71537

The History of the English Language

Конспект

Иностранные языки, филология и лингвистика

The History of the English Language has been reconstructed on the basis of written records of different periods. The earliest written texts in English are dated in the 7th century. The earliest records in other Germanic languages go back to the 3rd or 4th centuries A.D.

Английский

2014-11-08

711 KB

25 чел.

Lecture 1

Introduction

The History of the English Language appeared as a serious science in the 19th century. Every science has its object, subject and aims.

The object of The History of the English Language is the English Language itself, its phonetic, grammatical and lexical aspects.

The subject of The History of the English Language is:

  •  main changes in the phonetic structure and spelling of the language at different stages of the development of the language;
  •  the evolution of the grammatical system;
  •  the growth and development of the vocabulary.

All these changes are considered against the background of the main historical events that took place in the country.

The aim of The History of the English Language is to study the changes mentioned above.

The History of the English Language has been reconstructed on the basis of written records of different periods. The earliest written texts in English are dated in the 7th century. The earliest records in other Germanic languages go back to the 3rd or 4th centuries A.D. 

Language is constantly changing, at different speed and at different linguistic levels (phonetics, grammar, lexicon). The linguistic history explains many features of present-day language (see § 3-5, p. 10-12 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева).

A language can be studied synchronically:

  •  a certain period in the history of the development of a language is taken (fixed time boundaries) – horizontal study;
  •  each level of a language is studied (phonetics, grammar, lexicon);
  •  different functional varieties of a language are studied (different dialects of this period).

       or diachronically:

  •  all periods in the history of the development of a language are taken – vertical study;
  •  only one level of a language is studied (phonetics or grammar or lexicon);
  •  only one functional variety of a language is studied (e.g. Standard English).

These two types of studying a language are closely interconnected and create a full picture of the development of a language.

The History of the English Language is interconnected with other linguistic and non-linguistic disciplines:

  1.  General Linguistics – provides us with general linguistic laws and rules valid for and language.
  2.  History – historical events that take place in a country influence to a great extent the language of this country.
  3.  Theoretical Phonetics – provides us with main phonetic notions and helps to explain phonetic phenomena.
  4.  Theoretical Grammar – provides us with main grammatical notions and helps to explain grammatical phenomena.
  5.  Lexicology - provides us with main lexicological notions and helps to explain lexical phenomena.
  6.  Cultural Studies – helps to understand better the connection between the culture and the language of the country and their mutual influence.
  7.  Literature – gives us examples of the languages of this or that historical period and these works of literature serve as the material for the language research.

Main Periods in the History of the English Language

The historical events that took place on the British Isles have influenced the linguistic situation in the country greatly. The table below shows the interconnection between the history and the language situation:

Dates

Events

Population

Languages

Old English Period

7th c. B.C.

Celtic Invasion 

Celts

Celtic Dialects

7th c. B.C. – 410 A.D.

Roman Invasion

Celts, Romans

Celtic Dialects, Latin

mid.5th c. –

late 6th c.

Anglo-Saxon Invasion

Celts, Anglo-Saxons

Celtic Dialects, Old English Dialects!

597

Introduction of Christianity

Celts, Anglo-Saxons

Celtic Dialects, Old English Dialects, Latin

after 8th c.

Scandinavian Invasion

Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavians (Danes)

Celtic Dialects, Old English Dialects, Latin, Scandinavian Dialects

Middle English Period

1066

Norman Conquest

Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavians, Normans

Celtic Dialects, Middle English Dialects, Latin, French

late 14th c.

English – official language of the country

the English

Middle English Dialects, London Dialect (standard)

New English Period

1475

Introduction of Printing (William Caxton)

The English

English (New English)

16th – 17th c.

Expansion of the British Empire

The English

English – national language spreading overseas

Modern English Period

20th c.

English – a global language

Thus, the main periods in the language evolution are (rough dates are given):

  1.  Old English Period – prewritten (450-700)

                                      – written (700-1100)

During this period 1 million people spoke Old English Dialects (see short survey of this period in § 74-77, p. 50-51 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies)).

  1.  Middle English Period – 1100-1500

During this period 4 million people spoke Middle English Dialects (see short survey of this period in § 78-81, p. 51-52 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies)).

  1.  New English Period – 1500-1800

(see short survey of this period in § 82-85, p. 52-53 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies)).

  1.  Modern English Period - ? (1945)-present time

Nowadays 300 million people speak English as a mother tongue (see short survey of this period in § 86-87, p. 53-54 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies)).

Classification of the Germanic Languages

There are different classifications of the languages but as far as we deal with the history of the language we will consider genealogical classification. It is based on the conception that all the languages

can be classified according to their origin.

There are different points of view on the problem of language origin. Some scholars try to prove that there existed one universal language from which all the other languages stem.

The theory of William Allman (1990):

Proto-Germanic Language

(one of the 12 groups of languages belonging to Indo-European family that stemmed from the common Indo-European Language)

Indo-European Language

8 000 years ago

Turkey

Nostratic Language

14 000 years ago

The Near East

Proto-World Language

200 000 years ago

Africa

Modern classification of the Germanic Languages:

North Germanic Languages

West Germanic Languages

East Germanic Languages

1. Swedish (spoken in Sweden and Finland by 9 mill. people)

1. English (spoken by 300 mill. people as a mother tongue + millions speak it as a second language

1. Gothic (dead)

2. Norwegian (spoken in Norway by 5 mill. people)

2. German (spoken by 100 mill. people in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lichtenstein)

3. Danish (spoken in Denmark by 5 mill. people)

3. Dutch/Netherlandish (spoken by 20 mill. people in the Netherlands and some parts of Belgium) 

4. Icelandic (spoken in Iceland by 250 thou. people)

4. Frisian (spoken by 400 thou. people in some parts of the Netherlands and  Germany and some islands in the North Sea)

5. Faroese (spoken in the Faroe Islands (north-east Atlantic) by 40 thou. people)

5. Luxemburgish (spoken by 350 thou. people in Luxemburg and some parts of Germany and France) 

6. Yiddish (spoken by Jews in different countries in Europe and America, is actually a mixture of the Southern Germanic Dialects, Hebrew and Slavonic elements)

7. Afrikaans (spoken by 3 mill. people in the South African Republic, combines English, Dutch and African elements)

The Place of the English Language in the Modern World

(see the text “English as a World Language” in “Horizons” by Е.П. Михалева)

H/w:

1. § 3-5, p. 10-12 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева.

2. § 74-87, p. 50-54 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева.

3. “English as a World Language” in “Horizons” by Е.П. Михалева.

4. Ex. 1, p. 48 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева.


Lecture 2

First Mention of the Germanic Tribes

As far as the English Language belongs to the Germanic group of languages, this group makes a part of the History of the English Language and we are going to consider the whole group before starting to speak about English itself.

The first scholars to mention the Germanic tribes in their works were:

  1.  Pitheas (4th c. B.C.) – a Greek historian and geographer, the work “An Account of a Sea Voyage to the Baltic Sea”.
  2.  Julius Caesar (1st c. B.C.) – a roman Emperor, the work “Commentaries on the Gallic War”.
  3.  Pliny the Elder (1st c. A.D.) – a Roman scientist and writer, the work “Natural History” (contained the classification of the Germanic tribes).
  4.  Tacitus (1st c. A.D.) – a Roman historian, the work “Life and Customs of the Ancient Germans”.

Proto-Germanic Language

The Proto-Germanic Language (PG) is supposed to have split form the Indo-European Language (IE) some time between 15th and 10th c. B.C. The Ancient Germans (the Teutons) moved further north and settled on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea and in the region of the Elbe.

The Proto-Germanic Language has never been recorded in written form. In the 19th c. it was reconstructed by means of comparative linguistics.

With time the dialectal differences among the Germanic tribes grew because of the migration and geographical expansion. The reasons for this migration and expansion were:

  •  overpopulation in the areas of the original settlement;
  •  poor agricultural techniques;
  •  scanty natural resources in the areas of the original settlement;

The earliest migration of the Germanic tribes from the region of the Elbe was to the Scandinavian Peninsula. As a result, 2 branches of the Proto-Germanic Language appeared:

  •  southern branch (those who remained in the region of the Elbe);
  •  northern branch (those who moved northwards, to the Scandinavian Peninsula).

Later some of the tribes returned to the mainland and settled east of the other Germanic tribes. As a result, the Proto-Germanic Language split into 3 branches:

  •  East Germanic Languages (those who returned and settled in the east);
  •  North Germanic Languages (those who moved northwards, to the Scandinavian Peninsula, and stayed there);
  •  West Germanic Languages (those who never left the mainland).

Old Germanic Languages:

1. East Germanic Languages

The East Germanic tribes were known as the Goths. They were one of the most numerous and powerful Germanic tribes who returned form Scandinavia around 200 A.D. and settled in the east of Europe. The Goths were subdivided into two major branches:

  •  Visigotæ (lived on the territory of present-day France) – linguistically were absorbed by the Romanised Celts and spoke their Celtic Dialects;
  •  Ostrogotæ (lived on the territory of present-day northern Italy) – they spoke the Gothic Language (now dead).

Other East Germanic tribes (Burgundians, Vandals, Langobards) also had their respective languages.

The Gothic Language was THE MOST IMPORTANT OF THE OLD GERMANIC LANGUAGES because:

  1.  It had the oldest written records 4th – 6th c. A.D. (compare, Old English – 7th c., Old High Germanic – 8th c.).
  2.  The Goths were the first Germans to become Christians. In the 4th c. A.D Ulfilas, a Gothic bishop, translated the Bible from Greek into Gothic using a modified form of the Greek Alphabet. “Ulfilas’ Gospels” is a work of 200 pages copied in the 5th – 6th c. Now this copy is kept in Uppsala (Sweden) and is known as “The Silver Codex” because it is written an red background with silver and golden letters.
  3.  The Gothic, having the earliest written records among the Germanic Languages, is considered to be very close to the Proto-Germanic Language and thus throws some light on the history of this common Proto-Germanic Language.

