Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

Chapter 5 - The Definite Article in Old English: Evidence from Ælfric’s Grammar

from Part I - Approaches to Grammatical Categories and Categorial Change


This chapter provides evidence bearing on the question of whether Old English (OE) had what can be called a ‘definite article’. The status of se, the cover term I use for the lexeme that includes se, seo, and þæt as well as the other forms in this paradigm, remains a matter of lively debate. Studies that take the point of view that OE had no definite article, or at least that definiteness marking was not obligatory, include Ackles (1997), Watanabe (2009), and Sommerer (2015), among others.