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Thou and ye: a collocational-phraseological approach to pronoun change in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.


Chaucer's use of the singular or plural form Noun 1. plural form - the form of a word that is used to denote more than one

relation - (usually plural) mutual dealings or connections among persons or groups; "international relations"
 of the second person pronoun pronoun, in English, the part of speech used as a substitute for an antecedent noun that is clearly understood, and with which it agrees in person, number, and gender.  to address a single person in his Canterbury Tales Canterbury Tales: see Chaucer, Geoffrey.

Canterbury Tales

pilgrimage from London to Canterbury during which tales are told. [Br. Lit.: Canterbury Tales]

See : Journey
 usually follows the established standards of his time. However, some ninety instances of pronoun switching do occur, and explanations drawing on pragmatic parameters, rhyme and textual corruption have not been able to explain all of these deviations. Complementary to these approaches, this paper offers a novel explanatory hypothesis. The "collocational-phraseological hypothesis" suggested here takes into account the force of the syntagmatic syn·tag·mat·ic  
Of or relating to the relationship between linguistic units in a construction or sequence, as between the (n) and adjacent sounds in not, ant, and ton.
 relationship of words. On the basis of an original electronic compilation of all instances of pronoun switches in the Canterbury Tales and a classification according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 three main types, we argue that frequently and/or habitually used lexical combinations (collocations, formulae, quotations) can account for a significant number of the cases in question.

1. Introduction

Towards the end of the fourteenth century, the use of the second person plural pronoun to address a single person was generally determined by sociopragmatic conditions such as status and social distance (cf. Finkenstaedt 1963: 73-74; Burnley 2003). Chaucer's literary use of the personal pronouns personal pronoun
A pronoun designating the person speaking (I, me, we, us), the person spoken to (you), or the person or thing spoken about (he, she, it, they, him, her, them).
 thou and ye (henceforth From this time forward.

The term henceforth, when used in a legal document, statute, or other legal instrument, indicates that something will commence from the present time to the future, to the exclusion of the past.
: T and Y; including inflected in·flect  
v. in·flect·ed, in·flect·ing, in·flects
1. To alter (the voice) in tone or pitch; modulate.

2. Grammar To alter (a word) by inflection.

 forms) usually accords well with the practices of the time. Skeat's (1894: 175) assessment of that general practice has basically remained unchallenged: Y was reserved for the address of a servant to the lord, for compliment, to express honour, submission or entreaty. However, it has also been noted for a long time that sudden changes of the pronouns in the conversation of the same pair of speaker and listener do indeed occur in Chaucer's works. The Canterbury Tales, on which this paper concentrates, show a considerable number of such cases. (1) The following example from a speech by the yeoman yeoman (yō`mən), class in English society. The term has always been ill-defined, but generally it means a freeholder of a lower status than gentleman who cultivates his own land.  to the summoner in Friar's Tale (1397-1402) is an illustration of the change in question. It shows a single deviation from the singular (thyn etc.) to the plural (vow) in verse (1399): (2)
   1) I am unknowen as in this contree;
      Of thyn aqueyntance I wolde praye thee,
      And eek of bretherhede, if that yow leste.
      I have gold and silver in my cheste;
      If that thee happe to comen in oure shire,
      Al shal be thyn, right as thou wolt desire.
      [I am not known in this country;
      I wish to ask you of your acquaintance
      and also of sworn brotherhood, if you wish.
      I have gold and silver in my chest;
      If you happen to come to our shire,
      all shall be yours, just as you wish.]

Striking deviations from the norm such as this one seem at first sight to be rather irregular and arbitrary. What complicates the picture is that next to single deviations such as in (1), complete changes of the paradigm or utterly irregular switchings in both directions can be found. Scholarship has so far mainly concentrated on affective-situational or other pragmatic explanations to account for all these changes. In particular, developments in the attitude of the speaker towards the addressee (communications) addressee - One to whom something is addressed. E.g. "The To, CC, and BCC headers list the addressees of the e-mail message". Normally an addressee will eventually be a recipient, unless there is a failure at some point (an e-mail "bounces") or the message is  in the course of the text have repeatedly been claimed as the motivating factor for the changes. Demands of rhyme or textual corruption can be held responsible in a few cases; and from time to time reference to "formulaic phrases" has been made. Section 2 of our paper is a brief review of earlier approaches which shows that these explanations fall short of accounting for all of the instances of pronoun change.

We suggest that the syntagmatic relationship of words had an impact on the choice of the pronouns of address. In particular, we argue that frequently and/or habitually used lexical combinations could influence the choice regardless of micro- or macropragmatic considerations. It will be shown that this line of investigation, which we call the "collocational-phraseological hypothesis" and which will be more fully introduced in section 3, can usefully complement pragmatic explanations. Our investigation rests on a consideration of all changes of pronoun of address in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which are systematicized and catalogued in section 4. (3) Cases where the collocational-phraseological force was paramount in the choice of the pronoun of address are discussed in section 5. In the concluding part we give a general account of the explanatory power of our hypothesis for the cases studied and discuss some implications of our results.

2. Earlier approaches to pronoun change in Chaucer

The striking switching between formal and informal pronouns of address for a single person has become something of a brain-teaser for linguistic Chaucer research. Of course, scholars working on this topic assume that there is indeed a proper solution to the problem and that Chaucer did not alternate between the forms at random. Agreeing with Blake who states that "we cannot be certain that all these switches are significant" (1992: 539) at all would mean to admit to the inadequacy of the explanatory power of linguistics. More than a dozen studies on the pronoun changes in the Canterbury Tales show that the question is not deemed to be settled. In the recent past some extensive studies have been presented which put forward new and interesting suggestions. (4) The following explanation patterns have been brought forward.

First, a rather technical matter which is pointed out in Nathan (1956: 41-42) must not be ignored (cf. also Koziol 1943: 174; Kerkhof 1982: 228). Our text, that is the electronic Robinson (1957) and the printed Benson (1988) version, may contain scribal errors. Nathan has suggested this explanation for example (1), where Benson's reading draws on Ms. Hengwrt, while other manuscripts--as well as the second edition of the Caxton print, which is believed to be based on a good manuscript--stick to T. Some of the supposed changes may in fact be due to scribal variation; these are questions for textual critics. But Nathan's plea seems to be inspired by the attempt to vindicate Chaucer and to discuss away supposed "errors" (1956: 42: "a slip of Chaucer's pen"; but see Jucker--Taavitsainen 2003: 12; Jucker 2006: 58).

In other cases, a less controversial explanation presents itself. Where a pronoun stands at the end of a line the demands of rhyme can account for a pronoun change (cf. Shimonomoto 2001: 44-45; Karpf 1930: 43, 45). In cases such as Nun's Priest's Tale (3351) metrical met·ri·cal  
1. Of, relating to, or composed in poetic meter: metrical verse; five metrical units in a line.

2. Of or relating to measurement.
 demands seem to be a fairly plausible explanation for the change (3350-3352):
   2) Why ne hadde I now thy sentence and thy loore,
      The Friday for to chide, as diden ye?
      For on a Friday, soothly, slayn was he.
      [Why did I then not have your judgement and your learning
      to scold the Friday, as you did?
      For on a Friday, it is true, he was murdered.]

Pragmatic explanations have been the focus of attention (cf. Burnley 1983: 1922; Honegger 2003; Mazzon 2000; Shimonomoto 2001). Adopting from Hope (1993) the distinction between macro- and micropragmatics, we can describe as macropragmatically based those changes where the social relationship between speaker and addressee changes in the course of the text (comparable to the power semantics in Brown--Gilman's seminal article). (5) This may account for the conversion to Y in Wife of Bath's Tale (1088), where the olde wyf addresses her husband after their marriage (cf. Shimonomoto 2001: 36; Kerkhof 1982: 229). The micropragmatic explanation, though, is more relevant. Here the immediate linguistic and non-linguistic factors of a conversation are concerned. Friar's Tale (1584-1623), where a summoner pesters an old widow to give him money, is a good example. She uses the formal Y-pronoun towards him. As the summoner becomes more and more obtrusive ob·tru·sive  
1. Thrusting out; protruding: an obtrusive rock formation.

