Chaucer's use of the demonstrative

Smith, J.J. (2012) Chaucer's use of the demonstrative. English Studies, 93(5), pp. 593-603. (doi:10.1080/0013838X.2012.698537)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0013838X.2012.698537

Abstract

Chaucer's use of the demonstrative “this”, in (for example) “this carpenter”, “this sely man” and so forth, has often attracted attention; the usual explanation is that the usage is a colloquialism. The argument of this article is that such an interpretation does not take account of the changing semantics of the English demonstrative system, that is the shift from a less/more emphatic distinction in the meaning of “that”/“this”, current in Old and Middle English, to the present-day distal/proximal distinction. The article concludes with a series of interpretations of lines in Chaucer's Pardoner's Prologue and Tale.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Jeremy
Authors: Smith, J.J.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:English Studies
ISSN:0013-838X

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