2. North Germanic Languages

The North Germanic tribes settled on the southern coast of Scandinavia and in Northern Denmark (since the 4th c. A.D.). They lived relatively isolated and showed little dialectal variation at that time.

There existed one common languageOld Norse/Old Scandinavian. It had the following characteristics:

  •  It used the original Germanic Alphabet called the Runes/the Runic Alphabet. It appeared in the 3rd – 4th c. A.D. It has come down to us in runic inscriptions – separate words written/carved on objects made of wood, stone, metal (more about it in Lecture 7).
  •  It was spoken by all North Germanic tribes.

In the 9th – 10th c. A.D. the Scandinavians started their voyages to America and islands in the Atlantic Ocean (Leif Ericson, a Scandinavia raider, was the first to land on the American Continent). In addition to this overpopulation in the fjord areas caused the migration of the people to inner Scandinavia. This provoked the beginning of the linguistic differentiation. In Scandinavia the linguistic division corresponded to the political division: there were 3 kingdoms (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) that were constantly fighting for dominance and they had 3 respective languages (earliest records in these languages date back to the 13th .):

  •  Old Danish – later it developed into Danish (now the national language of Denmark);
  •  Old Swedish - later it developed into Swedish (now the national language of Sweden and a part of Finland);
  •  Old Norwegian – was the last to develop, later transformed into Norwegian (now the national language of Norway).

In the 8th c. A.D. sea-rovers (морской пират, разбойник) and merchants founded numerous colonies on the islands in the North Sea and in the Atlantic Ocean (the Shetland Islands, the Orkneys, the Faroe Islands) and reached even Iceland and Greenland. Thus two more North Germanic languages appeared:

  •  Faroese (In the Faroe Islands the writing was done in Danish for centuries. The first written records in Faroese appeared only in the 18th c.);
  •  Icelandic (9th c. A.D.)

The Icelandic Language was THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL NORTH GERMANIC LANGUAGES because:

  1.  The isolation of Iceland caused the preservation of archaic vocabulary and grammatical system.
  2.  The preservation of archaic vocabulary and grammatical system makes this language very close to Old Norse and helps to reconstruct this ancient common Germanic language.
  3.  Icelandic has the largest body of written texts (12th – 13th c.), e.g.:

           –    “The Elder Edda” (12th c.) – a collection of heroic songs;

  •  “The Younger Edda” (13th c.) – a text-book forpoets;
    •  Old Icelandic Sagas.

3. West Germanic Languages

The West Germanic tribes lived between the Oder and the Elbe and they never left the mainland. They were:

  •  the Franconians (Low, Middle and High Franconians) – settled the lower basin of the Rhine and with time began to speak the language of the Romanised Celts, apart from Low Franconians who spoke Old Low Franconian that later developed into  Dutch;
  •  the Angles, the Saxons, the Jutes and the Frisians – settled the coastal territories of the Netherlands, Germany, the south of Denmark and the British Isles. The languages they spoke were:
    •  Old English – later developed into  English (national language – 16th c.; first

     written records – 7th c.);

           –    Old Saxon – later developed into a territorial dialect in Germany;

  •  Old Frisian – later developed into  Frisian
  •  High Germans – settled the southern mountainous areas of Germany and spoke Old High German that later developed into two distinctive languages:

           German:

  •  is known for great dialectal diversity;
    •  first written records – 8th – 9th c.;
    •  12th c. – literary form of the language appears.

           Yiddish (see classification of the Germanic Languages, Lecture 1.)

H/w:

1. Ex. 2, 6; p. 48, 49 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies) (see also lectures on the history on the British Isles (The British Cultural Studies)).

Lecture 3

Linguistic Features of the Germanic Languages

Phonetic Features

All the Germanic Languages of the past and present have common linguistic features that are not shared by other groups of languages in the Indo-European family (Slavonic group, Romance group, etc.). These features are characteristic of the Germanic group only. They appeared during the period of the Proto-Germanic Language, before it split into a certain number of the Germanic languages. First of all we are going to discuss the common Germanic phonetic features.

Word Stress/Accent

Indo-European (Non-Germanic)

Proto-Germanic

1. free stress (movable, i.e. can appear in any part of a word (root, prefix, suffix));

1. fixed stress (can’t move either in form- or word-building and is usually  placed on root or prefix);

2. pitch stress (musical)

2. dynamic stress (force, breath stress)

E.g.:                           русский

E.g.:      German

English

б`елый

`Liebe

`white

белизн`а

`lieben

`whiteness

белов`атый

`lieberhaft

`whitish

бел`ить

ge`liebt

`whitewash

The Proto-Germanic type of stress led to the formation of the following peculiarities of the Germanic languages as compared to non-Germanic Indo-European languages:

  •  phonetic – as a result of the fixed position of the stress the unstressed syllables were becoming weaker and weaker, they got less distinct and neutral sounds (such as “schwa”) appeared;
  •  morphological – as a result of the fact that the stress was fixed on the root and the syllables following the root were always unstressed and weak, many Germanic languages began to lose suffixes and grammatical endings and became ANALYTICAL LANGUAGES.

E.g.:     Old English (OE)                [`sunu]

           Middle English (ME)           [`sunə]

           New English (NE)                [`sun]

           Modern English (ModE)      [`sΛn]     (the word “son”)

Vowels

Vowels undergo(подверглись) different types of changes:

  1.  Qualitative change – affects the quality of a sound (e.g. [o Λ]).
  2.  Quantitative change – affects the length of a sound (e.g. [i i:]).
  3.  Dependent/positional change – a change that occurs in certain position or in certain phonetic conditions (e.g. bit_ – bite [bit bait]).
  4.  Independent/spontaneous change – affects a certain sound in all positions irrespective (независимо) of phonetic conditions and serves to distinguish a grammatical phenomenon (ablaut) (more about it in Lecture 4).

Main tendencies in Vowel Changes in the Germanic Languages:

  1.  Short vowels become neutralized.
  2.  Long vowels become short and more open.

                           become diphthongized and more closed.

Proto-Germanic Vowel System:

Short Vowels

i

e

a

o

u

Long Vowels

i:

e:

a:

o:

u:

Some vowel correspondences between Germanic and non-Germanic Languages:

Sound Correspondence

Non-Germanic

Germanic

Latin

Русский

English

German

Swedish

[a: o:]

mater

мать

mother

-

moder

[o a]

nox

ночь

-

Nacht

natt

[e i]

ventus

ветер

wind

Wind

vind

[u o]

sunus

сын

son

Sohn

son

Consonants

The comparison of the Germanic and non-Germanic languages within the Indo-European family reveals regular correspondences between German and non-German consonants.

First Consonant Shift (Grimm’s Law) – in the 19th Jacob Grimm, a German scholar, discovered the existence of regular correspondence between Indo-European (IE) and German consonants and subdivided them into 3 groups:

Consonant Correspondences

Examples

Old

Modern

IE

PG

Non-German

(Latin)

German

(OE)

Non-German

(Italian, рус.)

German

(English, German)

1

[bh,dh,gh]

aspirated

voiced plosives

[b, d, g]      

non-aspirated

voiced plosives

bhrāta (Hind)

brōþor

брат

brother, Bruder

rudhira(Hind)

rēad

-

red

hostis

giest

гость

guest, Gast

2

[b, d, g]      

voiced plosives

[p, t, k]       

voiceless plosives

labare

pōl

болото

pool, Pfuhl

decem

tīen

dieci, десять

ten

genu

cnēo

ginocchio

knee, Knie

3

[p, t, k]       

voiceless

plosives

[f, , h]

voiceless

fricatives

pedis

fōt

piedi

foot, F

tres

þrēo

tre, три

three

cordis

heort

cuore

heart, Herz

Verner’s Law – Carl Verner, a Danish scholar (19th c.), explained the consonant correspondences as a gradual historical process (a change takes place in the course of time):

Consonant Correspondences

Latin

OE

ModE

1. [p, t, k]    

voiceless

stops/plosives

[f, , h]        

voiceless

fricatives

[v, ð/d, g]

voiced

fricatives

septem

seofen

seven

pater

fæđer

father

socrus

swaiho(Gothic)

Schwager(Germ)

2. Rhotacism

ausis (Lithuanian)

Auso (Gothic)

ear, Ohr (Germ)

[s]                 

[z]                

[r]                 

P.S.: these processes usually happened on condition that the consonants were situated between vowels and if preceded by an unstressed vowel.

Modern Examples: seethe – sodden, death – dead, was – were.

Second Consonant Shift – happened in the 9th c. in Old High German and today we can observe it comparing English and German:

Consonant Correspondences

English

German

1. [t]                           

                                  

[ts]

Two

zwei

[s]

Water

Wasser

2. []                           

[d]

Three

drei

3. [d]                           

[t]

Daughter

Tochter

4. [k]                           

[h]

Make

machen

H/w:

1. Ex. 3-5, p. 48-49 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies).

Lecture 4

Linguistic Features of the Germanic Languages

Grammatical Features

The Proto-Germanic and the Old Germanic Languages were SYNTHETIC, i.e. the relationships between the parts of the sentience were shown by the forms of the words rather than by their position in the sentence or by auxiliary words.

The grammatical forms of the words were built by means of:

  1.  Suppletion (inherited from Indo-European) – the usage of 2 or more different roots as forms of one and the same word:

Part of Speech

Indo-European Non-Germanic Languages

Germanic Languages

Italian

русский

English

German

Personal Pronouns

io, mio, mi/me

я, меня, мне

I, my, mine, me

ich, mich, mir

Adjectives

buono, migliore, ottimo

хороший, лучше, лучший

good, better, best

gut, besser, bester

Some Verbs

essere, sono, e`, ero, saro`, etc.