2. Tending to push self-assertively forward; brash: a spoiled child's obtrusive behavior.
 and confronts her with outrageous and completely made-up accusations (1616), the widow loses her patience in (1618) (cf. Nathan 1956: 40; Shimonomoto 2001:11-12; Jucker 2006: 68):
   3) "Thou lixt!" quod she, "by my savacioun ...
      ["You are lying!" she said, "by my salvation ...]

These changes have alternatively been viewed as affective affective /af·fec·tive/ (ah-fek´tiv) pertaining to affect.

1. Concerned with or arousing feelings or emotions; emotional.

, emotional, emotive e·mo·tive  
1. Of or relating to emotion: the emotive aspect of symbols.

2. Characterized by, expressing, or exciting emotion:
, expressive or situational (cf. Becker 2003: 163), and also interactional (cf. Jucker 2006). Virtually all scholars refer to the (micro-)pragmatic level in trying to make changes of the emotional attitude between speaker and addressee plausible.

Given the social dimension of address there is no doubt as to the applicability of pragmatics pragmatics

In linguistics and philosophy, the study of the use of natural language in communication; more generally, the study of the relations between languages and their users.
 in dealing with pronoun changes. The explanations given so far are nonetheless not always satisfactory. Pragmatists have not been able to explain all changes convincingly, as Mazzon concedes: "of course, it is difficult to justify all switches pragmatically in any precise way, especially given the distance in time and Weltanschauung that separates us from this work" (2000: 139-140). Shimonomoto concludes her chapter on pronoun changes with the observation that "[w]e should admit there are still a few uncertainties concerning Chaucer's use of ye and thou" (2001: 45). Where no pragmatic explanation is evident, sometimes complex inferences about the socio-cultural background and the speakers' intentions are made. Honegger (2003), for instance, shows that sometimes many factors have to be taken into consideration in order to suggest an explanation. This is particularly evident in his reconstruction of the reasons for Palamon's "confuse" switching in his address to Venus (cf. Honegger 2003: 68-69, 75-78). However, for the reasons mentioned before we have to be aware at all times of Finkenstaedt's warning of a "Beugung des Textes oder uberspitzt raffinierte[n] Deutungen" [distortion of the text or exaggeratedly ex·ag·ger·ate  
v. ex·ag·ger·at·ed, ex·ag·ger·at·ing, ex·ag·ger·ates
1. To represent as greater than is actually the case; overstate:
 sophisticated interpretations] (1963: 75; cf. also Bumley 2003:31).

Lastly, sporadic reference to "formulaic phrases" and the like can be found as early as in Kennedy's 1915 study (1915: 84) on the thirteenth century, and then also in Koziol (1943: 172), Harley (1988: 5), Miller (1992: 152), Shimonomoto (2000: 114; 2001: 13), and recently most explicitly in Mazzon (2000: 155, 158) and Bumley (2003: 30-31, 33). Systematic investigation of this aspect has, however, not yet been attempted.

3. The collocational-phraseological hypothesis

Our collocational-phraseological hypothesis claims that certain lexical cotexts may trigger the choice of the pronoun. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that even in a language with a rigid T/Y-system such as Modern German, particular cotexts in fixed or partly fixed expressions may prefer or even demand one of the pronouns. Examples are: Wie du mir Mir, Soviet and Russian space station
Mir, Soviet and Russian space station: see space exploration; space station.
mir, former Russian peasant community
mir (mēr), former Russian peasant community.
, so ich dir (saying, T only), Du ahnst es nicht! (general T), Du sollst nicht toten (maxim, general T), das kannst du dir abschminken (T dominant), wenn Sic gestatten (Y dominant). (6) The appropriate use of the last two examples in Modern German, however, depends on the register, which is in turn based on extra-linguistic factors such as the power relationship or the degree of familiarity between the speakers. We suggest that in a language with a non fully rigid T/Y-system, such as the Middle English Middle English

Vernacular spoken and written in England c. 1100–1500, the descendant of Old English and the ancestor of Modern English. It can be divided into three periods: Early, Central, and Late.
 of the later 14th century, lexical co-selection constraints could have exercised a significant impact on the pronoun choice. At least in literary texts such as the Canterbury Tales, the effect of this purely syntagmatic force could be restricted to the brief insertion of a deviant deviant /de·vi·ant/ (de´ve-int)
1. varying from a determinable standard.

2. a person with characteristics varying from what is considered standard or normal.

 pronoun of address, but it could also lead to a general conversion of the paradigm in the conversation between the same pair of speaker and addressee.

In our attempt to pin down what exactly characterizes such combinations of T/Y-pronouns with particular cotexts and how they can be studied, we take recourse to two complex and much-debated lines of scholarship with different, yet interrelated in·ter·re·late  
tr. & intr.v. in·ter·re·lat·ed, in·ter·re·lat·ing, in·ter·re·lates
To place in or come into mutual relationship.

 approaches to preferred word combinations. One is the research on collocations in the tradition of British contextualism contextualism
a school of literary criticism that focuses on the work as an autonomous entity, whose meaning should be derived solely from an examination of the work itself. Cf. New Criticism. — contextualist, n., adj.
, the other, which has an equally long history, is phraseology phra·se·ol·o·gy  
n. pl. phra·se·ol·o·gies
1. The way in which words and phrases are used in speech or writing; style.

. (7) Needless to say, we do not attempt to discuss a general synthesis of the two approaches with their varied definitions and terminology for our practical purpose. But it does seem feasible to point out some of the postulated pos·tu·late  
tr.v. pos·tu·lat·ed, pos·tu·lat·ing, pos·tu·lates
1. To make claim for; demand.

2. To assume or assert the truth, reality, or necessity of, especially as a basis of an argument.

 core features of collocations and phraseological units in order to explain the effect of the syntagmatic lexical force as it is suggested here.

In his basic definition, Sinclair characterized collocation collocation - co-location  as "the occurrence of two or more words within a short space of each other in a text" (1991: 170). Typically, these co-occurrences are frequently repeated or statistically relevant in a corpus. (8) In this sense, they may be understood as lexical items The lexical items in a language are both the single words (vocabulary) and sets of words organized into groups, units or "chunks". Some examples of lexical items from English are "cat", "traffic light", "take care of", "by the way", and "  habitually used together or in close proximity to one another. In our context, a direct syntactic relationship of the members is given. Collocations with a pronoun are not easily situated in the models that have been suggested for Modern English Modern English
English since about 1500. Also called New English.

Modern English

the English language since about 1450

Noun 1.
. The cases under consideration here may best be characterized by the frequent association of a node (e.g. the Middle English word for to tell) with a member of a certain category, that is, one of the two second person pronouns (you). In this description collocations such as tell and you may be compared, for instance, to the lexicogrammatically constrained collocation of the adjective rancid ran·cid
Having the disagreeable odor or taste of decomposing oils or fats.


having a musty, rank taste or smell; applied to fats that have undergone decomposition, with the liberation of fatty acids.
 with butter or fat rather than, say, bread (on this case, cf., e.g., Moon 1998: 27), or stamps and collect rather than gather. The difference is, of course, that the choice is limited because the collocate col·lo·cate  
v. col·lo·cat·ed, col·lo·cat·ing, col·lo·cates
To place together or in proper order; arrange side by side.

To occur in a collocation.
 is a pronoun, and as such a member of a closed class. (9) We suggest that the frequent coupling of the T-pronoun with terms for body parts, for instance, leads to a collocational force and the preferred selection of T by the noun, or the frequent co-occurrence of a form of mowen and Y may render this connection preferable regardless of semantic and pragmatic considerations. (10)

One constituent of a collocation may possess a semantic feature A semantic feature is a notational method which can be used to express the existence or non-existence of semantic properties by using plus and minus signs.

