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The Grammar of Names in Anglo-Saxon EnglandThe Linguistics and Culture of the Old English Onomasticon$
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Fran Colman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701675.001.0001

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Structures of Old English personal names

Structures of Old English personal names

(p.190) 7 Structures of Old English personal names
The Grammar of Names in Anglo-Saxon England

Fran Colman

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 turns to Old English personal names, which have structures analogous to common-word compound, complex and simplex ones. Like common-word compounds, dithematic names may undergo reduction and alteration of their phonological structure, as reflected in spellings. But the products are not structures analogous to reduced common words. This follows from the lack of sense relations. After activation, phonologically natural things happen to a name, but not because of loss of denotation. Like common words, dithematic names may reduce to simplex structures but, unlike a common-word compound, a dithematic name does not reduce to a derivationally complex, suffixed form. Moreover, coexisting full and reduced forms for dithematic names form part of the evidence for synchronic neutralization in names of such distinctions between lexical-item structures appropriate for common words. Loss over time of the full form affects the nature of the contents of an onomasticon.

Keywords:   compound, denotation, derivational, language variation, neutralization, secondary feature

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