есть, был, будет

be, is, are, am, was, were

sein, bin, ist, sind, war, gewesen, etc.

  1.  Inflections (inherited from Indo-European) – though in the Germanic languages inflections were simpler and shorter than in other Indo-European languages.

Let’s take the system of declensions as an example. In PG it was well-developed but in the Old Germanic languages, due to the stress that was fixed on the root and the weakening of the end of a word as a result, the declensions started to disappear. While the nouns and adjectives still preserved stem-suffixes, they had declensions but once the stem suffixes started to weaken and disappear, the declensions were lost as well and the endings were simplified and got fewer:

Word Structure

PG

mak-oj-an

root + stem-suffix(word-deriv.)

+ gram. ending(form-marker)

Old Germanic Languages

mac-ian

stem (root melted with stem-suffix)

+ gram. ending

  1.  Sound Interchange – the usage of interchange of vowels and consonants for the purpose of word- and form-building (e.g.: English: bear – birth, build – built, tooth – teeth; German: gebären – Geburt)

Ablaut/Vowel Gradation – an independent vowel interchange, unconnected with any phonetic conditions (phonetic environment/surrounding) used to differentiate between grammatical forms of one and the same word. The Germanic ablaut was consistently used in building the principle forms of strong verbs.

Jacob Grimm has subdivided all the verbs into two groups according to the way they build their principle forms:

Strong Verbs (irregular)

Weak Verbs (regular)

called so because they have preserved the richness of forms since the time of Proto-Germanic 

called so because they have lost their old Proto-Germanic forms and acquired new ones

form-building

vowel interchange + gram. ending

suffix –d/t (a Germanic invention!!!)

E.g.

OE

reisan – rais – risum – risans

macian – macode - macod

cepan – cepte - cept

ModE

rise – rose - risen

make – made – made

keep – kept – kept

H/w:  1. Ex. 7-8, on p. 49 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies).

Lecture 5

Old English Period in the History of the English Language

Historical Background and Linguistic Situation

1. When the first people arrived to Britain 50000 B.C. it was still part of the continent. Later, 5000 B.C., at the end of the Ice Age, Britain became an island separated from the rest of Europe by the English Channel.

2. The first distinctive inhabitants of the British Isles were the Iberians who came from the territory of present-day Spain around 3000 B.C. They were known for their stone work and battle axes made of stone.

3. The Beaker Falk who came from Eastern Europe around 2000 B.C. were known for their pottery.

4. The Picts came around 1000 B.C. They were considered to be a mixture of the Celts and the Iberians and were called so because they were covered all over with paintings and tattoos. Their language is still a mystery for the scholars – it can be easily read but the scholars cannot decode it (cannot understand what is written).

5. The next to come were the Celts. They arrived in 700 B.C. from the territory of Central and Northern Europe. There were 2 main Celtic tribes that settled in the British Isles:

Tribe

Scots

Britons

Place of Settlement

first they settled in Ireland and then moved to Scotland and intermixed with the Picts

settled in the south-east of England

Celtic Languages

The Gaelic Branch

The Britonnic Branch

1. Irish/Erse (Ireland)

1. Breton (Brittany, modern France)

2. Scotch Gaelic (the Scottish Highlands)

2. Welsh (Wales)

3. Manx (dead; the Isle of Man)

3. Cornish (dead; Cornwall)

The Celts also had their own ancient alphabet called Ogham (additional information).

6. The Romans:

   55 B.C. – Julius Caesar attacked Britain. Reasons:

  •  economic (tin ore, corn, slaves);
  •  political (the Romans fought with the Celts of Gaul on the continent who found shelter in Britain and were supported by the Celts of Britain).

Soon after his arrival, Julius Caesar left Britain with many slaves and riches.

   43 A.D. – Emperor Claudius conquered Britain and it became a province of the Roman Empire. Contributions:

  •  paved roads;
  •  cities (trading centres);
  •  walls (protection from the Celts – e.g. Hadrian’s Wall between England and Scotland);
  •  Latin language (literacy).

               410 A.D. – the Roman Empire began to collapse and the Roman troops were withdrawn from Britain and sent home to help and preserve the Empire.

7.  After the 5th c. the 3 waves of the Germanic tribes arrived to Britain:

Wave

1st 

2nd 

3rd 

Tribe

Jutes or/and Frisians

Saxons

Angles

Kingdoms

Kent, Isle of Wight

Sussex

Essex

Wessex

East Anglia

Mercia

Northumbria

The feudal system that the Germanic tribes brought with themselves had led to the isolation of each tribe and political disunity (feudal wars). As a result, this period witnessed a great dialectal diversity. The most important dialects were the dialects of the 4 most powerful kingdoms:

Old English Dialects

 

Kingdom

Kent

Wessex

Mercia

Northumbria

Dialect

Kentish

West Saxon

Mercian

Northumbrian

Spoken

in Kent, Surrey, the Isle of Wight

along the Thames and the Bristol Channel

between the Thames and the Humber

between the Humber and the Forth

Origin

from the tongues of Jutes/ Frisians

a Saxon dialect

a dialect of north Angles

a dialect of south Angles

Remarks

9th c. – Wessex was the centre of the English culture and politics. West Saxon – the bookish type of language (Alfred the Great – the patron of culture and learning)

8th c. – Northumbria was the centre of the English culture

The first historian who started to record the history of the Germanic tribes on the British Isles and is considered to be the first English historian is Bede the Venerable, an English monk, who wrote “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People”.

The most important dialect in the Old English period was the WEST SAXON DIALECT.

8. Christianity – 597 (6th c.)

There were 2 forces that worked together to spread Christianity in Britain:

  •  missioners from Rome (founded the religious centre in Canterbury);
  •  missioners from Ireland (the Celts were already christened).

Consequences:

  •  centralization of the country;
  •  development of the culture and learning (monasteries, schools, etc.); Latin was the language of the church and learning.

9. In the 8th – 9th c. Britain was raided and attacked by the Danes/Scandinavians/Vikings. The only king who was able to keep them at bay was Alfred the Great of Wessex. In 878 the Treaty of Wedmore was signed and England was divided into Wessex (belonged to Alfred) and Danelaw (belonged to the Danes). But as soon as the Scandinavian dialects also belonged to the Germanic group, the Danes soon linguistically merged into the local Old English dialects leaving some Scandinavian elements in them.

Lecture 6

Old English Written Records

Alphabets

The first Old English written records are considered to be the runic inscriptions. To make these inscriptions people used the Runes/the Runic Alphabet – the first original Germanic Alphabet.

Runes/Runic Alphabet:

  •  appeared in the 3rd – 4th c. A.D.;
  •  it was also called Futhark (after the first 6 letters of this alphabet);
  •  the word “rune” meant “secret, mystery” and was used to denote magic inscriptions on objects made of wood, stone, metal;
  •  each symbol indicated a separate sound (one symbol = one sound);
  •  the symbols were angular due to the fact that they had to be carved on hard materials;
  •  the number of symbols: GB – 28-33; on the continent – 16-24).

See the copy of the alphabet (additional information)

Best known Runic Inscriptions:

  1.  Franks Casket – a box with 4 sides made of whale bone, each side contained a picture in the centre and runic inscriptions around the picture that told the story of the whale bone in alliterative verse.
  2.  Ruthwell Cross – was found near the village of Ruthwell, Dumfriesshire, it is a 15 feet tall stone cross ornamented in all sides with runic inscriptions that are actually a passage from a religious poem “The Dream of the Rood”.

Old English Alphabet

The Old English Alphabet was borrowed from Latin, but there were also some letters that were borrowed from the Runic Alphabet:

  •  ? (“thorn”) = [] and [ð]
  •  ? (“wynn”) = [w]
  •  ? (“mann”) = stood for OE word “man”
  •  ? (“dæζ”) = stood for OE word “day”

Some new letters were introduced:

  •  ζ = [g] and [j];
  •  ð/þ/Đ/đ = [] and [ð];
  •  æ = a ligature of [a] and [e];
  •  œ = a ligature of [o] and [e].

Rules of Reading:

They resemble the modern rules, with several exceptions though:

  1.  f = [v]        ---  1. between vowels;

s = [z]              2. between a vowel and a voiced consonant ( [r, m, n, l, d, etc.] ).

ð/þ = [ð]            

  1.  ζ – [j] – between and after front vowels ( [e, i, æ] );

  – [g] – initially and between back vowels ( [a, o, u] ).

  1.  cζ = [gg].
  2.  c = [k].
  3.  n = [ŋ] when fallowed by [k] or [g].

See also § 111-113 on p. 71-74 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies).

Old English Manuscripts

Most of the Old English manuscripts were written in Latin characters. The Latin Alphabet was modified by the scribes to suit the English language (some letters were changed and some new letters were added (see examples above)). The Old English manuscripts that give us the examples of the language of that period are:

  •  personal documents containing names and place names;
  •  legal documents (charters);
  •  glosses to the Gospels and other religious texts (Latin-English vocabularies for those who did not know Latin good enough to understand the texts);
  •  textual insertions (pieces of poetry).

See § 110, p. 69-70 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (a table “Principal Old English Written Records” (copies)).

Old English Poetry

1. Among the earliest textual insertions in Old English are the peaces of Old English poetry. They are to be found in “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People” written in Latin in the 8th c. by Bede the Venerable, an English monk. These two pieces are:

  •  5 lines know as “Bede’s Death Song”;
  •  9 lines of a religious poem “Cædmon’s Hymn”.

2. All in all we have about 30 000 lines of OE verse from many poets, but most of them are unknown or anonimuos. The two best known Old English poets are Cædmon and Cynewulf (Northumbrian authors).