Man is [+HUMAN], [+MALE], [+ADULT]
Woman is [+HUMAN], [-MALE], [+ADULT]
 different from those actualized ac·tu·al·ize  
v. ac·tu·al·ized, ac·tu·al·iz·ing, ac·tu·al·iz·es
1. To realize in action or make real: "More flexible life patterns could . . .
 in all or most other contexts (such as to jog in to jog one's/somebody's memory 'remind somebody of/about something'). (11) In many studies of collocation, especially in lexicographically oriented ones, this restriction is an obligatory feature. (12) In the terminology of some phraseological studies like for instance those by Glaser (1986, 1998) and Cowie--Mackin--McCaig (1983 [1993]: xiii), these units are called "restricted collocations", (13) a sub-type of phraseological units. Phraseological units are here understood as two or more lexical items in syntactic relation with one another. They are lexically and syntactically relatively stable semantic or pragmatic units which are habitually reproduced rather than produced. In a structural perspective, they may allow lexical variation (e.g. clear as crystal/day) and syntactic transformations. Depending on their degree of idiomaticity, which is located along a cline cline, in biology, any gradual change in a particular characteristic of a population of organisms from one end of the geographical range of the population to the other. , they may show semantic anomalies (e.g. to kick the bucket to die.
to lose one's life; to die.
- Milton.

See also: Bucket Kick
 'to die'), lexical (e.g. to peter out 'to dwindle dwin·dle  
v. dwin·dled, dwin·dling, dwin·dles

To become gradually less until little remains.
To cause to dwindle. See Synonyms at decrease.
 to nothing') or syntactic ones (e.g. to trip the light fantastic). (14) All of these phraseological units are covered in some collocation studies such as Bartsch's (2004). (15) Frequently used formulae such as Happy birthday/may also be seen as belonging to this area of overlap between collocation and phraseology.

However, phraseological research differs from collocation studies as outlined above in at least two respects. Firstly, frequency is no defining criterion defining criterion

the hallmark of each disease; a characteristic lesion or result of a clinicopathological test or clinical sign without which the diagnosis cannot be made. Called also key sign.
 of phraseological units. (16) Secondly, phraseological units may be pragmatically non-compositional: They may be as long as whole sentences, such as the proverb proverb, short statement of wisdom or advice that has passed into general use. More homely than aphorisms, proverbs generally refer to common experience and are often expressed in metaphor, alliteration, or rhyme, e.g.  One swallow does not make a summer. Therefore, in addition to restricted collocations and other phraseological units which may be employed as equivalents of single words in a sentence, units of sentence length can also be gathered under the cover term phraseology. (17) The main classes in G1aser's categorization (1986: chs. 5 and 6) are proverbs Proverbs, book of the Bible. It is a collection of sayings, many of them moral maxims, in no special order. The teaching is of a practical nature; it does not dwell on the salvation-historical traditions of Israel, but is individual and universal based on the  and fragments of proverbs (e.g. a new broom broom, common name for plants of two closely related and similar Old World genera, Cytisus and Genista, of the family Leguminosae (pulse family).  [sweeps clean]), commonplaces (e.g. We live and learn), quotations and allusions to well-known texts Well-known text (WKT) is a text markup language for representing vector geometry objects on a map, spatial reference systems of spatial objects and transformations between spatial reference systems.  ("winged words Winged words are words which, first uttered or written in a specific literary context, have since passed into common usage to express a general idea—sometimes to the extent that those using them are unaware of their origin as quotations. " such as The time is out of joint, from Hamlet), maxims (e.g. Do it yourself), commands (e.g. Thou shalt not kill This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ), slogans (e.g. Safety first), and habitually used routine formulae (e.g. How do you do?). Many of our examples belong to this large subclass In programming, to add custom processing to an existing function or subroutine by hooking into the routine at a predefined point and adding additional lines of code.

subclass - derived class
 of phraseological units. (18)

For our study of preferred and fixed lexical co-occurrences with pronouns of address, a combination of the partly overlapping and mutually complementing concepts of collocation and phraseology as briefly outlined above is suggested. In the absence of a more elegant term, we refer to it as "collocational-phraseological". What is important for our approach is that both collocations and phraseological units possess a high degree of syntagmatic force which leads to the co-selection of lexical items.

4. Method of investigation and an inventory of pronoun changes in the Canterbury Tales

The first step in our study was a frequency count in the Canterbury Tales on the basis of recent corpus-linguistic technology. We searched the electronic version of the text provided by the Corpus of Middle English verse and prose for the collocates of the pronouns of address using a concordancer. Oizumi's lexical concordance concordance /con·cor·dance/ (-kord´ins) in genetics, the occurrence of a given trait in both members of a twin pair.concor´dant

 (2003), which lists all orthographic or·tho·graph·ic   also or·tho·graph·i·cal
1. Of or relating to orthography.

2. Spelled correctly.

3. Mathematics Having perpendicular lines.
 variants, was indispensable in doing so. Only explicit pronouns were counted, inclusive of inclusive of
Taking into consideration or account; including.
 150 clitics. Pronoun changes which are implied in a change of verbal endings (cf. Elliott 1974: 383; Karpf 1930: 45) were not taken into consideration, such as the use of beth by Chaucer the Pilgrim to the Host in the Prologue pro·logue also pro·log  
1. An introduction or preface, especially a poem recited to introduce a play.

2. An introduction or introductory chapter, as to a novel.

3. An introductory act, event, or period.
 to Sir Thopas (707) (and T in 926).

In order to verify the collocational-phraseological hypothesis, a complete list of all pronoun changes in the Canterbury Tales was needed. Identifying these changes is not as straightforward as it might appear. The main problems and our solutions will now be briefly considered.

The first problem is met in passages in which it is uncertain who the actual interlocutors are (who addresses whom?; cf. Burnley 2003: 30), given that tacit switchings to plural reference are possible. An example which may illustrate this problem is the change to Y in the Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale (188), where she addresses the Pardoner par·don·er  
1. One that pardons: a pardoner of the sins of others.

2. A medieval ecclesiastic authorized to raise money for religious works by granting papal indulgences to contributors.
. Does this plural form already refer to al this compaignye addressed in (189), and is this the reason why this example has never been mentioned in earlier studies? However, the Wife of Bath definitely refers to the previous utterance by the Pardoner at this place ("sith it may yow yow  
Used to express alarm, pain, or surprise.
 like"), and there is a contrast to (189) ("But yet I praye to al this compaignye"). (19) Therefore (188) is included in our list.

Another critical point is to determine a "basic form" of address between two interlocutors in some passages. Sometimes it is indeed not possible to establish such a normal, basic form, and each change has to be counted individually (cf. Type 3, below).

Furthermore, an individual (directed) and a universal (non-directed) use of the pronoun has to be distinguished. In this context, the pronoun use in Prudence's address of her husband in the Tale of Melibee is remarkable, and it is indeed interesting to see how freely she switches back and forth, sometimes within one sentence (1175, 1212, 1220; cf. in more detail Mazzon 2000: 155160; also Pakkala-Weckstrom 2004: 164). These are cases of a switching between an individual Y-form and a universal T-form, or also T-forms reminiscent of universal T in the sermon-like tone of the passages. (20) Some of the eleven instances of switching in Prudence's address of Melibee may be considered as triggered by formulae structuring the text, in particular thou shalt shalt  
aux.v. Archaic
A second person singular present tense of shall.
 (1175, 1210, 1220, or shaltou 1212; allusion al·lu·sion  
1. The act of alluding; indirect reference: Without naming names, the candidate criticized the national leaders by allusion.

 to maxims) (21) and "whan ye han examyned youre conseil" (1211, 1222). As no clear case for the collocationalphraseological argument can be made in this particular communication situation, and the universal T is a distinct type of pronoun, we decided to not take these switches into account. Further examples of this transition from individual to universal pronouns (and vice versa VICE VERSA. On the contrary; on opposite sides. ) abound in the whole work, and some occur at a point of pronoun change. (22) Still, we do not regard them as pronoun changes in our sense and thus do not include them in our list.

In order to be able to do justice to these problems, we distinguish between three types of changes which we call "insertion", "conversion" and "switching". In the case of an insertion, there is no change of paradigm of second person pronouns. The term conversion refers to cases which indicate such a change. In switching, no basic form is recognizable according to the micro- and macropragmatic analysis; the changes are irregular and insertion may be combined with conversion.

As versified language is denser than prose, each instance of pronoun change was allowed to entend over maximally max·i·mal  
1. Of, relating to, or consisting of a maximum.

