The Relationship Between the Pragmatics of Preposed Objects and the Decline in Topicalization in the History of English



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The Relationship Between the Pragmatics of

Preposed Objects and the Decline in

Topicalization in the History of English*
Laura Whitton
1. Introduction
In this study, object topicalization is defined purely syntactically as an operation that preposes an object into clause-initial position. Note that in earlier stages of English, this preposing could trigger subject-verb inversion as in Example (1) or not as in Example (2).
(1) Al this say I not oonly for the but for other that in tyme comynge mowe atteyne to suche a forme of lyuynge. (CMAELR4,4.104)



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