"all" = very; quite

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Tue Oct 18 00:32:18 UTC 2005

On Oct 17, 2005, at 5:15 PM, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:

> I quite like the 1483 quote from Caxton in the OED entry for "all":
>    1483 CAXTON G. de la Tour Cvij, The lady wente oute of her wytte
>    and was al demonyak.

buchstaller & traugott liked it so much that they used it as the
title of their SHEL paper:

   _The lady was al demonyak_: Historical Aspects of Adverbial ALL

a few others from their abstract:

   Thou oert al dead, butan thu do min read
      'You will be entirely dead unless you take my advice' (1225 Lay
   Of himself he wex al sad
     'By himself he became all/very sad' (1400 Cursor)

they have quite a pile from OE and ME sources, continuing through to
modern times.  the older record is very sparse, of course.  in
general you can't expect to find particular combinations of verb and
predicate adjective with "eall/al/all" modifying the adjective; the
best you can get is just a sampling of these combinations.


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