2. Being the greatest or highest possible.

n. Mathematics
An element in an ordered set that is followed by no other.
 a rhyming couplet couplet

Two successive lines of verse. A couplet is marked usually by rhythmic correspondence, rhyme, or the inclusion of a self-contained utterance. Couplets may be independent poems, but they usually function as parts of other verse forms, such as the Shakespearean sonnet,
 or two consecutive lines. This convention has two entailments. For one thing, an "insertion" may be as long as two lines, and "conversion" refers to changes of more than two lines in extension. Secondly, "regressive re·gres·sive
1. Having a tendency to return or to revert.

2. Characterized by regression.

" changes were admitted in three cases. Here, the collocational-phraseological trigger appears slightly later than the first change, either in the same line (Miller's Tale 3287), in a rhyming couplet (Knight's Tale 2249-2250) or in two consecutive lines (Canon's Yeoman's Tale 1119-1120), respectively.

Type 1: insertion, i.e. deviation of a single line or rhyming couplet, or, respectively, two consecutive lines

Type 1A: single insertion, e.g. T-T-T-Y-T-T-T (1 change)

Type 1B: multiple insertion, a block (passage longer than two lines) at the end is possible, e.g. T-T-T-Y-T-T-T-Y-T-T-T ... (-Y-Y-Y) (n x 1 changes)

Type 2: conversion, i.e. general change of the paradigm

Type 2A: single conversion, e.g. T-T-T-Y(-Y-Y) (1 change)

Type 2B: double conversion, e.g. T-T-T-Y-Y-Y-T-(T-T) (2 changes)

Type 3: switching, i.e. irregular alternations, e.g. T-T-T-T-Y-Y-Y-Y-T-T-T-T-Y-Y-Y-Y-T-T-T-T ... (n changes)

Table 1 is a list of all initial points of pronoun changes between T and Y which we identified in the Canterbury Tales. In the last column, the type of change is indicated. Line numbers printed in italics indicate places where we suggest a collocational-phraseological trigger. These cases will be discussed in the following section.

5. Discussion of the data

As postulated in section 3, above, instances of pronoun change must fulfill the criteria of frequency of co-occurrence and/or semantic/pragmatic unity in order to be identified as influenced by the collocational-phraseological force in language. The 31 passages in the Canterbury Tales which meet these criteria fall into three groups. The first is marked by frequency (collocations) but not by semantic/pragmatic unity. The second group in contrast is characterized by fulfilling the requirements of phraseological units (formulae, sterotyped comparison and [fragments of] quotations) but not by frequency. And a third one (routine formulae / collocations) fulfills both criteria of frequency of co-occurrence and semantic unity. This will be discussed first. (23)

5.1. Routine formulae / collocations

The routine formula by youre leve 'with your consent, if you please' occurs ten times and exclusively with Y in the Canterbury Tales. The same is true of the formula of/for youre curteisye 'kindly, if you please' (3 instances). (24) The change from T to Y in the Wife of Bath's address to her husband in the Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale (331), and in the speech of the fictitious Based upon a fabrication or pretense.

A fictitious name is an assumed name that differs from an individual's actual name. A fictitious action is a lawsuit brought not for the adjudication of an actual controversy between the parties but merely for the purpose of
 friar friar [Lat. frater=brother], member of certain Roman Catholic religious orders, notably, the Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustinians. Although a general form of address in the New Testament, since the 13th cent.  to Thomas in Summoner's Tale (2112) (in rhyme position) are thus explainable. As noted in section 4, above, Alison's change to Y in her conversation with Nicholas in Miller's Tale (3287) can be explained by a regressive effect of the formula for youre curteisye.

In the formula of request I (we)prey thee/yow 'I beseech be·seech  
tr.v. be·sought or be·seeched, be·seech·ing, be·seech·es
1. To address an earnest or urgent request to; implore: beseech them for help.

 you' (in parenthetical phrases expressing deference, earnestness, etc.), Y once more outnumbers T (62 : 14). The formula is not as fixed as by your leve, for instance, because the verb is movable and an auxiliary can be inserted. (25) The change in Absolon's address to Alison is particularly remarkable (Miller's Tale 3361-3362); to Karpf (1930: 44) it seems incomprehensible.
   4) "Now, deere lady, if thy wille be,
      I praye yow that ye wole rewe on me ..."
      ["Now, dear lady, if it be your will,
      I beseech you to have mercy on me..."]

Nathan (1959: 195) and Koziol (1943: 172) rather consider the T-form in (3361) as deviant, but this argument is weakened by the fact that Absolon uses T in (3726) and (3794-ff.) as well.

Another good example of the collocational-phraseological force of this formula is the prioress's invocation invocation,
n a prayer requesting and inviting the presence of God.
 of the Mother of God in the Prologue to the Prioress's Tale (467-487) (cf. Shimonomoto 2001: 43; Kerkhof 1982: 231). Mazzon (2000: 138) sees the co-occurrence with nominal terms of address as crucial at the point of transition--however, the address O blisful Queene is a few lines away (481), it is followed by T, and at the place in question there is no such term (481-487):
   5) My konnyng is so wayk, O blisful Queene,
      For to declare thy grete worthynesse
      That I ne may the weighte nat susteene;
      But as a child of twelf month oold, or lesse,
      That kan unnethes any word expresse,
      Right so fare I, and therfore I yow preye,
      Gydeth my song that I shal of yow seye.
      [My skill is so weak, o blissful queen,
      in declaring your great excellence
      that I cannot sustain the weight
      but I behave just like a child of twelve months, or less,
      that can hardly utter any word,
      and therefore I beseech you,
      guide my song that I will sing of you.]

In Knight's Tale (2255) (Palamon to Venus: "Thanne preye I thee") T marks a return after one of the four insertions which we identified. (26) The decisive factor Noun 1. decisive factor - a point or fact or remark that settles something conclusively

causal factor, determinant, determining factor, determinative, determiner - a determining or causal element or factor; "education is an important determinant of
 for the insertion of Y in (2254) is arguably ar·gu·a·ble  
1. Open to argument: an arguable question, still unresolved.

2. That can be argued plausibly; defensible in argument: three arguable points of law.
 the respectful nominal address term my lady sweete. (27)

Shipman's Tale (395) (merchant to his wife) is a counter-example ("I prey thee, wyf, ne do namoore so"). Here and in two further cases of this kind (cf. if thee lest, below), the pragmatic power of the line is particularly intensive--and it might be argued that Chaucer exploited what may be called a "counter-collocational-phraseological" force to heighten this intensity even further.

God thee/yow + verb in the subjunctive subjunctive: see mood.  is a suitable frame for wish and request formulae. They occur more than twice as often with Y (23) than with T (11). This would explain the change of address of the Host to the Monk in the Prologue to the Nun's Priest's Tale (2788). (28)

In the routine formula (if/as etc. it) thee/yow like(th) 'if you choose, if you wish' the verb liken lik·en  
tr.v. lik·ened, lik·en·ing, lik·ens
To see, mention, or show as similar; compare.

[Middle English liknen, from like, similar; see like2
 predominantly co-occurs with the Y pronoun in the object case (19 Y : 5 T). This can explain the change in the Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale (188) discussed in section 4, above. (29)

Almost synonymous with synonymous with
adjective equivalent to, the same as, identical to, similar to, identified with, equal to, tantamount to, interchangeable with, one and the same as
 the phrase if that yow liketh is the more frequent (if/as etc.) thee/yow list, where the predominance pre·dom·i·nance   also pre·dom·i·nan·cy
The state or quality of being predominant; preponderance.

Noun 1. predominance - the state of being predominant over others
predomination, prepotency
 of the Y pronoun is equally clear (47 Y : 9 T). (30) This formula with predominant Y can account for the changes in Friar's Tale (1399), where the yeoman addresses the summoner in example (1), above (cf. Harley 1988: 5; Nathan 1956: 41-42; Shimonomoto 2001: 12-13), and in Aurelius's invocation of Phebus (Franklin's Tale 1041), for which Shimonomoto sees "no obvious reason" (2001: 44).