3. The topics of Old English poetry:

  •  heroic epic (“Beowulf”, the oldest in the Germanic literature, 7th c., was written in Mercian or Northumbrian but has come down to us only in a 10th c. West Saxon copy. It is based on old legends about the tribal life of the ancient Teutons and features the adventures and fights of the legendary heroes);
  •  lyrical poems (“The Wanderer”, “The Seafarer”, etc. Most of the poems are ascribed to Cynewulf);
  •  religious poems (“Fate of the Apostles” (probably Cædmon), “Dream of the Rood”, etc.).

4. The peculiarities of Old English poetry:

  •  written in Old Germanic alliterative verse:
  •  the lines are not rhymed;
  •  the number of the syllables in a line is free;
  •  the number of stressed syllables in a line is fixes;
  •  the line is usually divided into 2 halves, each half starts with one and the same

           sound; this sound may be repeated also in the middle of each half

(As an example see an abstract from “Beowulf” on p. 8 in “A Reader in the History of English” by Е.К. Щука.)

  •  a great number of synonyms (e.g. beorn, secζ, ζuma, wer were all the synonyms of “man”) and metaphorical phrases or compounds describing the qualities or functions of a thing (e.g. hronrād “whale-road” (for “sea”); bānhūs “bone-house” (for “a person’s body”); hēaþu-swāt “war-sweat” (for “blood”)).

H/w:

1. § 108, p. 67-68 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (examination question) (copies).

2. § 110, p. 69-70 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (a table “Principal Old English Written Records”) (copies)

2. Read the lecture and § 111-113 on p. 71-74 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies).

3. Using your knowledge of the Old English Alphabet and the rules of reading read an abstract from “Beowulf” on p. 8 in “A Reader in the History of English” by Е.К. Щука and try to identify the features/peculiarities of Old English poetry in it (copies).

Lecture 7

Middle English Period in the History of the English Language

Historical Background

1042-1066 – King Edward the Confessor:

  •  brought up in France;
  •  had lots of Norman advisors and favourites;
  •  spoke French and wanted his court to speak it;
  •  rumour had it that he appointed William, Duke of Normandy, his successor.

However, after the death of Edward in 1066 the government of the country was in the hands of the Anglo-Saxon feudal lords and they proposed their own king – Earl Harold Godwinson of Wessex.

1066 – Harold Godwinson became king of England. William was not satisfied with this fact. He gathered a big army, there happened the Battle of Hastings, William won it, became king and was called since then William the Conqueror.

After the Norman Conquest of the British Isles the Normans occupied important positions in church, government and army. William strengthened feudal system and royal power (vassals were not allowed to have big armies so they could not oppose the king; with the Oath of Salisbury each vassal promised direct loyalty to king and military help in return for land; Domesday Book provided William with information about all people and lands he possessed, he proclaimed himself the owner of all the lands in the country). This led to the centralization of the country:

  •  Wales – was the first to join England in the 13th – 16th c.;
  •  Scotland – remained independent until Queen Elizabeth the 1st of England died and as far as she was childless the throne passed to James the 4th of Scotland who became James the 1st of England and unified Scotland and England. Finally, in 1707 Great Britain appeared as a country consisting of England, Wales and Scotland;
  •  Ireland – the attempts to conquer Ireland were made in the 12th c. but they did not prove to be successful. In 1921, after a long fight, the UK managed to keep only a small part of Ireland – Northern Ireland.

Linguistic Situation

After the Norman Conquest:

  •  French became the official language of administration (it was used in the king’s court, in the law courts, in the church (as well as Latin), in the army, by the nobles in the south of England). It was also used as a language of writing and teaching as well as Latin.
  •  English was the language of common people in the Midlands and in the north of England. It still remained the language of the majority who were the representatives of the lower classes of society and never learned French, so the Norman barons had to learn English to be able to communicate with locals.
  •  Celtic Dialects were still used by the Celtic population in the remote areas of the country.

Actually, during the presence of the Normans the country experienced the period of bilingualism (French and English were both used in the country and started to intermix, i.e. a lot of the French words crept into the Middle English Dialects and it came to resemble present-day English a lot).

The Norman and the English drew together in the course of time and intermixed. French lost its popularity due to the fact that it was not the language of the majority and could not be used to communicate with local people. English regained its leading position with time and became accepted as the official language. The proofs are:

  •  The Parliamentary Proclamation of 1258 – Henry the 3rd addressed the councilors in Parliament in French, Latin and English.
  •  In the 14th – 15th c. legal documents (wills, municipal acts, petitions, etc.) started to be issued in English.
  •  1364 – Parliament was opened with an address in English.
  •  1399 – Henry the 4th accepted the throne and made a speech in English.
  •  Translations of the documents written in French into English.

Thus in the 14th c. English becomes the language of literature and administration.

Middle English Dialects

OE Dialects

Kentish

West Saxon

Mercian

Northumbrian

ME Dialects

Kentish Dialect

South-Western Dialects

Midland Dialects

Northern Dialects

Examples

-

East Saxon Dialect

London Dialect

Gloucester Dialect

West Midland Dialect

East Midland Dialect

Yorkshire Dialect

Lancashire Dialect

The most important dialect in the Middle English period was the LONDON DIALECT.

London Dialect

In the 12th -13th c. the London Dialect became the literary language and the standard, both in written and spoken form. The reasons why this happened:

  •  The capital of the country was transferred from Winchester, Wesses, to London a few years before the Norman Conquests.
    •  The East Saxon Dialect, that was the basis of the London Dialect got, became the most prominent in the Middle English period.
    •  Most writers and authors of the Middle English period used the London Dialect in their works.

Features of the London Dialect:

  •  The basis of the London Dialect was the East Saxon Dialect 
  •  The East Saxon Dialect mixed with the East Midland Dialect and formed the London Dialect.
  •  Thus the London Dialect became more Anglican than Saxon in character The London Dialect is an Anglican dialect.

H/w:

1. § 349-354, p. 181-183 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (expansion of English overseas) (copioes).

Lecture 8

Middle English Written Records

Main Written Records of the Middle English Period

See § 292-295, p. 156-157; § 302-308, p. 160-163 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies).

Geoffrey Chaucer and His Contribution

Geoffrey Chaucer was one of the most prominent authors of the Middle English Period and he set up a language pattern to be followed. He is considered to be the founder of the literary language of that period. Most authors of the Middle English Period tried to fallow this standard.

Features of the Chaucer’s Language:

  •  Chaucer’s Language was the basis for the national literary language (15th – 16th c.).
  •  New spelling rules (digraphs) and new rules of reading (1 letter = several sounds) appeared as compared to the Old English.
  •  New grammatical forms appeared (Perfect forms, Passive forms, “to” Infinitive constructions, etc.).
  •  Chaucer tried to minimize the number of the French loans in the English Language.
  •  Chaucer introduced rhyme to the poetry.

Middle English Alphabet

The Middle English Alphabet resembled the Old English Alphabet but some changes were introduced:

  •  th replaced ð/þ/Đ/đ;
  •  w replaced ?;
  •  æ, œ disappeared;
  •  digraphs (2 letters = one sound) appeared (came from French):
    •  th for [] and [ð];                 
    •  tch/ch for [t∫];
    •  sch/ssh/sh for [∫];
    •  dg for [dζ];
    •  wh replace hw but was pronounced still as [hw]!;
    •  gh for [h];
    •  qu for [kw];
    •  ow/ou for [u:] and [ou];
    •  ie for [e:].

Rules of Reading:

They resemble the modern rules, with several exceptions though:

  1.  Double vowels stood for long sounds, e.g. oo = [o:]; ee = [e:].
  2.  g = [dζ]

     c = [s]       before front vowels ( [i, e] ).

------------------------------------------------

     g = [g]

     c = [k]       before back vowels ( [a, o, u] ).

  1.  y = [j] – at the beginning of the word;

        = [i] – in the cases when i stood close together with r, n, m and could be confused with one of these letters or could be lost among them, it was replaced with y, sometimes also for decorative purpose.(e.g. nyne [‘ni:nə], very [‘veri]).

  1.  th = [ð]

     s = [z]       between vowels.

  1.  o = [o] – in most cases;

        = [u] – in the words that have [Λ] sound in Modern English (e.g. some, love)

  1.  j = []

H/w:

1. § 292-295, p. 156-157; § 302-308, p. 160-163 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies).

2. Using your knowledge of the Middle English spelling and the rules of reading (Lecture 8) read an abstract from the “Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer (lines 1-14) on p. 33-34 in “A Reader in the History of English” by Е.К. Щука and try to identify the peculiarities of the Middle English spelling and rules of reading.

Lecture 9

New English Period in the History of the English Language

In the 15th – 16th c. the feudal system started to decay and bourgeois relationships and capitalism started to develop. England became a centralised state.

Introduction of Printing

The first printer of English books was William Caxton (1422-1491). He was born in Kent. In 1441 he moved to Flanders (a region in Belgium) and later, in 1473, he opened up his own printing press in Bruges.

1475 – the first English book was printed in Bruges by William Caxton. It was a translation of the story of Troy.

A few years later William Caxton brought his printing press to England and set it up in Winchester. Here he published the work of the famous authors of that time – Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, John Lydgate – and translated books from French.

Contribution of Printing:

  •  The works of the authors of that time were edited and brought into conformity with the London Dialect and as far as all the book were written in this dialect, it spread  quickly and became the true standard of the English language;
    •  As far as printing allowed to multiply books in great number, they were sold and thus the literacy of the population grew;
    •  Before the introduction of printing different scribes could spell the same words differently; with the introduction of printing the spelling became fixed and it hasn’t changed since that time though the pronunciation has changed greatly (this fact explains the difficulties of the English spelling).

Age of Shakespeare

See lectures in the English Literature on Shakespeare and his works.

The sources of information about the language:

  •  private letters (as far as books became available, more people became literate and started to write letters, wills, diaries, etc.);
    •  books for pupils and didactic works (e.g. “An Orthographie” by John Hart; “Grammatica Lingæ Anglicanæ” by John Wallis, etc.);
    •  lists of difficult words and dictionaries (e.g. “English-English Dictionary” (dialectal words explained with the help of the bookish English) by Henry Cockeram, etc.).

