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The element -stow in the history of English
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Languages, Department of English.
1998 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present study deals with words ending in -stow throughout the history of English. The OE element-stow derives from the IG root *st(h)au-o, which is the extended form of the simple *st(h)a. In the thesis, parallel forms from a number of IG languages are given and commented on. A number of cognates of the element -stow are discussed, their etymologies are established and their uses are compared to the different uses of -stow. Both similarities and dissimilarities are pointed out.

The thesis then turns to OE appellative compounds in -stow. Their etymologies are established and discussed. The compounds are classified according to a system based on semantic functions. Parallel compounds with close cognates of -stow as their second elements are given together with OE appellative compounds with -stow as the second element. English place-names in -stow are given, discussed and classified according to a modified version of the classificatory system applied to the OE appellative compounds. One of the main findings in this context is that -stow as a place-name element could mean "place of a church". This has been deduced from comparisons with Welsh and Latin words. The similarities and dissimilarities between names and appellatives are illuminated and commented upon through a thorough investigation of material excerpted from OE charters. The distributional patterns of OE appellative compounds in -stow are studied in material drawn from the Toronto Corpus.

The survival of the element -stow in Middle English and Early Modern English is described in some detail. The main finding is the survival of the appellative -stow as a mining term well into the 19th century. The uses of stow as a verb root are described in great detail. The-only extant example of OE stowjan is discussed. The two ME forms of this verb, simplex stouen and compound be-stouen, and the uses of EModE stow and bestow are described and discussed. The distributional patterns of ME and EModB appellative stow, simplex and compound, as well as those of ME stouen / be-stouen and EModE stow / bestow are established through the use of material drawn from the Helsinki Corpus of English Texts and the Oxford Text Archive. The most important finding is the diminishing use of the simplex appellative stow in EModE and the great increase in the use of bestow in the 16th and 17th centuries. Material excerpted from The Records of the Commissioners of Sewers in the Parts of Holland (dating from the 16th and 17th centuries) shows that the appellative stow in technical and terminological registers could survive well into the EModE period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1998. , 149 p.
Studia Anglistica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0562-2719 ; 103
Keyword [en]
English language
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-883ISBN: 91-554-4218-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-883DiVA: diva2:172099
Public defence
1998-05-25, hörsal 1, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 1998-05-04 Created: 1998-05-04Bibliographically approved

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