Isabella R. Buniyatova,

Doctor of Sciences (Linguistics), Full Professor,

Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University

Tetiana M. Horodilova,

Ph.D student, lecturer,

Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University




The article is devoted to the interplay of discourse and grammar in the formation of sentential units in the Anglo-Saxon homilies of the 9th-11th centuries, created by notable homilists, namely, Ælfric (955-1020 сa.), Wulfstan (death date 1023 ca.), as well as anonymous authors in the miscellany “The Blickling Homilies”. The material under consideration helped us offer two prior assumptions. Firstly, the body of homilies in the specified historical period (total number – 28 units) constitutes a distinct variety of performative texts, which share a set of specific features, and which, in aggregate, make up a homiletic type of discourse. Secondly, foregrounding of finite verb in Old English sentence is a genre-dependent phenomenon that has been attested in the preaching texts and the epic poetry. In this article, the term homily (sermon) is unfolded as a discursive phenomenon that establishes a close link between preacher and congregation, and, as such, serves as a medium of communication. This type of communication involves the dynamic interdependence of participants, the constant tension and continuity of the process, which results in the consolidation of spiritual and didactic principles of believers. Linguistically, it is represented by a number of grammatical phenomena shared by the homilies in question, which include formulaic initial addresses of the preacher to the audience, numerical tautological or parallel phrases, alliterative constructions, deictic elements, etc. Anglo-Saxon priest’s “fatherly conversation” can be described in didactic and Christian dogmatic terms, the spirit and letter of which were especially relevant in the context of the old Germanic ethnic groups’ existentia at the beginning of the second millennium.

Key words: Anglo-Saxon, discourse, grammar, homiletic, performative, communication, foregrounding of verb


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