In Knight's Tale (2249-2250) (Palamon to Venus), we suggest a regressive change (cf. section 4, above):
   6) Youre vertu is so greet in hevene above
      That if yow list, I shal wel have my love.
      [Your power is so great in the high heavens
      that if you wish I will easily possess my love.]

Two counter-examples are the pronoun changes in Summoner's Tale (1985) (friar to Thomas "if thee leste"; cf. Mazzon 2000: 161-163) and in Canon's Yeoman's Tale (1360) (canon to priest "if that thee list it have"; cf. Nathan 1959: 197), but they might have been employed for particular pragmatic purposes, as suggested above.

(I wol/shal etc.) telle(n) thee/yow is used with diminished force or in emphatic expressions and occurs preferably with the Y pronoun (67 Y : 15 T). Obviously, this is due to the fact that I wol telle yow is a frequent metalinguistic met·a·lin·guis·tic  
Of or relating to a metalanguage or to metalinguistics.

 formula used by the pilgrims addressing the fellow travellers fellow traveller

History a person who sympathized with the Communist Party but was not a member of it

Noun 1. fellow traveller - a communist sympathizer (but not a member of the Communist Party)
, that is, an illocutionary formula. However, this does not spoil the collocational argumentation insofar in·so·far  
To such an extent.

Adv. 1. insofar - to the degree or extent that; "insofar as it can be ascertained, the horse lung is comparable to that of man"; "so far as it is reasonably practical he should practice
 as in establishing collocation as used here, it is irrelevant whether a particular pronoun is used to refer to one or more than one person. The changes in Wife of Bath's Tale (1012) (old wife to knight) and Merchant's Tale (2169) (Januarie to May) fit in well with our explanation. (31) In addition, the French equivalent je vous dy in Summoner's Tale (1832) (Friar to Thomas) also triggers a change. A similar proportion can be discovered with the semantically related say (to) thee/yow (29 Y : 6 T), which is not relevant for any of the changes, though.

5.2. Further collocations

There seems to be a preference for body part terms to collocate with Verb 1. collocate with - go or occur together; "The word 'hot' tends to cooccur with 'cold'"
co-occur with, construe with, cooccur with, go with

accompany, attach to, come with, go with - be present or associated with an event or entity; "French fries come
 T. (32) This lexical preference may indeed account for some of the identified pronoun changes. To choose an example, eyen co-occurs twice as often with thy (13) as with youre (6). Januarie's move to T towards May in Merchant's Tale (2138-2148), taken from the Song of Songs, is a case in point (cf. Shimonomoto 2001: 30; Mazzon 2000: 151-152). Other changes involving the collocation with a body part term are Friar's Tale (1623), Franklin's Tale (1635), Summoner's Tale (2131), Clerk's Tale (890), (33) Canon's Yeoman's Tale (1236) (el. Mazzon 2000: 163-165), and possibly Canon's Yeoman's Tale (1119-1120) and (1153-1154) (both regressively re·gres·sive  
1. Tending to return or revert.

2. Characterized by regression or a tendency to regress.

3. Decreasing proportionately as the amount taxed increases: a regressive tax.

Mazzon (2000: 155, 158) assumes that there is a tendency for thou to co-occur with Verb 1. co-occur with - go or occur together; "The word 'hot' tends to cooccur with 'cold'"
collocate with, construe with, cooccur with, go with

accompany, attach to, come with, go with - be present or associated with an event or entity; "French fries come
 shal, while ye takes the allomorph al·lo·morph 1  
See paramorph.

allo·morphic adj.
 shullen. This is certainly true for the Tale of Melibee, which she refers to, as well as for the entire Canterbury Tales. (34) In this case, however, we doubt that the collocational argument is appropriate. Mazzon maintains that shal is stronger, shul shul  
n. Judaism
A synagogue.

[Yiddish, from Middle High German schuol, school, from Old High German scuola, from Latin scola; see school1.]
(en) rather tentative. MED has nothing about a semantic difference between the forms (cf. shulen (v. (1)). The choice of shal and shul simply seems to be determined morphologically.

The assumption of certain collocations with auxiliaries remains interesting, though. For later centuries Lass (1999: 149) points to this possibility. While no clear picture emerges in the case of shullen, the auxiliaries mowen and willen are more promising with 75 Y : 49 T (mowen) and 74 Y : 46 T (willen). The collocation with mowen may account for Knight's Tale (2312) (Emilye to Diana), and the Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale (369) (Wife of Bath to husband). (35) Willen occurs with ye in Knight's Tale (2254) (Palamon to Venus), Prologue to the Man of Law's Tale (42) (Manciple man·ci·ple  
A steward or purchaser of provisions, as for a monastery or college.

[Middle English maunciple, from Old French manciple, bondsman, variant of mancipe
 to Cook), (36) and in four more cases that have already been or will be explained with reference to the collocational-phraseological hypothesis. (37)

5.3. Further formulae, (fragments of) quotations, and a stereotyped comparison

The cases in this group are marked by phraseological force rather than frequency, as far as the text of the Canterbury Tales is concerned.

The rare occurrences of the formula faire (be)falle (to) X 'may X prosper, good luck to X' with a second person pronoun always feature Y. It might have prompted the pronoun changes in the Epilogue ep·i·logue also ep·i·log  
a. A short poem or speech spoken directly to the audience following the conclusion of a play.

b. The performer who delivers such a short poem or speech.

 to the Nun's Priest's Tale (3460) (Host to Nun's Priest) and the Prologue to the Parson's Tale (68) (Host to Parson PARSON, eccl. law. One who has full possession of all the rights of a parochial church.
     2. He is so called because by his person the church, which is an invisible body, is represented: in England he is himself a body corporate it order to protect and defend the
): (38)
   7) "Sire preest", quod he, "now faire yow bifalle!"
      ["Sir priest", he said, "now good luck to you!"]

Heere may ye se 'By this may you see, i.e. understand' in Friar's Tale (1567) is a formula specific to a particular text type, namely the opening of a sermon, according to Shimonomoto (2001: 13). It is originally addressed to more than one person but seems to be responsible for the insertion of Y in this line, where the yeoman (i.e. the devil) addresses the summoner (1566-1568): (39)
   8) "Lo, brother", quod the feend, "what tolde I thee?
      Heere may ye se, myn owene deere brother,
      The carl spak oo thing, but he thoghte another."
      ["Lo, brother", said the devil, "what did l tell you?
      By this may you see, my own dear brother,
      the fellow spoke one thing, but he thought another."]

In contrast, the line By swiche ensamples olde maistow leere 'Through these old exemplary stories can you learn' in Nun's Priest's Tale (3106), with which Chauntecleer introduces his explanation of the signification SIGNIFICATION, French law. The notice given of a decree, sentence or other judicial act.  of his examples to Pertelote, should be interpreted as general T. (40) But since T may introduce the exposition in non-homiletic texts, such as fables, (41) it may possibly be another text-type specific formula. The courtly court·ly  
adj. court·li·er, court·li·est
1. Suitable for a royal court; stately: courtly furniture and pictures.

2. Elegant; refined: courtly manners.
 animals address each other in the polite form in all other instances.

Quotations or fragments of quotations (allusions) play a great role in medieval literature Medieval literature is a broad subject, encompassing essentially all written works available in Europe and beyond during the Middle Ages (encompassing the one thousand years from the fall of the Western Roman Empire ca. . Those quotations which are recognizable by the audience as institutionalized in·sti·tu·tion·al·ize  
tr.v. in·sti·tu·tion·al·ized, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·ing, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·es
a. To make into, treat as, or give the character of an institution to.

 expressions are considered part of phraseology. (42) In the Miller's Tale, Absolon is not consistent in his choice of pronouns for addressing Alison, as we saw in example (4). After that collocationally-phraseologically triggered change, he uses Y in 3698-3707. In 3726, however, he changes back to T, which is then also continued in the later passage (3794-3797):
   9) Lemman, thy grace, and sweete bryd, thyn oore!"
      [Darling, your favour, and sweetheart, your mercy!"]