Normalisation of the English Language

Normalisation is the fixing of the norms and standards of a language to protect it from corruption and change.

Type of Standard

Written Standard

Spoken Standard

Time Limits

by the 17th c.

end of the 18th c. 

Sources

Language of Chaucer

(the London Dialect)

  •  private letters;
  •  speech of characters in drama;
  •  references to speech be scholars.

Peculiarities

1. less stabilised than at later stage;

2. wide range of variation (spelling, gr. forms, syntactical patterns, choice of words, etc. );

3. rivalry with Latin in the field of science, philosophy, didactics.

1. As spoken standard the scholars considered the speech of educated people taught at school as “correct English”. This was the speech of London and that of Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

The normalisation of the English language started in the 17th – 18th c. In 1710 Jonathan Swift published in his journal “The Tatler” an article titled “A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue”. J. Swift was a purist (struggled for the purity of the language) and suggested that a body of scholars should gather to fix the rules of the language usage.

The Normalisation of the English language consisted in publishing:

  1.  Grammar’s of English:
    •  John Wallis, “Grammatica Lingæ Anglicanæ” (prescriptive/normative grammar);
    •  Robert Lowth, “A Short Introduction to English Grammar” (Lowth distinguished 9 parts of speech; made consistent description of letters, syllables, words and sentences; rules of no-double negation (I don’t want no dinner – incorrect!) and no-double comparison (more better – incorrect!) appeared, etc.).
  2.  Dictionaries (18th c.):
    •  E. Coles, “Dictionary of Hard Words” (gave explanations of hard words and phrases);
    •  Samuel Johnson – one of the best-known English lexicographers. As well as J. Swift, he was a purist and believed that the English language should be purified and corrected. He was the first to compile a dictionary that resembles the present-day dictionaries. His “Dictionary of the English Language” is the finest example of his hard and productive work. The dictionary is organised as follows:
      •  entry;
      •  pronunciation;
      •  definition;
      •  illustrations (not self-invented examples but quotations from recognised authors that contain the word in question);
      •  notes on usage of the word;
      •  etymology of the word;
      •  stylistic comments.

The dictionary also contained a grammatical section describing the grammatical structure of the language.

Lecture 10

Phonetic Features of Old English

OE sound system developed from PG sound system.

OE Word Stress/Accent:

  1.  fixed (can’t move either in form- or word-building and is usually  placed on root or prefix);
  2.  dynamic (force, breath stress);
  3.  in Noun and Adjective stress was mainly on the prefix if there was one:

E.g. ‘misdæd (misdeed), ‘uðζenζ (escape), ‘oreald (very old)

     in Verb stress was mainly on the root even if there was a prefix:

E.g.  a’risan (arise), mis’faran (go astray)

  1.  stress served to distinguish Noun from Verb (and still does):

E.g. ‘andswaru (N answer) – and’swarian (V answer)

      ‘onζin (N beginning) – on’ζinnan (V begin)

E.g. (modern English) – ‘presentpre’sent; ‘allyal’ly.

OE Vowels

Unstressed vowels were weakened and dropped.

Stressed vowels underwent some changes:

  •  splitting – 1 phoneme split into several allophones which later become separate phonemes

e.g.        a

       a    ã

             æ

  •  merging – separate phonemes become allophones of one phoneme and then disappear and are not distinguished any more as separate phonemes

e.g.  a

      ã    a

      æ

Rise of Diphthongs

In PG there were no diphthongs. There was just a sequence of two separate vowels. Diphthongs appeared in OE: some (usually long diphthongs) – as a result of merging of two vowels:

Sounds

Diphth.

Gothic

OE

a + u

ea:

auso

eare (ear)

e + u

eo:

þeudans

þēoden (king)

(i + u) 

(io:) (dialectal variant)

diups

dīop (deep)

              others (usually short diphthongs) – as a result of the influence of the succeeding and preceding consonants (breaking of [æ, e])

Monoph.

Diphth.

Influence

Gothic

OE

æ

ea

before l

alls

eall (all)

æ

ea

before h

ahtau

eahta (eight)

e  

eo

before r

herza

heorte (heart)

æ

ea

after sk’/k’

skadus

sceadu (shade)

æ:

ea:

after j

jâr

ζēar (year)

Palatal Mutation/i-Umlaut

Mutation – a change of one vowel to another one under the influence of a vowel in the following syllable.

Palatal mutation (or i-Umlaut) happened in the 6th -7th c. and was shared by all Old Germanic Languages, except Gothic (that’s why later it will be used for comparison).

 Palatal mutationfronting and raising of vowels under the influence of [i] and [j] in the following syllable (to approach the articulation of these two sounds). As a result of palatal mutation:

  •  [i] and [j] disappeared in the following syllable sometimes leading to the doubling of a consonant in this syllable;
  •  new vowels appeared in OE ([ie, y]) as a result of merging and splitting:

before palatal mutation

after palatal mutation

Gothic

OE

a

o

æ

e

badi

bedd (bed)

a:

æ:

dails

dælan (deal)

ŏ/ō

ĕ/ē

mōtjan

mētan (meet)

ŭ/ū

ŷ/ỹ (labialised) (new!)

fulljan

fyllan (fill)

ĕă/ēā

ĕŏ/ēō

ĭě/īē (new!)

eald (early OE)

ieldra (late OE)

Traces of i-Umlaut in Modern English:

  1.  irregular Plural of nouns (man – men; tooth – teeth);
  2.  irregular verbs and adjectives (told ←tell; sold ←sell; old – elder);
  3.  word-formation with sound interchange (long – length; blood – bleed).

OE Vowel System (symmetrical, i.e each short vowel had its long variant)

Monophthongs

+

Diphthongs

Short

ĭ

ĕ

ă

ǽ

ŏ

ŭ

ŷ

ĕŏ

ĕă

ĭě

Long

ī

ē

ā

æ

ō

ū

ēō

ēā

īē

The length of vowels was phonologically relevant (i.e. served to distinguish words):

e.g. (OE) is (is) – īs (ice); col (coal) –cōl (cool); god (god) – gōd (good), etc.

OE Consonants

OE consonants underwent the following changes:

  1.  Hardening (the process when a soft consonant becomes harder)– usually initially and after nasals ([m, n])

[ð]

[d]

rauðr (Icelandic)

rēad (OE) (red)

[v]

[b]

-

-

[γ]

[g]

guma (Gothic)

ζuma (OE) (man)

  1.  Voicing (the process when a voiceless consonant becomes voiced in certain positions) – intervocally and between a vowel and a voiced consonant or sonorant

[f, , h, s] [v, ð, g, z]        e.g. wulfos (Gothic) – wulf[v]as (OE) (wolves)

  1.  Rhotacism (a process when [z] turns into [r])

e.g. maiza (Gothic) – ra (OE) (more)

  1.  Gemination (a process of doubling a consonant) – after a short vowel, usually happened as a result of palatal mutation (e.g. fullan (OE) (fill), settan (OE) (set), etc.).

  1.  Palatalisation of Consonants (a process when hard vowels become soft) – before a front vowel and sometimes also after a front vowel

[g, γ, k, h] [g’, γ’, k’, h’]        e.g. c[k’]ild (OE) (child); ecζ[gg’] (OE) (edge), etc.

  1.  Loss of Consonants:
    •  sonorants before fricatives (e.g. fimf (Gothic) – fīf (OE) (five));
    •  fricatives between vowels and some plosives (e.g. sæζde (early OE) – sæde (late OE) (said));
    •  loss of [j] – as a result of palatal mutation (see examples above);
    •  loss of [w] (e.g. case-forms of nouns: sæ (Nominative) – sæwe (Dative) (OE) (sea).

OE Consonant System

See table 9 on p. 90 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies).

Lecture 11

The Development of Vowel System in Middle English and New English

Word Stress/Accent:

In ME and NE word stress acquired greater positions freedom and greater role in word derivation.

Recessive tendencystress in loan-words moved closer to the beginning of the word (e.g. in French words the stress is usually placed on the ultimate or pen-ultimate syllable, but the stress in the words of the French origin that penetrated into English has moved to the beginning of the word).

E.g. ME vertu [ver’tju:] – NE virtue [‘vз:t∫ə]

Rhythmic tendency – regular alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables (3 or more) that creates rhythm and has led to the appearance of the secondary stress.

E.g. ME   diso’beien – NE   ,diso’bei

Vowels

English vowels proved to be more changeable than consonants. Long vowels proved to be more changeable than short ones.

Middle English

The changes that occurred to vowels in ME were as follows:

  1.  Quantitative:

Reduction – weakening and disappearance of unstressed vowels. As far as the stress was mainly on the root the vowels in prefixes and suffixes got weak and underwent reduction. In unstressed position only two vowels were left – [ə] and [i]. They had never been contrasted.

E.g. ME tale [‘ta:lə], body [‘bodi]

In NE sound [ə] (schwa) was dropped at the end of the words but the letter e was left in spelling to show the length of the preceding vowel.

Shortening – all long vowels became short before consonant clusters (NB!! except [ld, nd, mb] – before these clusters vowels remained long or if a vowel was short it became long)

E.g.

Other Consonant Clusters

OE

ME

fīftiζ

fifty (fifty)

fēdde

fedde (fed)

wīsdom

wisdom (wisdom)

Lengthening (12th – 13th c.) – short vowels became long:

  •  before clusters [ld, nd, mb];
    •  in 2-syllable words, only to [e, o, a] in open stressed syllable

E.g.

