Title Background

Langland’s Dialect and Final -e.

Langland’s Dialect and Final -e.

Invoking the metrical rule governing the shape of the b-verse derived in earlier essays, and contending that WL wrote under the same b-verse constraints that governed the other alliterative poets, Duggan here determines that WL did not retain -e on the demonstrative þis/þise and the possessive pronouns hise, hire, here and on the -lye, -liche of adverbs (all traits of K-D’s copy text, MS. W); that he did write final -e on monosyllabic weak, plural, and vocative adjectives, on infinitives, and on most verbal forms that had carried an inflection in OE; and that he exploited for metrical purposes the substantial number of doublet forms available of words with etymologically motivated -e from unaccented final syllables in OE or OF. Duggan also contends, pace Cable, that elision and syncope operated in alliterative verse.


SAC 12 (1990): 157-91.


Duggan, Hoyt N.