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The transition from the impersonal to the personal construction in Middle English

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he was shrid, so semede he; Cursor Mundi 2751 C, lt senies not to be l>i will. Ibid. 5749 C, J»e tre |>at semcd to bren; Cf. Ibid. 13806, 21456. 24584. — Prov. of St. Bet nar d, Digby MS. (Anglia III) 100, Fals he his and feir he seine/t. A constructions do not occur till after 1300. The following are the earliest I have found.

Cursor Mundi 3284 C, Hit semed na wight to be wilde; other texts similar.

Ibid. 26386 C, ypocrites J>at wald ai wrenlc |>air aun wittes For to san pam-self god and Iele; other t. sim.

Will. of Pal. 1686, l>e brennest best |>e beres me se uien.

Ibid. 2413, me senieth it jiè best to buske vs of |ie bcre felles.

Wars of Alex. 862, mee seevied (iat tyme, ThatI sawe |ie God go graith too hur bedde.

Dest. of Troy 198, He were seker as hym semeyd for sight of him euer.

Ibid. 530, Hit sittes, me semeth to a sure knyght... To be counseld.

Ibid. 2431, Hit semil me for certayn.

Chaucer, IIous of Fame 1525, Right swiche a maner murmuringe, For al the world, hit semed me.

Id. Cant T. A. 39, Me thinketh it accordaunt to resoun, To telle yow al the condicioun of ech of hem. so as it semed me.

Id. Ibid. F. 56. Hem semed han geten hem protecciouns Agayn the swerd of winter kene and cold. Cf. Conf. Am. 1 1891; IV 1774; V 4365.

30, smerten, 'cause pain'.

1 niention this verb here, because in O. E. it lias hitherto only been met with in the compound fyr smeortende.

A constructions are frequent in M. E., but most of them are not suitable for my purpose, as an alteration of spelling would transform them into modern English, as, S. E. Leg. 379 90, |>at him smert ful sore; Prov. of Hendyng 172, Holde ich nonion for onsele, 0|>erwhyle l>ah he fele Sum|iyng jiat him smert e. This is not the case with the following ones.

O. E. Hom. II 21/27, Hire ne oc, ne ne smeart.