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Subordinating conjunctions in Middle English and Early Modern English religious writing

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Chapter Summary

This paper presents a contrastive analysis of connective profiles, that is, patterns of distribution of clause-level connectives, with a special focus on subordinating conjunctions in Middle English and Early Modern English religious treatises and prayers. It will be shown that differences in the connective profiles of the two genres may point to genre-specific functional motivations, whereas similarities in the profiles may not necessarily indicate uniform causes for the use of particular connectives. Instead, the similarities may actually hide different functional motivations. Additionally, diachronic changes in the distribution of clausal connectives are, it will be argued, genre-specific to the extent that they are triggered by changes in genre conventions.



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