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Q&A

How did rǣda work syntactically, after shifting from 'advise' to mean 'interpret and understand the meaning of written symbols'?

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Old English rǣda semantically shifted from ‘advise, consult, guess’ to mean ‘interpret, interpret letters, read’.

But isn't this semantic shift unsyntactical and infelicitous?

Advisor's writing rǣda (in the sense of 'advise') Advisee.

is felicitous.

Advisor's writing rǣda (in the sense of 'read') Advisee.

is infelicitous. The correct syntax is

Advisee rǣda (qua 'read') Advisor's writing.

To wit, if an advisor counsels an advisee in writing, then the advisor doesn't need to read. It is the advisee who shall read the advisor's writing!

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