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In general adjectives which are accompanied by the genitive are related in meaning to the verbs noted above. They are adjectives denoting: plenty and want, desire, readiness and unconcern, worthiness and guilt, remembering and forgetting, a mental and physical quality, and extent in time or space. With adjectives of plenty and want the genitive denotes that which is supplied or lacking, being thus closely related to the instrumental-genitive with certain verbs and the genitive of separation with others. Many also take other constructions usually with different meaning. Full preferably takes the genitive, while fyllan regularly takes the instrumental. Adjectives of readiness, desire and unconcern regularly take a genitive to express the end in view. With adjectives denoting a mental or physical quality the genitive specifies the cause, source, or relation in which the quality is manifested. The dative-instrumental and on + dative are also used. The genitive of measure is regular with adjectives of extent.

In West-Saxon prose an of+dative is sometimes used to designate a partitive relation where the genitive is to be expected. As a rule some notion of origin or separation makes itself felt; possession in a restricted sense is never denoted, the few examples cited as such by Shipley are also to some extent partitive.1 In a few instances this construction denotes material, but the verbal idea in another part of the sentence is strongly felt and the construction is almost adverbial.

The of dative construction is found with pronouns, numerals and superlatives and with decidedly partitive force. In translations from Latin, where it is most common, it regularly corresponds to er, de ablative.2 A few occurrences with transitive verbs where the governing word is to be supplied have been found in Aelfric. In W. S. poetry the construction is less common.

Contrary to the customary order, the genitive with nouns 1Du gehete- pat ne loc of heafde to forlore wurde. Andreas, 1425, Thou promised that not a lock of our head should perish.

2I have not had access to any investigation of the subject in original W. S. prose.

has been placed before the genitive with verbs and adjectives. Owing to the limited use of the latter, the genitive with nouns forms by far the greater part of this investigation and it has therefore been given first place.

In my classification of the great variety of relations which the genitive with nouns may designate, I have followed in part the divisions adopted by Swane. His distinction between pure possession and the many other relations generally classed as possessive has been retained, but I am unable to regard relations between a living being and the body or its parts as pure possessive. In these we have a partitive relation in addition to the possessive, in fact, it is difficult to determine whether or not the former is not the predominant. While in pure possession a disruption may take place without changing the character of the possessor, the latter relation may not be broken without affecting a change. The distinction is made in Modern English where the former relation is preferably designated by the possessive in -s and the latter by the of-possessive.1 The

1 In the Scandinavian languages where prepositional possessives are frequently employed this distinction is often made in the use of different prepositions for the two types of relations. In Old Norse á plus dative is employed to denote semi-possession but never pure possession. “Hann retti á sér fingrna-he stretched forth his fingers; leggr hann i fótum á honom he placed him at his feet; hafði knytt hala saman á ollum nautum -he had tied together the tails of all the cattle." Cf. John Frizner, Ordbog over det gamle norske Sprog, p. 3.

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In Icelandic "á is used as a periphrasis of the possessive pronoun connected with the limbs as parts of the body. In common Icelandic such phrases as my hands, eyes, head, etc., are hardly ever used, but họfuð, eyru, hár, nef, munnr, hendr, fætr, etc., á mer (head, ears, hair, nose, mouth, hands, feet of me); so i is used of the internal parts, e. g., hjarta, bein-i mer; the eyes are regarded as inside the body, augun i honum; also without the possessive pronoun or as a periphrasis for a genitive, brjóstit á einum, one's breast; Njálssaga 95, Edda 15." Cf. Icel.-Eng. Dict., p. 37.

The same is used of an inanimate object and its parts. Dyrr á husi-the door of a house; turn á kirkju-church tower; stafn, skutr, segl, árar— á skipi-the stem, stern, sail of a ship.

In the Sogn dialect of Norwegian the preposition pao is used to denote such relations, e. g., jûli pao vogni-the wheel of the wagon. Cf. Prof. Flom's article on "The Sogn Dialect of Norwegian" in Dialect Notes, 1905, p. 45.

relation between inanimate objects and their parts is also classed as semi-possessive, because, though the partitive element is here more prominent than in the former type, consistency demands that they be regarded as belonging to this group. The partitive genitive is most frequently found with nouns denoting

a mass.