Miller's Tale (3726) reflects the popular poetry of the time and also includes an allusion to sponsa [mea] in the Song of Songs. (43) Chaucer used ore in the sense of 'mercy' only at this place (cf. Donaldson 1963: 48). A corresponding formula (thyn ore!) can be found in Harley Lyric no. 32 (verses 16-21; here taken from Brook 1968: 72, emphasis added): (44)
   10) Adoun y fel to hire anon
       ant crie, 'Ledy, pyn ore!
       Ledy, ha mercy of py mon!
       Lef pou no false lore!
       Jef pou dost, hit wol me reowe sore.
       Loue drecchep me pat y ne may lyue namoore!
       [Immediately I fell down in front of her
       and cried, "Lady, your mercy!
       Lady, have mercy on your servant!
       Do not believe in wrong advice!
       If you do, it will grieve me deeply.
       Love afflicts me so that I cannot live any more!]

The change to T in Miller's Tale (3726) may thus be attributed to a quotation with regressive influence on thy grace 'your favour' in the same line. Another allusion to the Song of Songs itself (1.15) is thyn eyen columbyn 'your dovelike eyes' in Januarie's address to May (Merchant's Tale 2141). (45)

And lastly, the expression Bileveth this as siker as your crede '(literally) believe this as sure as your creed', i.e. 'as guaranteed by divine degree or promise', spoken by the canon to the priest in Canon's Yeoman's Tale (1047) and prompting the use of Y for the rest of this conversation, belongs to a group of phraseological units known as institutionalized or stereotyped comparisons. (46) According to Whiting--Whiting (1968: C541) it occurs in the forms As sooth sooth   Archaic
1. Real; true.

2. Soft; smooth.

Truth; reality.

[Middle English, from Old English s
 (sicker, true) as the Creed from the beginning of the fourteenth century on. But it seems that whenever the second person pronoun is used in these forms (two instances in Whiting--Whiting, none in MED apart from the Chaucer quotation), it is Y. (47)

The following cases with potential collocational-phraseological interest were excluded. One of them concerns the phraseological character of a particular line. This is the pronoun change in Monk's Tale (2451) from Y to T. Up until this line, Chaucer changed the pronouns from Dante's T to Y in the address of the starving starve  
v. starved, starv·ing, starves

1. To suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.

2. Informal To be hungry.

3. To suffer from deprivation.
 children to their father Ugolino (Divina commedia, Inferno 33.1-75; cf. the Italian text with English translation printed in Bestul 2002: 429-432). But when they offer their father their own flesh to eat, Chaucer changes to T: Oure flessh thou yaf us, take oure flessh us fro 'You gave us our flesh, take our flesh from us' (cf. Dante's tune vestisti queste misere carni, e tu le spoglia 'you did clothe us with this wretched flesh, and do you strip us of it!', 62-63). At this point, the children address their desperate father with a devotion usually given to the divine Creator. Although Dante is the immediate source, allusions to the bible, in particular Job 1.21, 8.11 and 19.26, as well as the eucharist (John 17.53-58), might have been responsible for the change. (48) In two further cases it is the first occurrence in a series of pronoun switches which might have been triggered by the collocational-phraseological force. This is Reeve's Tale (4033) (John to Symkyn: "I pray I beg; I request; I entreat you; - used in asking a question, making a request, introducing a petition, etc.; as, Pray, allow me to go s>.

See also: Pray
 yow") and Summoner's Tale (1772) (friar to Thomas: "God yelde yow"). However, as we in general started counting from the first deviation, these cases do not appear in our list. For reasons discussed in sections 4 and 5.2., above, passages with general T, especially in Prudence's speech in the Tale of Melibee, could also be considered as cases in point. In particular, for the allusions to the commandments ("thou shalt") and formulae structuring the text containing a form of conseillen and Y (including the first occurrence Tale of Melibee 1026: advocate to Melibee: "we conseille yow") collocational-phraseological influence could have been postulated. All these cases, however, are excluded from our account.

6. Evaluation of the evidence and outlook

In the discussion of the pronoun changes to which we attribute a collocational-phraseological influence we adopted a careful rather than an overly inclusive strategy. Still, about one third of the changes that we did include (31 of 90) can be explained by our hypothesis. As far as the proportion of insertions (1A, 1B) and conversions (2A, 2B) as the effect of these changes is concerned, there is no discernible tendency. Table 2 summarizes the absolute and relative numbers according to types.

Even if a more inclusive approach had been chosen, the numbers would not allow for an analysis by statistical methods since they derive from a limited textual basis, namely the Canterbury Tales. The explanatory power of each single case with its relevance for this text will have to be checked for Middle English in general, as some of the brief references to the entries in the MED show. Further studies along the suggested lines based on a wider textual basis are therefore very desirable.

In particular, our results may be considered in the context of historical English phraseology--an area of research which is still in need of extended and systematic investigation. Thus, developments in the collocational-phraseological store of the language are still largely undetected. Regarding the data that we discussed in this paper it is interesting, for instance, that a collocation which was dispreferred in Chaucer, namely to pray + T, but apparently preferred by a majority of speakers, developed the lexicalized form prithee prith·ee  
interj. Archaic
Used to express a polite request.

[Alteration of (I) pray thee.]
 in the sixteenth century. Ulrich Busse has analysed the use of (I) pray you and (I) pray thee/prithee in the Shakespeare Corpus (2002: ch. 7) and found, among other things, that the use of Y with to pray is more frequent than to pray and T (2002: oh. 7.3). Prithee, however, was gaining ground in Shakespeare's time, also in the context of an address with Y (2002: 203-204). (49) Another question in connection with language change is the influence of French collocations and phraseology on the English language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations. , both on collocations and on the development of the lexicon and the phraseological store of English. (50) These and related questions will be left for future studies to answer.

In conclusion, we hope to have shown that pronoun changes in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales can be triggered by the collocational-phraseological force of the language. This force is so strong that it may even override the pragmatically preferred choice of the pronouns of address in the particular situation--after all, this is a rather sensitive area of communicative interaction. We are thus challenging the view that every deviation in the use of second person pronouns has an expressive function. However, our hypothesis does not attempt to exclude the possibility that both pragmatic and collocational-phraseological forces may have an effect at the same time--including the reinforcement of a pragmatic effect through a counter-collocational-phraseological usage. On the contrary, both explanatory paradigms are generally valid and may be employed in a complementary way in many cases. As has become apparent in our discussion of the data, though, pragmatic explanations fail in some cases and leave the collocational-phraseological hypothesis as the only explanation for a significant number of changes which have so far appeared unmotivated and arbitrary.



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[Latin explic
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Of or concerned with phenomena as they change through time.
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1. Literary study or classical scholarship.

2. See historical linguistics.

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lamb pelt made to resemble seal or beaver.

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Variant of medieval.


same as medieval

Adj. 1.
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a style of architecture used in England in the 12th and 13th centuries, characterized by narrow pointed arches and ornamental intersecting stonework in windows
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1. Literary study or classical scholarship.

2. See historical linguistics.

[Middle English philologie, from Latin philologia, love of learning
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tr.v. ex·pli·cat·ed, ex·pli·cat·ing, ex·pli·cates
To make clear the meaning of; explain. See Synonyms at explain.

[Latin explic
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Otto Friedrich University, Bamberg--University of Berne

(1) For pronoun shifts in Troilus and Criseyde, cf. Walcutt (1935); Johnston (1962); Finkenstaedt (1963: 77-84); Shimonomoto (2001: 7-8).

(2) All quotations in this paper are taken from Benson (1988); emphases added.

(3) We concentrate on changes in the pronoun use in the speech of the same communication partners. Hence we do not take account of (supposedly) "incorrect" but consistent pronoun choice. For our purposes, we consider the Canterbury Tales as a homogeneous piece of art despite its complicated genesis and related problems (cf., e.g., Benson 1988: xxv).

(4) Cf. Shimonomoto (2001), based on her 1986 Sheffield M.A. thesis; Honegger (2003); Mazzon (2000); Jucker (2006).

(5) Cf. Brown--Gilman (1964), first published in 1960. Our use of the terms macro- and micropragmatics is not congruent con·gru·ent  
1. Corresponding; congruous.

2. Mathematics
a. Coinciding exactly when superimposed: congruent triangles.

 with Campbell's (1981: 101).

