENGLISH: A COGNITIVE LINGUISTIC INVESTIGATION.
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Name(s): Harrison, Rachel L. , author
Leeds, John C. , Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Department of English
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2023
Date Issued: 2023
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 374 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Lexical obsolescence is a topic whose study spans centuries, and yet it is not well-understood. Variously termed lexical mortality, lexical death, and lexical loss, among other names, the phenomenon has been described as both a product and a process, but the scholarship on how and why expressions go out of use has, until recently, been sporadic and sparse. The last few years have seen attempts to situate obsolescence among other processes of language change, but these have mostly focused on obsolescing constructions in modern languages. The present study, by contrast, investigates words that went obsolete in Late Middle English, suggesting a methodological approach designed to overcome the challenge of finding that which is no longer there, namely the consultation of a comprehensive online historical dictionary, and proposing an explanatory framework within the tradition of onomasiology and semasiology that positions obsolescence as a diachronic result of the habitual and contextually driven corporate deselection of linguistic constructions.
Identifier: FA00014218 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (PhD)--Florida Atlantic University, 2023.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Onomasiology
Semantics
Linguistics
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00014218
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Host Institution: FAU