, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 286–290 | Cite as

A case of “slipping”: Direct and indirect speech in Old English prose

  • Johan Kerling


Comparative Literature Historical Linguistic Prose Indirect Speech English Prose 
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  1. 1.
    George Philip Krapp,The Rise of English Literary Prose, New York 1915, republished 1963, p. ix.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. W. Chambers,On the Continuity of English Prose from Alfred to More and his School. EETS, OS 191A, 1932. Earlier than Chambers W. P. Ker had stated that “the pedigree of English prose goes back beyond Wycliffe and Chaucer”, in:English Prose, ed. Henry Craik, London, New York, 1893, vol. I, p. 16.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The Oxford Anthology of English Literature, ed. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, OUP 1973, vol. I:Medieval English Literature, ed. J. B. Trapp, p. 10.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    Trapp, op. cit., p. 8.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The only exception is the — translated — prose romanceApollonius of Tyre, which is clearly non-utilitarian.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    See Johan Kerling, “Kunst of Kunstjes: de Oral Formula en Oudengelse Poëzie” in: A. Demyttenaere, J. Kerling, N. T. J. Voorwinden et al.,Literatuur en Samenleving in de Middeleeuwen, Wassenaar 1976, p. 40 and Dorothy Whitelock,The Beginnings of English Society, 2nd edition, Harmondsworth 1954, repr. 1977, p. 91.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jan Vansina,Oral Tradition, Harmondsworth 1973, p. 147 and passim.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See Sweet'sAnglo-Saxon Reader, rev. Dorothy Whitelock, Oxford, 1967, text 1, intr. note, p. 1.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tom H. Towers, “Thematic Unity in the Story of Cynewulf and Cyneheard”, in: Old English Literature, Twenty-two Analytical Essays, ed. Martin Steven and Jerome Mandel, Lincoln, 1968, p. 89. See also C. L. Wrenn,A Study of Old English Literature, London 1967, pp. 203/204.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    See also Elizabeth Closs Traugott,A History of English Syntax, New York, London, 1972, p. 67.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Text as in Sweet'sReader, p. 17. Length-marks have been omitted.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Norman Page,Speech in the English Novel, London 1973, p. 32.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    See Traugott, op. cit., p. 101 and F. Th. Visser,An Historical Syntax of the English Language, Leiden 1970– 1973, § 874.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Although the puntuation of this passage in the Lauderdale MS is very light (the only punctuation marks are periods after a) Ohthere . . . bude b) he cwæþ . . . Westsæ and c) he sæde . . . norþ þ onan), it is interesting to note that there is a period after norþ þonan, so before “ac hit”. Yet because the punctuation in this passage of the MS is so light, and often absent where a Modern English text would have periods, I do not think it safe to make much of it. The punctuation of Cotton Tiberius B 1 is heavier, but also has periods where the Lauderdale MS has them. I should like to thank Robin Smith for her information on the punctuation of the Cotton MS.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Page, op. cit., p. 34. G. L. Schuelke, “‘Slipping” in Indirect Discourse’,American Speech 33, 1958, pp. 90–98. Quoted by Page.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
  19. 19.
    Ian A. Gordon,The Movement of English Prose, London 1966, p. 162.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gordon, op. cit., p. 9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Wolters-Noordhoff Groningen 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Kerling
    • 1
  1. 1.Vakgroep EngelsRijksuniversiteit LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands

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