(6) Wie du mir, so ich dir 'an eye for an eye; tit for tat' (literally: 'As you [do] to me, so I [do] to you'); Du ahnst es nicht! 'Would you believe it?' (literally: 'You do not guess this'); Du sollst nicht toten 'You shall not kill' (cf. Thou shalt not kill); Das kannst du dir abschminken 'You can forget about that' (literally: 'You can remove this [like make-up]'); wenn Sic gestatten 'if you permit'.

(7) In addition, "idioms" in one or the other definition--a concept with a partial overlap with collocation and phraseology--have also been studied in their own right.

(8) Cf. also Moon (1998: 26) and the minimal consensus that Bartsch found for the conceptions of collocations: "frequently recurrent co-occurrences of lexical items" (2004: 65).

(9) Other classes of collocations which have been suggested are lexical versus grammatical ("Grammatical collocations consist of a dominant word--noun, adjective/participle, verb--and a preposition preposition, in English, the part of speech embracing a small number of words used before nouns and pronouns to connect them to the preceding material, e.g., of, in, and about.  or a grammatical construction Noun 1. grammatical construction - a group of words that form a constituent of a sentence and are considered as a single unit; "I concluded from his awkward constructions that he was a foreigner"
construction, expression
"; Benson--Benson--Ilson 1997: ix), syntactic (e.g. had been, one of many--of), or paradigmatically related co-occurrences such as jam and marmalade marmalade [Port.,=quince preparation], thick preserve of fruit pulp, originally made from quinces (marmelos) and known in England from the 15th cent. Marmalade has a jellylike consistency and a slightly bitter flavor, caused by including the rind of some tart , apricot (for a short summary, cf. Moon 1998: 26-27).

(10) Collocation studies have repeatedly stressed the factor of "automatic" language use which may run counter to rules applying to the free combination of elements.

(11) All definitions of present-day English phraseological units are taken from Cowie--Mackin--McCaig (1983 [1993]) or Cowie--Mackin (1993).

(12) Cf., e.g., the publications by Hausmann, recently the discussion in Hausmann (2004). From his point of view of lexical functions, Mel'cuk (1998:29-31) deals with these kinds of units under the term "collocation", a subclass of semantic phrasemes.

(13) Cf. the overview in Cowie (1998: 7).

(14) To trip/dance/tread the light fantastic '(facetious) to dance' from Milton's lines Come, and trip it as ye go/ On the light fantastic toe. In this phraseological unit, a limited choice of collocates is possible for the verb.

(15) The notions of semantic unity and idiomaticity are reflected in Bartsch's (2004: 77) inclusion of an obligatory "element of semantic opacity Refers to being "opaque," which means to prevent light from shining through. For example, in an image editing program, the opacity level for some function might range from completely transparent (0) to completely opaque (100).  such that the meaning of the collocation cannot be said to be deducible de·duce  
tr.v. de·duced, de·duc·ing, de·duc·es
1. To reach (a conclusion) by reasoning.

2. To infer from a general principle; reason deductively:
 as a function of the meanings of the constituents" in her definition.

(16) Cf., e.g., Moon (1998: 61), Cowie (1998: 14-15) about pure idioms.

(17) Cf., e.g., Mel'cuk's (1998: 29) notion of "pragmateme", and Makkai's group of "sememic or cultural-pragmemic idioms" (1972: ch. 1.3.5).

(18) Paraphrases Paraphrases are traditional forms of singing within Presbyterian churches. They are sections of the Bible that have been set to music, in a similar fashion to Metrical Psalms.  of the more idiomatic and perhaps not frequently used of these examples: One swallow does not make a summer 'one fortunate incident etc. should not be taken to mean that the general situation has improved or is about to'; a new broom (sweeps clean) 'somebody recently appointed to office or a responsible post (starts with an energetic programme of reform and change, sometimes not welcomed by those already there)'.

(19) Strangely, in (711) the Wife even uses the T-form to address the pilgrims (cf. Shimonomoto 2001: 44: "demands of rhyme"; see also Nathan 1959: 199).

(20) Difficulties in interpreting these forms occur in passages such as (1002-1003) or (1410-1427), where the "tone of sermon" with universal T is predominant, but where some pronouns unequivocally refer to Melibee: "Thy name is "______ thy name is ______" is a catch phrase use to indicate the completeness of which something embodies a particular quality, usually a negative one. History
The origin of the term is generally agreed to come from the Shakespearean play Hamlet ().
 Melibee" (1410) and "thy three enemys been entred into thyn house by the wyndowes/and han ywounded thy doghter in the forseyde manere" (1425-1427).

(21) Cf. also the change in Canon's Yeoman's Tale (1290). On a brief discussion of the collocation of shal with T, cf. section 5.2, below.

(22) Lenvoy de Chaucer at the end of the Clerk's Tale (Chaucer to all women): (1200) Y [right arrow]) (1202) T; Merchant's Tale (Justinus to Placebo): (1530) Y [right arrow]) (1535) T, Pardoner's Tale Pardoner’s Tale

three brothers kill each other for treasure. [Br. Lit.: Canterbury Tales, “Pardoner’s Tale”]

See : Greed
 (Pardoner to the pilgrims): (590) Y [right arrow]) (648) T, Parson's Tale (590) Y [right arrow]) (591) T (thou shalt; maxims/biblical references).

(23) Bibliographical references to pragmatically based suggestions in earlier studies and information from the Middle English dictionary (MED) are provided for each case. Entry forms in the MED and the selection of the quotations have to be treated with care, however, as the compilers did not always pay heed Verb 1. pay heed - give heed (to); "The children in the audience attended the recital quietly"; "She hung on his every word"; "They attended to everything he said"
advert, give ear, attend, hang
 to the form of the second person pronoun.

(24) Burnley (2003: 31) mentions for your curteisie as a phrase in Chaucer. Cf. also the attestations in MED, s.v. leve (n. (2)) (d): T before Chaucer, Y/T after Chaucer; MED, s.v. courteisie (n.) 3. (b.): only Y.

(25) Cf. MED, s.v. preien (v. (1)) 5: T before (1390), then Y/T.

(26) See on this passage especially Honegger (2003: 68-69, 75-78); furthermore Shimonomoto (2001: 43); Mazzon (2000:139); Karpf (1930: 42); Kerkhof (1982:231).

(27) Lady does co-occur with T, though; cf. Knight's Tale (2260) (as opposed to Shipman's Tale 491), Man of Law's Tale (850-851), Merchant's Tale (2367) and other cases.

(28) Cf. Lumiansky (1955 [1980]: 103). Karpf (1930: 45), Johnson (1977: 74), Shimonomoto (2001: 9) and Kerkhof (1982: 228) comment on the relationship between the Host and the Monk. Kerkhof (1982: 228) wrongly attributes 2768 (speech of the Knight) to the Host. Cf. also MED, s.v. God(n. (1)) 9. (c): T/Y.

(29) Cf. MED, s.v. liken (v.(1)) 1b.-1c.

(30) Miller (1992: 152, n. 3) has if that yow leste as a "standard phrase"; MED, s.v. listen (v. (1)) 1a-1c. Cf. also Prins (1952: 160) on the influence of French s'il vous plait on if you please in Early Modern English Early Modern English refers to the stage of the English language used from about the end of the Middle English period (the latter half of the 15th century) to 1650. Thus, the first edition of the King James Bible and the works of William Shakespeare both belong to the late phase .

(31) On these passages, cf. also Kerkhof (1982: 229); Shimonomoto (2001: 36, 30-31); Mazzon (2000: 151-152). On the collocation in the MED, s.v. tellen (v.) 4. (e.).

(32) Collocates are armes, bak, body, bosom bos·om
1. The chest of a human.

2. A woman's breast or breasts.
, brestes, cheke, eres, ers, eyen, face, feet, hand, heed, herte, lymes, mouth, tayl, tonge, tooth and visage. Cf. also MED, s.v. thin (pron.) 1.d., your (pron.) 4a-4b).

(33) Cf. Wilcockson (1980: 40-42; 2003: 310); Kerkhof(1982: 229); Shimonomoto (2001: 33).