Clusters [ld, nd, mb]

2-syllable words

OE

ME

OE

ME

cild

chīld (child)

mete

mēte (meat)

findan

fīnden (find)

open

ōpen (open)

climban

clīmben (climb)

talu

tāle (tale)

  1.  Qualitative:

The system of vowels in ME were no longer symmetrical as it was in OE

Short Vowels

  •  [y] changed to [i]  e.g. OE hyll – ME hill (hill);
    •  [æ] changed to [a]  e.g. OE wæs – ME was (was).

As a result:

i

e

a

o

u

Long Vowels

  •  [ỹ] changed to [ī];
    •  [ǽ] fell together with [έ];
    •  [ā] changed to [ō] e.g. OE stān – ME sto[o:]ne (stone).

As a result:

close

open

ī

ū

ē

ō

έ

ǿ

New Diphthongs

OE diphthongs turned into monophthongs:

OE Diphth.

ME Sounds

OE

ME

ĭě/īē

i

līehtan

lighten (lighten)

ĕŏ/ēō

e

heorte

herte (heart)

ĕă/ēā

æ

ēast

eest (east)

New diphthongs appeared due to vocalisation of [j], [γ] and [w]. These consonants turned into vowels ([i], [u] and [u] respectively) and became the glides of the new diphthongs:

i-glides

OE

ME

u-glides

OE

ME

[ei]

weζ[j]

wey[i] (way)

[iu]

-

-

[ai]

mæζ[j]

may[i] (may)

[au]

laζ[γ]u

law[u]e [‘lauə] (low)

[oi] (in French loan-words)

boy, toy

[ou]

cnāw[w]an

know[u]en [‘knouən] (know)

New English

Great Vowel Shift – the change that happened in the 14th – 16th c. and affected all long monophthongs + diphthong [au]. As a result these vowels were:

  •  diphthongized;
    •  narrowed (became more closed);
    •  both diphthongized and narrowed.

ME Sounds

NE Sounds

ME

NE

[i:]

[ai]

time [‘ti:mə]

time [taim]

[e:]

[i:]

kepen [‘ke:pən]

keep [ki:p]

[a:]

[ei]

maken [‘ma:kən]

make [meik]

[o:]

     

[ou]

[u:]

stone [‘sto:nə]

moon [mo:n]

stone [stoun]

moon [mu:n]

[u:]

[au]

mous [mu:s]

mouse [maus]

[au]

[o:]

cause [‘kauzə]

 cause [ko:z]

This shift was not followed by spelling changes, i.e. it was not reflected in written form. Thus the Great Vowel Shift explains many modern rules of reading.

Short Vowels

ME Sounds

NE Sounds

ME

NE

[a]

     

[æ]

[o] after [w]!!

that [at]

man [man]

was [was]

water [‘watə]

thatæt]

man [mæn]

was [woz]

water [‘wotə]

[u]

[Λ]

hut [hut]

comen [cumen]

hut [hΛt]

come [cΛm]

There were exceptions though, e.g. put, pull, etc.

Vocalisation of [r]

It occurred in the 16th – 17th c. Sound [r] became vocalised (changed to [ə] (schwa)) when stood after vowels at the end of the word.

Consequences:

  •  new diphthongs appeared: [εə], [iə], [uə];
    •  the vowels before [r] were lengthened (e.g. arm [a:m], for [fo:], etc.);
    •  triphthongs appeared: [aiə], [auə] (e.g. shower [‘∫auə], shire [‘∫aiə]).

H/w:

1. Ex. 4-6 on p. 218 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies).

Lecture 12

The Development of Consonant System in Middle English and New English

English consonants proved to be more stable than vowels. Nevertheless, new sets of consonants started to appear.

Sibilants and Affricates

Sibilants – a type of fricatives, narrower and sharper than all other fricatives ([f, v, , ð, h]) – [s, z, ∫, ζ].

Affricates – sounds consisting of a plosive immediately followed by a fricative – [t∫, dζ].

In OE there were only 2 sibilants – [s, z]. [∫] appeared in ME and [ζ] – in NE.

Affricates [t∫, dζ] appeared both in ME and in NE.

Middle English

New consonants developed from palatal plosives [k’], [g’] and the cluster [sk’]:

OE Sounds

ME Sounds

In Writing

OE

ME

[k’]

[t∫]

tch, ch

cild [k’il’d]

child [t∫ild]

[g’]

[dζ]

g, dg

ecge [‘egg’ə]

edge [‘eə]

[sk’]

[∫]

sh, ssh, sch

fisc [fisk’]

fish [fi]

New English

Palatalisation – as a result of reduction of unstressed vowels several consonants merged into one:

ME Sounds

NE Sounds

ME

NE

[sj]

[∫]

commissioun [komi’sjon]

commission [kə’miən]

[zj]

[ζ]

pleasure [plə’zjurə]

pleasure [‘pleζə]

[tj]

[t∫]

nature [na’tjurə]

nature [‘neit∫ə]

[dj]

[dζ]

procedure [,prosə’djurə]

procedure [prə’siə]

There were some exceptions though, e.g. mature, duty, due, suit, statue, tune, etc.

Fricatives

Voicing – occurred in the 16th c. (NE) to fricatives:

  •  in functional words and auxiliaries that are never stressed;
    •  when preceded by an unstressed and followed by a stressed vowel.

ME Sounds

NE Sounds

ME

NE

[s]

[z]

possess [pə’ses]

possess [pə’zes]

[]

[ð]

this [is],the [ə], there [εə]

this [ðis],the [ðə], there [ðεə]

[f]

[v]

of [of]

of [ov]

[ks]

[gz]

anxiety [,ən’ksaiəti]

anxiety [,ən’gzaiəti]

[t∫]

[dζ]

knowledge  [‘kno:lət∫ə]

knowledge  [‘no:li]

Loss of Some Consonants

In NE some consonants were vocalised or gave birth to diphthongs and triphthongs.

  •  [r] was vocalised at the end of the word in the 16th -17th c. (see Lecture 11);
    •  [j] disappeared as a result of palatalisation (see palatalisation in Lecture 12); [j] remained only initially (e.g. year, yard, etc.);
    •  [х, х’] were lost (e.g. ME taughte [‘tauхtə] – NE taught [to:t], ME night [niх’t] NE night [neit]
    •  [kn]  [n] (e.g. ME know [knou] – NE know [nou]);
    •  [gn] [n] (e.g. ME gnat [gnat] – NE gnat [næt]);

H/w:  1. Ex. 10-14, 17 on p. 219 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies).

Lecture 13

Historical Background of Modern English Spelling

OE Spelling

  •  based on phonetic principle;
    •  employed Latin characters;
    •  one letter = one sound;

Exceptions: ζ, f, s, ð (1 letter = 2 or more sounds).

ME Spelling

  •  based on conventional principle;
    •  more ambiguous and less stable (printing was not introduced yet and the manuscripts contained numerous variants of spelling – practically each scribe had its own way to spell the words);
    •  digraphs (2 letters = 1 sound) appear + 1 letter = several sounds, several letters/combinations of letters = 1 sound (these were the deviations from phonetic principle):

1 letter = several sounds

several letters/combinations of letters = 1 sound

letter

sounds

letters

sound

o

[o], [u], [o:], [ǿ]

g, dg, j

[dζ]

c

[s], [k]

k, c, q

[k]

g

[g], [dζ]

u

[u], [v]

NE Spelling

  •  based on conventional principle was preserved;
    •  new digraphs appeared (indicated borrowings from other languages) – ph, ps, ch;
    •  spelling became fixed.

There reasons for such stabilisation were as follows:

  •  Introduction of Printing (1475) (see Lecture 9) one obligatory standard!
    •  Normalisation of the language (17th – 18th c.) (see Lecture 9) one obligatory standard!

ModE Spelling

Modern English spelling reflects pronunciation of the 14th – 15th c.

See also Table 12 on p. 216-218 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева.

Lecture 14

Old English Morphology

Old English was a synthetic language, i.e. there were a lot of inflections.

Parts of Speech

In OE 9 parts of speech had already been distinguished:

changeable

1. Noun

Nominal Categories:

Number, Case, Gender, Degrees of Comparison, Determination

2. Adjective

3. Pronoun

4. Numeral

5. Verb

Verbal Categories:

Tense, Mood, Person, Number, Voice, Aspect, Order, Posteriority

unchangeable

6. Adverb (only Degrees of Comparison)

-

7. Prepositions

-

8. Conjunctions

-

9. Interjections (междометие )

-

Below all notional parts of speech will be discussed, their categories described and the meanings of these categories stated as related to the Old English Period

Noun

Number – Singular (Sg) and Plural (Pl).

Gender – Masculine (M), Feminine (F), Neuter (N).

Case – Nominative (Nom) (agent), Genitive (Gen) (attribute), Dative (Dat) (instrument, indirect/prepositional object), Accusative (Acc) (recipient, direct/prepositionless object).

System of Declensions

Prior to reading this point, see PG word-structure, Lecture 4.

In OE there were 25 declensions of nouns.  All nouns were grouped into declensions according to:

  •  stem-suffix;
    •  Gender.

We will mention only the most numerous declensions/stems here:

Strong Vocalic Stems

Weak Consonantal Stems

Stem-suffix

Gender

Stem-suffix

Gender

a-stem

M, N

n-stem

M, N, F

o-stem

F

r, s, nd-stems

M, N, F

i-stem

M, N, F

root-stem

M, F

u-stem

M, F

These stems will be discussed more precisely in Lecture 15.

Adjectives

Number – Singular (Sg) and Plural (Pl).

Gender – Masculine (M), Feminine (F), Neuter (N).

Case – Nominative (Nom), Genitive (Gen), Dative (Dat), Accusative (Acc) + Instrumental (Instr).

Instrumental Case was used to express instrumental meaning but only in the adjective while the noun stood in Dative Case:

by/with + Adjective (Instr) + Noun (Dat)

Degrees of Comparison – positive, comparative, superlative.

