In the 16th and 17th were a time of changes in syntax and vocabulary (inkhorn). It is a time of changes in spelling, also, and in morphology.
There were great changes form 14th to 18th, and from 18th the rate of change was slower. It has to do with the number of people who could read an write (slowed down the process of changing).
The most characteristic changes were in syntax:
- The “his” genitive construction (rareza del Renacimiento). The idea is that the “s” was the equivalent of “his” (considered by the speakers)
James’s friend, meaning James his friend
This disappeared in the Late Mod E: 18th, for example:
- Double comparative or superlative combination. The combination of germanic form and periphrastic formulae coming from Latin at the same timefrom 18th started to disappear. It tended to be restrictive, impossed by grammarians as Robert Globe and also was a question of social prejudices:
was the bestest wife// The most fullest account of the history of Alice Spain
- The presence of the auxiliary do as empty auxiliary:
o In present we use “do” to give emphasis in affirmative declarations: Ido understand what you mean. In Early Mod E, when “do” was introduced was not emphatic
o Today, in question is compulsory: Do you like potatoes?. When it was 1st introduced, sometimes “do” appeared, sometimes was not.
o Negative constructions: Then saw you not his face? (V+Subject+absence of do). In present English: Didn’t you see?=did is attached.
- Change of some prepositions:
o In such a night as this. Today we would say on such a night…
o I am provided of a torch-beaver. Today= provided with…