By Jacek Fisiak, Marcin Krygier
This quantity includes 28 papers from the ninth foreign convention in English ancient Linguistics, which came about in Poznan, Poland, in August 1996. The contributions disguise all features of the historical past of the English language, together with: phonology; morphology; syntax; and lexicon.
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With the impersonal pronoun it as its subject and a second-person pronoun or its equivalent as its dative object (preceded by the preposition to), it was first used in the 14th century in the sense 'to seem good to one; to be one's will or pleasure'. In conditional clauses only the form without to survived into Early Modern English, as in (2). v. please, v. 6. a and b), in the early 16th century please began to be used as an intransitive verb in the sense 'to be pleased, to like; to have the will or desire'.
The usual paraphrase which is used to render their meaning is something like 'can be Ved'; doable = 'can be done'. This amounts to saying that such adjectives encode the possibility of the noun they modify to be affected by the action expressed in the verb (or its ability/likelihood to carry out the verbal action). Looking at actual data (irrespective of the historical period they are from) it is striking how often negative meanings are involved. , they mean 'canNOT be Ved'. Consequently, formations prefixed with un- make up a sizable part of any set of ABLE data and, once we consider not only prefixal negation but include the phrasal level, the negatives are probably in the majority.
Chen 1996: 37-237). While the use of a conditional conjunction, if in particular, was becoming the standard conditional marker for the expression of open conditions, in the case of // it please you and its variants, however, there was a different trend. Not only did z/fail to squeeze out SV inversion and the substandard and, but the conditional marker itself was being left out, leading eventually to the use of the bare please as an interjection. Grammaticalization and degrammaticalization have been seen as linguistic changes in opposite directions, yet paradoxically, as the case of // /'/ please you and its variants illustrate, they have happened at the same time to the same linguistic item.