Determination (Definiteness/Indefiniteness) – today this category has to do with the Article but in OE there were no articles and definiteness/indefiniteness was expressed with the help of inflections of the Adjective, i.e. the inflections of the Adjective helped to determine whether a noun was definite or indefinite.

In OE there existed the weak and strong declensions of the Adjective. They will be discussed more precisely in Lecture 16.

Pronoun

Classification:

  1.  Personal (Noun-Pronouns (had some categories of the Noun and resembled the Noun in syntactic function)).

They had the following categories:

  •  Person – 1st, 2nd, 3rd;
    •  Number – Singular (Sg), Plural (Pl) + Dual (1st, 2nd  pers. (we both, you both) when only two persons were meant);
    •  Gender – Masculine (M), Feminine (F), Neuter (N) – only in 3rd person!;
    •  Case – Nominative (Nom), Genitive (Gen), Dative (Dat), Accusative (Acc).
  1.  Demonstrative (Adjective-Pronouns (had some categories of the Adjective and resembled the Adjective in syntactic function)).

They had the following categories:

  •  Number – Singular (Sg) and Plural (Pl);
    •  Gender – Masculine (M), Feminine (F), Neuter (N);
    •  Case – Nominative (Nom), Genitive (Gen), Dative (Dat), Accusative (Acc) +

           Instrumental (Instr).

  1.  Interrogative – unchangeable.
  2.  Indefinite – unchangeable.

Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns will be discussed more precisely in Lecture 17.

Numeral

Classification:

  1.  Cardinal – ān (one), twēζen (two), þrēō (three) – had the categories of Gender and Case. All the other cardinal numerals were unchangeable.
  2.  Ordinal – were unchangeable.

Lecture 15

The Development of the Noun

Old English

As it has been mentioned in Lecture 14, the Noun had the following categories in OE:

Number – Singular (Sg) and Plural (Pl).

Case – Nominative (Nom), Genitive (Gen), Dative (Dat), Accusative (Acc).

Gender – Masculine (M), Feminine (F), Neuter (N):

  •  Originally (in PG) it was a semantic division (he/she/it – associated with the lexical meaning of a noun), but in OE this principle did not work any more (e.g. wīf (wife) = Neuter);
    •  In OE the nouns started to be  groupped into genders according to the suffix:
      •  -þu (F) – e.g. lenζþu (length);
      •  -ere (M) – e.g. fiscere (fisher).

System of Declensions

Though the stem-suffixes merged with the root, declensions were still existent in OE and were based on the former IE stem-suffixes:

a-stem – the most numerous declension and proved to be productive (M, N):

Case

Masculine

Neuter

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Nom, Acc

fisc

fiscas

dēor

dēor!

Gen

fisces

fisca

dēores

dēora

Dat

fisce

fiscum

dēore

dēorum

Traces of a-stem in Modern English:

  •  -es (M, Sg, Gen)  ‘s (student’s book) – Possessive Case;
    •  -as (M, Pl, Nom)  -(e)s (watches, books) – plural ending for the majority of nouns;
    •  -(N, Pl, Nom)  zero ending (deer, sheep) – homogeneous Sg and Pl.

n-stem (M, N, F):

Case

Masculine

Singular

Plural

Nom

nama

naman

Gen

naman

namena

Dat

naman

namum

Acc

naman

naman

Traces of n-stem in Modern English:

  •  -an (M, Pl, Nom)  -en (oxen, children, brethren) – irregular plural ending.

root-stem – never had stem-suffix, words consisted of just a root (M, F):

Case

Masculine

Singular

Plural

Nom, Acc

fōt

fēt

Gen

fotes

fōta

Dat

fēt

fōtum

Traces of root-stem in Modern English:

  •  root-sound interchange (M, Pl, Nom)  root-sound interchange (men, geese, mice)irregular Plural.

Middle English

Most changes occurred to the Noun in ME.

System of Declensions

In ME the declensions disappeared due to the reduction of endings. As far as the Case endings were reduced to one or two, there remained no distinction between the Case forms of different declensions and there was no necessity any more to distinguish these declensions.

Gender

The Gender in OE was not supported semantically. It was only a classifying feature for the declensions and as far as the declensions disappeared there was no necessity to preserve the Gender. It disappeared by the 11th – 12th c.

Number

The quantity of the Number endings was also reduced as far as the declensions disappeared. The markers of the Plural became more uniform (-s, -en, root-sound interchange). The preference of the consonantal endings can be explained by the fact that the vowels were more apt to change and reduction then the consonants that in general proved to be more stable.

Case

The Case system was contracted in ME due to the reduction of endings. As far as the Case endings were reduced to one or two, there remained no distinction between the Case forms and there was no necessity any more to distinguish 4 Cases:

OE Cases

ME Cases

Peculiarities

Nominative

Dative

Accusative

Common

(Subject) (former Nom)

(direct Object) (former Acc)

(prepositional/indirect Object) (former Dat)

Genitive 

Genitive (Possessive)

The usage of the Genitive became more limited. In Singular it was marked by -‘s. In the 17th – 18th c. the apostrophe () started to be used in Pl, Gen as far as the plural Genitive ending was lost but some distinction between the Common and the Genitive case in Plural should be preserved.

Causes for Decay of Case System:

  1.  Influence of the Scandinavian Dialects that were grammatically simpler in comparison with OE Dialects and this influence led to the minimization of grammar.
  2.  Phonetic reduction of final unstressed syllables (inflections).

Consequences of Case System Decay:

  1.  The number of prepositions started to grow to help to replace the former Case forms.
  2.  As far as there was no distinctions between the Cases, the distinction between the Subject and the Object of a sentence was lost  fixed word order appeared (The Subject almost always took the first place and was followed by the Object).

H/w:

1. After reading the material of the lecture, use the glossary of “A Reader in the History of English” by Е.К. Щука and analyse the following nouns: ēaζan, sunu, daζas, fæder, brēðer. Plan of analysis:

  •  initial form;
    •  type of declension;
    •  Gender;
    •  Case;
    •  Number;
    •  Modern English equivalent;
    •  etymology;
    •  translation.

2. Find all the nouns in the abstract from “Beowulf” on p. 8 in “A Reader in the History of English” by Е.К. Щука and analyse them according to the plan given above.

3. Find the proofs of the changes in the Noun in ME in the abstract from the “Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer (lines 1-14) on p. 33-34 in “A Reader in the History of English” by Е.К. Щука.

Lecture 16

The Development of the Adjective

See Lecture 14 for general information on the Adjective.

Historically the Adjective is a younger class of words as compared to the Noun. So it has borrowed many of its categories and inflections from the Noun and the Pronoun.

The Adjective had the following categories:

Gender

It still existed in OE but was the first category to disappear in the 11th c.

Case

  •  At the end of OE Period Instrumental Case fell together with Dative Case due to the homonymy of inflections (see the table below);
  •  All other cases disappeared by the end of the 13th c. also due to the homonymy of inflections (see the table below).

System of Declensions

The system of declension was inherited from PG. Adjectives had two declensions that had to do also with the category of determinationstrong (definite) and weak (indefinite) – and unlike nouns practically all adjectives could be declined both ways (by strong and weak declension). So an adjective did not belong to a particular declension, its declension depended on several factors that will be mentioned below:

Type of Declension

Strong (definite)

Weak (indefinite)

Borrowed inflections

from a-stem and o-stem

from n-stem

Factors for distinguishing type of declension

– Adj used attributively without any determiners (demonstrative pronouns);

– Adj used predicatively.

– Adj preceded by a demonstrative pronoun or Genitive Case of a noun;

Gender

Neuter

Neuter

Number

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

OE Cases

Nominative

blind

blind

blinde

blindan

Genitive

blindes

blindra

blindan

blindra

Dative

blindum

blindum

blindan

blindum

Accusative

blind

blind

blinde

blindan

Instrumental

blinde

blindum

blindan

blindum

ME

Cases disappeared

blind

blinde

blinde

blinde

There were exceptions from the rule: some adjectives were declined always strong (eall (all), maniζ (many), ōþer (other)), others – always weak (ilca (same)).

The endings of the adjectives showed the agreement between a noun and an adjective. There were a lot of homonymous forms (e.g. -um (OE) – N, Sg, Dat, strong; N, Pl, Dat, strong; N, Pl, Dat, weak; N, Pl, Instr, strong; N, Pl, Instr, weak; -e (ME) – N, Pl, strong; N, Sg, weak; N, Pl, weak) the distinction between the declensions faded in ME and the declensions disappeared as far as there was no necessity any more to keep them.

Number

There were some homonymous forms in Singular and Plural in both declensions (see the table above: e.g. -um (OE) – N, Sg, Dat, strong; N, Pl, Dat, strong; -e (ME) – N, Sg, weak; N, Pl, weak), so the category of Number disappeared together with the system of declensions.

The Adjective lost many of its categories in ME as far as all the inflections were lost. Thus it became an unchangeable part of speech.

Degrees of Comparison

In OE there were three ways of formation of the degrees of comparison:

Way of formation

Positive Degree

Comparative Degree

Superlative Degree

inflections

soft

softra

softost

root-sound interchange + inflections

lonζ

lera

leest

suppletion

ζōd

bettra

betest

In ME the following changes happened:

  •  In most cases inflections -er, -est were used to form the comparative and the superlative degrees;
  •  Root-sound interchange fell into disuse (long – longer – longest), though in some cases it was preserved as an exception from the rule (e.g. old – elder – eldest; far – further – furthest);
  •  A new way of formation of the degrees of comparison appeared:

            more + Adj (comparative) || most + Adj (superlative)

It was applicable to all adjectives and was interchangeable with -er, -est way of formation till 17th – 18th c. In NE, during the Normalisation Period, the modern rule appeared and this way was applicable only to a certain group of adjectives.

Lecture 17

The Development of the Pronoun. The Rise of Articles

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns belong to an ancient class of words that goes back to two Indo-European rootsse and to. In OE the sound [Ө] started to dominate over the sound [s] due to the pressure of the system (the forms with the sound [Ө] were more numerous (see the table below)).