Other relations which partake in a greater or lesser degree of possession, have been sub-divided according to the character of the nouns, as suggested by Delbrück, into persons to persons, persons to concretes, persons to abstracts, concretes to persons, concretes to concretes, etc. In some cases I have found it difficult to determine into which category a noun belongs. It is also probable that many nouns regarded at present as abstracts appeared as concretes to the Anglo-Saxon reader.1 This would seem to be the case with terms pertaining to the Divinity and heaven.

The distinction between the above division and the qualifying genitive is frequently very meager. A large number of the former are in no small degree qualifying, and in many of the latter we find something of the possessive relation. In the latter, however, the genitive essentially serves the purpose of an adjective.

The genitive of quality is rarely found in these gospels, and then only in certain stereotyped phrases literally translated from the Latin.

The subjective and objective genitive are used with nouns of verbal origin or containing some notion of activity.

Since prepositional constructions occur with such frequency where we might expect a genitive, the conditions here have been presented rather completely. The comparatively frequent occurrence of from in this use is unparalleled in W. S., as far as I have been able to ascertain.

Middle Swedish uses both a and på as periphrasis for a genitive in the same relations, as: Swa stora som hoffwudh på en man-as large as the head of a man. Cf. Ordbok öfver svenska Medeltids-Språket, by K. F. Söderwall, Lund, 1884, ff. These constructions are never used to express pure possession.

1 See p. 13.

All occurrences have not been cited unless there are very few, but references are given to other occurrences which are either in parallel passages or do not differ from the occurrence given. With verbs and adjectives the aim has been to give examples of every occurrence which differs in any respect from others, and in most cases all occurrences are given; but a few appear so many times that only every variety is cited and the relative frequency of each indicated by references. The same may be said of citations under prepositional constructions. Occurrences in parallel passages are only referred to.

It is evident that a gloss leaves much to be desired as material for syntactical study. Its purpose is to aid the reader of the original rather than to present a complete and intelligible version of it. It is, therefore, likely to be much more literal than a translation. It follows the word order of the original, aiming to give the equivalent of every word, and is not necessarily bound by the grammatical laws of the vernacular. That there is Latin influence on this gloss is very evident. Yet the disintegration of the old grammatical forms is well-advanced. The analytic tendency is clearly apparent; there is a more extended use of the phrasal constructions, and in every way the language has assumed a character, syntactically also, which it took in the South only in the very end of the Old English period.

'The Rushworth gloss to Matthew presents a marked contrast to the Lindisfarne in this matter of foreign influence. It shows that even a gloss may be free from such influence in a remarkable degree. If this version was edited in the Old English word order, it would be quite readable and intelligible.




The partitive genitive denotes the whole of which a part is taken. The governing word may be a noun, pronoun, numeral, or adjective in the comparative or superlative.

A. The Governing Word is a Noun Denoting Mass. Sua hua dringe selles anum of lythum ðassum cælc oððe scenc wætres caldes―: 10:42.1—whoever gives one of these little ones a cup of cold water to drink—.

and sella me reht fordor twelf hergas engla: 26:53.—and he shall give me immediately more than twelve legions of angels.

Further examples of the partitive genitive are quoted more briefly.

calic wætres; Mark, 9, 41.—a cup of water.

sunor bergana monigra: L. 8, 32.—a herd of many swine.2 twoelfo ceulas screadungra: L. 9, 17. Cf. Jno. 6, 13.—twelve baskets of fragments.

sum dæl ðiostrana: L. 11; 36.—some part of darkness.

fifo del orna: L. 14, 19.-five yoke of oxen.

hundteantih mitto huates: L. 16, 7.—a hundred measures of wheat.

half godra minra: L. 18, 12.-half of my property.

hergas das folces and dara wifana: L. 23, 27.-hosts of people and of women.

hia gebrohtan him dæt del fisces: L. 24, 42.-they brought him a piece of a fish.

pund smirinises: Jno. 12, 3.—a pound of ointment.

1 When only chapter and verse is given the reference is to the Gospel of St. Matthew.

2 Cf. berga monigra gefoede, 8: 30.

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