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concessive are simply prepositions of more general meaning adapted to the purpose. We find them also, like those already discussed, depending upon the aid of emphatic adverbs and adjectives. This is notably true of for, which from Old English times to the present has usually required all or any to give it the meaning in spite of.?
The various meanings of this preposition illustrate the close relation of the concessive to the causal idea. Einenkel's analysis of the concessive for (Streifzüge, p. 141), though too abstract to represent any conscious mental process in speaker or writer, states the case as it appears upon reflection. He derives the concessive use of for from the causal, ... indem der Substantivbegriff, selbst in seiner Verallgemeinerung als Causa, die in der Aussage gegebene Tatsache nicht umändern kann, also diese Tatsache trotz dieser Causa sich vollzieht oder bestehen bleibt.' In Old English we find a number of instances in which the meaning wavers between the causal and the concessive. but not many instances of clearly defined concessive use. Belden, in his treatment of Old English for (Prepositions, pp. 61 ff.) does not name its concessive sense, though he points out that, as causal particle, it is frequently found with verbs of fearing, dreading, etc., and in negative sententes. He cites ÆH. 1. 108. 22 And deah þa heard-heortan Iudei noldon for eallum dam tacnum þone soðan Scyppend tocnawan; which Thorpe translates: '... would not for all those signs acknowledge ... This seems to me a true concessive phrase; it was in spite of the signs shown them that the Jews remained stubborn. But, so far as its syntax is concerned, the phrase differs from an ordinary causal one only in being placed in a negative sentence and in containing the emphatic adjective all. The case is clearer when the sentence is positive. The following passage is the one usually cited to illustrate concessive for in Old English: Chron. 136. 17 hi lagon ute þa ealne pone herfest on fyrdinge ongean þone here, ac hit naht ne beheold þe ma þe hit oftor ær dyde. Ac for eallum þissum se here ferde swa he sylf wolde. Here the concessive sentence simply amplifies the fact already stated : ac hit naht ne beheold In one case we have what the German grammarians term ineffective cause expressed by the predicate, naht ne beheold; in the other it is subordinated and expressed in the preposition for.
Since the idea of ineffective cause' is involved also in negative sentences with causal for, it is evidently difficult to mark boundaries. But the distinction, so far as it is a useful one at all, may be stated thus: the negative causal sentence simply denies that a given effect has followed a given cause; the concessive sentence lays stress on the potency of a given cause to produce a certain effect, which has nevertheless not followed it. This stress gives a different meaning to the particle. For is causal in this passage: Bo. 69. 4 nan mon ne bið mid rihte for oðres gode ne for his craftū no þy mærra ne no þy geheredra. In the following sentences, for may well be interpreted as concessive, but there is nothing to mark its meaning very definitely: LæcB. 108. 9 Gif hit nelle for þisum læcedome batian, wyl on meolcum þa readan gearwan; S.Mar. 10.71 Ne for þæs hælendes infare næs se cæstel hire mægeðhades ne hire eadmodnyssen gewæmmed. Even when the for-phrase is balanced by such compar
1 See, for example, this excellent outline : Hupe, Die Präposition for (Anglia 12. 388-395).
atives as frequently follow concessions, the meaning is not always categorical. I cite one of the doubtful sentences : BH. 50. 6 Ac hwædere þa de lifigende wæron for dam ege þæs deades noht þon sel woldan, ne fram heora sawle deade acigde beon ne mihton (sed ne morte quidem suorum, nec timore mortis ... a morte animae ... reuocari poterant).
But when for is accompanied by eall, the contrast between the cause' referred to and its ineffectiveness' becomes explicit, and the meaning of the preposition shifts to “in spite of.' Examples of this idiom, already cited, are ÆH. 1. 108. 22 and Chron. 136. 17. In another passage, the phrase actually resumes a deah-clause: Wulf. 147.7 and þeah hit wære eall mid mannum afylled and dæra æghwylc hæfde ænne hamor on handa, and peah man bleowe mid eallum þam byligeon and mid þam hameron beote on þæt isene pell ... ne awacode he nafre for eallum þisum. The notion of ineffective cause' is further emphasized by nefre.
I have found only one instance of concessive for in a positive sentence, without the reinforcement of eall: Dial. 219. 15 nallæs þæt an þæt his lichama was gesund for þy fyre, ac eac swylce ne mihton hi forbærnan nanra þinga his hrægles. Wærferth’s style, however, is in many ways peculiar, and can hardly be cited as representative of Old English idiom. The Latin here has an ablative of agent: ut non solum ejus caro ab ignibus, sed neque extrema ... vestimenta cremarentur.
The history of the concessive use of for is probably to be traced thus: Causal for was used in a negative sentence, in mere denial of the positive statement; but in such sentences the emphasis readily shifted to the contrast between condition and effect, especially when a strengthening word like all was added ; and
so such phrases, with the strengthening word, came
Note 1. The use of nat forthy, in ME., in the sense of
NOTE 2. All is still the usual sign of the concessive use of for. Sometimes, it is true, for is combined with an indefinite, aught or any (cf. Baldwin, p. 112, on the concessive for-phrases in Morte d'Arthur; and Chaucer, Phisiciens Tale, 1. 129 This mayde shal be myn, for any man). The familiar idiom, however, is the use of all; and the same intensive often gives concessive force to with. Cf. Heywood, A Woman Killed with Kindness III. ii. For all your cunning, 't will be to your shame; and Lamb, Christ's Hospital (Works, London and New York, 1903, 4. 73) with all his faults, indeed, Mr. Perry was a most extraordinary creature. How naturally such an idiom arises may be seen from the Biblical phrase, which resembles a concession: Vulg. Matt. 6. 29 nec Salomon in omni gloria sua.
NOTE 3. The use of for all as a concessive conjunction was a natural sequence. On this, see Koch, p. 474.
In a few cases betweox seems to lose most of its ordinary meaning, and to have a concessive coloring: Bo. 39. 25 Ond þeah betwuh þyllecum unrihtū wæs him no þy læs underpeod eall þes middangeard ; here the adversative comparative is noteworthy. In the following late passage, betwyx oðrum þingum has a complex meaning, "and yet, along with other things': Chron. 220.12 He hæfde eorlas on his bendum 7 æt nextan he ne sparode his agenne broðor .. Betwyx oðrum þingum nis na to for gytane Þ gode frið þe he macode on pisan lande.
I have already cited a passage in which butan receives concessive coloring from the context. Only one perfectly clear case of a phrase in which butan itself has a definite concessive meaning has come under my observation : Chron. 144. 10 þurcyl bead þ ilce to pam here þe læg on Grena wic, 7 buton þam hi hergodan swa oft swa hi woldon.
A. Appositive Nouns and Adjectives, The use of appositive nouns and adjectives is not common in Old English. Of the few that are to be found, a very small number replace concessive clauses. The following passages, however, must be noticed in a survey of concessive constructions. In BH. 182.22 the appositive, in direct imitation of the Latin, is accompanied by an intensive: fordon þe he of operre megbe wes, 7 ofer heo rice onfeng, ealdum feoungum hine eac swylce deadne ehton (ueteranis eum odiis etiam mortuum insequebantur). In the following sen