(34) The numbers for the Tale of Melibee are: ye shal (3), thou shalt/shaltow (34), ye shul(en) (43), thou shul (0) andye sholde (7).

(35) On the first passage, cf. Karpf (1930: 43); Kerkhof (1982: 231); Shimonomoto (2001: 43); Honegger (2003: 70-72). On the second passage, cf. Kerkhof (1982: 230).

(36) On the first passage, cf. Karpf (1930: 42); Mazzon (2000: 139); Shimonomoto (2001: 43); Honegger (2003: 77). On the second passage, cf. Kerkhof (1982: 228).

(37) This means we can allocate a double collocational-phraseological motivation to Miller's Tale (3362), Wife of Bath's Tale (1012), Friar's Tale (1567), and Merchant's Tale (2169).

(38) On these passages, cf. also Kerkhof (1982: 227); Lumiansky (1955 [1980]: 108, 110); Shimonomoto (2001: 9). Cf. MED, s.v. bifallen (v.) 3. (a): Y/T.

(39) For another phraseologically-conditioned change in this pair of interlocutors, cf. example (1) and section 5.1., above. On this passage, cf. also Nathan (1956: 42); Miller (1992:152).

(40) For a different interpretation, cf. Walcutt (1935: 283-284).

(41) Cf., e.g., Robert Henryson Robert Henryson (or Robert Henderson) (c. 1425 – c. 1500) was a Scottish poet.

Robert Henryson is thought to have been a member of the Clan Henderson of Fordell, although there is no clear evidence of his connection to the branch of the family in Fordell.
, The Wolf and the wether WETHER. A castrated ram, at least one year old in ark indictment it may be called a sheep. 4 Car. & Payne, 216; 19 Eng. Com. Law Rep. 351.  (2595), in: Pearsall (1999: 498).

(42) Cf. Glaser (1986: ch. 5) and also, for instance, Makkai (1972: 169-172, 177-178), who acknowledges the (pseudo-)idiomatic character of this group of "cultural-pragmemic idioms" in his account of the idiomatic structure of English: "the quotation has to be essentially institutionalized, i.e. familiar enough to be fairly sure of being recognized by most speakers, whether in its original form or in a varied form as an allusion to the original quotation" (Makkai 1972:177).

(43) Cf. Donaldson (1963: 47-48); Gray (1988: 848); Kaske (1962: 482).

(44) MED, s.v. or(e (n. (2)) 1 (d) suggests that "thyn ore" is always used with T, and also in the address of Jesus. Prins (1952:280-281) lists Thine thine  
pron. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
Used to indicate the one or ones belonging to thee.

adj. A possessive form of thou1
Used instead of thy before an initial vowel or h
 ore! as a formula deriving from French Vostre mercy!--apparently with a change from Y to T.

(45) cf. Shimonomoto (2001: 30); Mazzon (2000: 151-152) for pragmatically-based explanations.

(46) On the multiple switchings between the canon and the priest, cf. Mazzon (2000:163-165).

(47) Cf. MED, s.v. crede (n. (2)) (b), siker (adj.) 4b (b).

(48) Job 8.11 and 19.26 are also part of the Office for the Dead, cf. Littlehales (1895: 60, 69). Mazzon (2000: 141-142) attributes this change to T to an increase in dramaticity and emotional tone alone.

(49) Busse regards the development of prithee as a case of grammaticalization. Pronoun changes were still rather common in Early Modern English; cf. Busse (2002: ch. 2.7). On prithee, cf. also Nevala (2004: 171-172).

(50) The fullest book-length study on French influence in English phraseology is still Prins (1952) with supplements (1959, 1960), who claims French influence for some phraseological units with second person pronoun such as Thine ore! and if you please (cf. fun. 44 and 30, above). A detailed study of the exact forms of this influence is still missing, but small-scale comparisons have shown that Chaucer seems to be independent of the pronoun use of his sources (cf. Nathan 1959: 198).
Table 1. Instances of second person pronoun change

Tale     Speaker [right arrow] Addressee: lines T/Y-form         Type

KnT      widow [right arrow] Theseus: 920 T, 927 Y, 930 T          3

         Palamon [right arrow] goddess Venus: 1105 Y, 2237 Y,     1B
         2249-50 Y, 2254 Y

         Emilye [right arrow] goddess Dyane: 2312 Y               1A

MIT      Alison [right arrow] Nicholas: 3287 Y, 3722 T            2B

         Nicholas [right arrow] Alison: 3297 Y                    2A

         Absolon [right arrow] Alison: 3362 Y, 3726 T             2B

         Gerveys [right arrow] Absolon: 3781 T                    1A

RvT      Aleyn [right arrow] John: 4044-45 Y (rhyme position)     1A

         John [right arrow] Symkyn: 4128 T                        2A

MLT      Custance [right arrow] her father: 1105 Y (after         2A
         Custance [right arrow] her mother Y, 276-ff.)

WBTP     Wife of Bath [right arrow] Pardoner: 188 Y               2A

         Wife of Bath [right arrow] husband: 241 Y, 331 Y,        1B
         369 Y, 434 Y

         Husband [right arrow] Wife of Bath: 319 Y                2A

WBT      olde wyf [right arrow] knight: 1009 T, 1012 Y,            3
         1015 T, 1088 Y (rhyme position)

         knight [right arrow] olde wyf: 1100 T                    1A

FrT      yeoman (= devil) [right arrow] summoner: 1399 Y,         1B
         1567 Y

         summoner [right arrow] yeoman (= devil): 1444 T,         1B
         1526 T

         old widow [right arrow] summoner: 1618 T, 1623 T         1B

SumT     friar [right arrow] Thomas: 1785 T, 1832 Y, 1944 T,       3
         1955 Y, 1970 T, 1974 Y, 1985 T, 1999 Y, 2089 T,
         2112 Y (rhyme position), 2154 T

         Thomas [right arrow] friar: 2131 T                       2A

CITP     Host [right arrow] Clerk: 14 T                           1A

ClT      Walter [right arrow] Grisilde: 483 T, 492 Y, 890 T        3

MerT     Januarie [right arrow] May: 2141 T, 2169 Y, 2367 T        3

SqT      Franklin [right arrow] Squire: 686 Y                     2A

FranT    Dorigen [right arrow] God: 867 Y, 879 T, 881 Y            3

         Aurelius [right arrow] god Phebus: 1041 Y, 1077 T         3

         Arveragus [right arrow] Dorigen: 1482 T                  1A

ShipT    merchant [right arrow] his wife: 384 Y, 395 T            2B

PrTP     Prioress [right arrow] Mother of God: 486 Y              2A

Mel      an advocat [right arrow] Melibee: 1026 T                 2A

         Melibee [right arrow] Prudence: 1233 Y, 1262 T,           3
         1427 Y

MkT      son/children [right arrow] father: 2451 T                2A


NPTP     Host [right arrow] Monk: 1932 T, 2 788 Y                 2B

NPT      Chauntecleer [right arrow] Pertelote: 3106 T, 3121 Y     2B

         narrator [right arrow] Gaufred (Geoffrey of              2A
         Vinsauf): 3351 Y (rhyme position)

         Chauntecleer [right arrow] fox: 3428 T                   2A

NPTE     Host [right arrow] Nun's Priest: 3460 Y                  2A

SNT      Urban [right arrow] God (Christ): 199 Y (rhyme           2A
         position) Cecilie [right arrow] Almachius: 463 T         2A

CYT      canon [right arrow] priest: 1047 Y, 1119-20 T,            3
         1125 Y, 1153-54 T, 1181 Y, 1236 T, 1250 Y, 1290 T,
         1327 Y, 1360 T, 1361 Y

MancTP   Manciple [right arrow] Cook: 42 Y                        2A

ParsTP   Host [right arrow] Parson: 68 Y                          2A
Table 2. Numbers and percentages of second person pronoun
changes according to types

                       Type 1A     Type 1B     Type 2A

number of changes         6          14          17

of these:                 1           7           6

                       Type 2B     Type 3       Total

number of changes        10          43          90

of these:                 5          12          31
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Author:Knappe, Gabriele; Schumann, Michael
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Date:Jan 1, 2006
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