This paper presents the results of a corpus-based study of that-complement clauses and their pronominal subjects in early modern English- and German-language midwifery and gynaecological texts published from circa 1500 to 1700. These two centuries witnessed many changes in the fields of medicine and midwifery, namely the abandonment of scholasticbased models of medicine in favour of more empirical ones, as well as the appearance of the first female-authored midwifery texts during the eighteenth century. As these major changes involved one of shifting priorities concerning sources and types of knowledge, complement clauses are a key grammatical construction where such changes can be realised linguistically. In addition, the discussion of (pro)nominal subjects (within and outside of complement clauses) contributes to on-going debates concerning texts with unknown or contested authorship, namely the German-language Frauenbüchlein (published ca. 1500) and Jane Sharp’s The Midwives Book (1671).
Whitt, R. (2019). Expressions of knowledge in early modern English- and German-language midwifery and gynaecological texts (ca. 1500-1700): on the use of pronominal subjects and that- complement clauses. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 120(1), 83-109