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Working paper

Synonyms for ‘Man, Warrior’ in Laȝamon’s "Brut" and Old English Alliterative Poetry

Laȝamon’s Brut is well-known for being a transitional stage between Old English and Middle English alliterative poetry. On the one hand, it preserves some traces of the Old English poetic tradition, such as, for instance, certain poetic words. On the other hand, even those traces that seem to be similar to Old English undergo significant, though subtle, changes. To trace these changes, this paper explores Middle English predominantly poetic lexemes for ‘man, warrior’ in the Caligula manuscript of the Brut, namely, Middle English simplexes hæleð, kempe, scalk, seg, rink, as well as their Old English counterparts hæleð, cempa, scealc, secg, rinc in the verse section of the DOE Corpus.