Gower Bibliography

Etymology of the Middle English 'Coise'

Shaw, Judith Davis. "Etymology of the Middle English 'Coise'." ELN 22.4 (1985), pp. 11-13.


Shaw proposes that "coise" (CA 1.1734) = "thing;" and that it is a feminine form of OF coi, quoi, "what," which is used as a substantive to mean "thing" in MO 1781. She also cites Gower's use of "what" to mean "thing" or "person" in CA 1.1676; and concludes that "the unusual diction of this passage argues forcefully for a French source for the 'Tale of Florent'." Shaw provides no other examples, however, of the creation of a feminine noun by the addition of non-etymological -se to a masculine noun, much less to a pronoun (the very lack of gender of which is implied in her own translation), and the pages she cites from Einhorn's Old French: A Concise Handbook do not offer any help. Previewed in JGN 3, no. 2. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society: JGN 6.1]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Language and Word Studies
Confessio Amantis

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