Demonstrative pronouns in OE changed in Gender, Number, Case:

Pronoun in ModE

Demonstrative Pronouns in OE

Case

Masculine, Sg

Feminine, Sg

Neuter, Sg

Plural

that

Nom

se*

sēo*

þæt*

þa

Gen

þes

þǽre

þæs

þara

Dat

þæm

þǽre

þæm

þam

Acc

þone

þā

þæt

þa

Instr

þý*

þǽre

þý

þam

this

Nom

þes

þeos

þis*

þās

Gen

þisses

þisse

þisses

þissa

Dat

þissum

þisse

þissum

þissum

Acc

þisne

þās

þis

þās

Instr

þissum

þisse

þys

þissum

In ME the Case system disappeared due to the fact that there were some homonymous forms (see the table above: e.g. þǽre – F, Sg, Gen; F, Sg, Dat; F, Sg, Instr; þa – Pl, Nom; Pl, Acc; þisse – F, Sg, Gen; F, Sg, Dat) and due to phonetic reduction.

In NE the Gender was lost due to the fact that there were some homonymous forms (see the table above: e.g. þes/þæs – M, Sg, Gen; N, Sg, Gen; þæm – M, Sg, Dat; N, Sg, Dat; þissum – M, Sg, Dat; N, Sg, Dat) and the following changes happened to the pronouns marked with * in the table above:

  •  se (M, Sg, Nom) – turned into the definite article “the” (discussed more particularly in the point “Rise of Articles” below);
    •  sēo (F, Sg, Nom) – turned into the personal pronoun “she” (discussed more particularly in the point “Personal Pronouns” (changes in the 3rd person) below);
    •  þæt (N, Sg, Nom) – remained as the unchangeable demonstrative pronoun “that”;
    •  þis (N, Sg, Nom) – remained as the unchangeable demonstrative pronoun “this”;
    •  þý (M, Sg, Instr) – in OE was used in the comparative constructions like “the sooner…the better” but in NE was not distinguished any more phonetically and  merged with the unchangeable form of the definite article “the”.

The only category that was left in the demonstrative pronouns was the Number (e.g. ModE this – these, that – those).

Rise of Articles

The articles have to do with the category of Determination (definiteness/indefiniteness).

Causes for Rise of Articles:

  1.  In OE the there were two declensions of adjectives – strong (definite) and weak (indefinite) – and the inflections of these declensions indicated whether the noun that followed the adjective was definite or indefinite. At the end of the ME Period the declensions of the Adjective disappeared and there was a necessity to find another way to indicate the definiteness/indefiniteness of a noun. Thus the articles appeared.
  2.  

In OE the word-order was free because inflections were employed to show the relations of the words in a sentence. In ME and NE the majority of the inflections disappeared and the word-order became fixed. This meant that the first place in a sentence was usually occupied by the theme (information already known marked with the definite article) and

the second place – by the rheme (new information marked with the indefinite article).

Definite Article

As it was mentioned above, the definite article appeared from the OE demonstrative pronoun se (M, Sg, Nom) from the paradigm of the OE demonstrative pronoun “that” because it was often used to indicate a definite object or notion.

Indefinite Article

The indefinite article appeared from the OE numeral ān (one) and had the meaning of “oneness” (it still indicates only nouns in Sg, i.e. nouns indicating one object or notion).

In OE ān had 5-case paradigm that was lost in ME and only one form was left – oon/one. Later it was employed in the building of the indefinite article a/an.

Personal Pronouns

See Lecture 14 for the categories of the personal pronouns.

Personal Pronouns possessed (and still do) a very vivid Indo-European feature – suppletivity (i.e. they build their forms with the help of different roots (see also Lecture 4)).

Personal pronouns in OE changed in Gender, Number, Case, Person:

Pers.

Case

Number

Singular

Plural

Dual

1st

Nom

ic

wit

Gen

min

ūre

uncer

Dat

ūs

unc

Acc

mec/mē

ūsic

uncit

2nd

Nom

þu*

ζē*

ζit

Gen

þin

ēower

incer

Dat

þe

ēow*

inc

Acc

þec/þe

ēowic

incit

Pers.

Case

Gender, Number

M, Sg

F, Sg

N, Sg

Plural

3rd

Nom

hē*

hēo/hīo*

hit*

hēo/hīe*

Gen

his

hire

his

hira

Dat

him

hire

him

him

Acc

hine

hīe

hit

hēo/hīe

Later the following changes happened to the personal pronouns (some of them are marked with * in the table above so that one can trace the connection easily):

  1.  Gender

Gender is still preserved (he, she, it) in ModE but is often denied by scholars because it is expressed lexically and practically has nothing to do with grammar.

  1.  Cases:
    •  In ME the Genitive Case turned into a new class of pronounsPossessive Pronouns (e.g. ModE I (pers.) – mine (possess.); you – yours, he – his, she – her, etc.);
    •  The Dative and the Accusative Cases fell together and formed the Objective Case. Thus in ME there were only two cases left in the personal pronouns – Nominative and Objective (e.g. ModE I (Nom) – me (Obj); he – him, she – her, etc.).
  2.  Number

Dual forms disappeared in ME. In NE the category of Number disappeared in the 2nd person of the personal pronouns (see the explanation below).

  1.  3rd person

As far as in the Early ME many forms in the 3rd person coincided phonetically and often caused confusion and difficulties in communication, the following changes occurred:

Pers.

Gender

OE

Early ME

Late ME

Comments

3rd

M, Sg

hē   

he    

he

preserved original form

F, Sg

hēo/hīo

he    

she

As far as it coincided with M, Sg and Plural forms, a new word was found – derived from the demonstrative pronoun sēo (F, Sg, Nom) – to distinguish the forms.

N, Sg

hit   

hit   

it

preserved original form, lost initial [h]

Plural

hēo/hīe

he/hi

they

As far as it coincided with M, Sg and F, Sg forms, a new word was found – a Scandinavian borrowing – to distinguish the forms.

  1.  2nd person

Pers.

Number

OE

ME

Comments

NE

2nd

Sg

þu

thou

Fell out of use due to the French etiquette (it forbade impolite “thou” form, so it was replaced with the polite “ēow” form).

ēow (Pl, Dat)(you)

Pl

ζē

ye

Coincided phonetically with was dropped

Thus in NE the category of Number disappeared in the 2nd person of the personal pronouns.

Lecture 18

The Development of the Verb

See Lecture 14 for the categories of the Verb in OE.

Verbal Categories:

Gfammatical classificTense2(pr. Past),

Mood(indicative.imperative,subjunctive),

Person(1,2,3)consistently was shown only in the pres ind mood sg,in the past sg of the ind mood, the 1 &3 p coincided & the 2 p had a distinct form., p was not distinguished in the pl,&in the sudjunctive mood,

Number(sg&pl), 

Voice, Aspect, Order, Posteriority

According to morphological classif -Strong and Weak Verbs in Comparison

Basis for Comparison

Strong Verbs

Weak Verbs

Number

300

900

Type/Origin

Indo-European (reveals suppletivity)

Germanic (reveals dental suffix)

Formation of Past Tense forms

by changing the root-vowel (ablaut):

sittan (Infinitive) – sæt (Past Indefinite) 

(verb “to sit”)

with the help of the dental suffix -t/-d:

līcian (Infinitive) līcode (Past Indefinite)

(verb “to like”)

Formation of Participle2 forms

with the help of the suffix –en (+ sometimes root-vowel interchange):

findan (Infinitive) – funden (Participle 2)

(verb “to find”)

with the help of the dental suffix -t/-d:

cēpan (Infinitive) – cēped (Participle 2)

(verb “to keep”)

Derivation

Strong verbs were root-words/non-derivatives (i.e. they were not derived from some other words/roots but were the words/roots from which other words were derived)

Weak verbs were derivatives from nouns, adjectives, strong verbs:

tellan (to tell) ← talu (a tale)

fyllan (to fill) ← fyll (full)

fandian (to find out) ← findan (to find)

Productivity

unproductive type (no new words employed this type of form-building)

productive type (new words that appeared employed this type of form-building)

Principle Forms

Infinitive    Past Sg    Past Pl    Participle 2

 wrītan   –   wrāt   –  writon   –   writen

Infinitive     Past Sg  Participle 2

             cēpan   –   cēpte  –   cēped

Classes

subdivided into 7 classes

subdivided into 3 classes

Strong Verbs and their Development

  1.  As far as the strong verbs were a non-productive class, some strong verbs turned into weak with time, i.e. started to employ -t/-d suffix in their form-building (e.g. to climb, to help, to swallow, to wash, etc.). Thus in NE only 70 strong verbs out of 300 in OE remained.
  2.  The strong verbs were subdivided into 7 classes according to the type of vowel gradation/ablaut.

The classes that survived best through different periods of the history were classes 1, 3, 6:

Class 1

Infinitive

Past Sg

Past Pl

Participle 2

OE

wrītan

wrāt

writon

writen

ME

writen

wrot

writen

writen

NE

write

wrote

written

Class 3

Infinitive

Past Sg

Past Pl

Participle 2

OE

findan

fand

fundon

funden

ME

finden

fand

founden

founden

NE

find

found

found

Class 6

Infinitive

Past Sg

Past Pl

Participle 2

OE

scacan

scoc

scōcon

scacen

ME

shaken

shook

shoken

shaken

NE

shake

shook

shaken

Analysing the tables above, we can see that the following changes occurred:

  •  In ME the inflections -an, -on, -en were all reduced to just one inflection  -en.
    •  In NE the ending -n was lost in the Infinitive and preserved in the Participle 2 in order to distinguish these two forms.
    •  In NE Past Singular and Past Plural forms were unified, usually with the Singular form preferred as a unified form because Past Plural and Participle 2 often had similar forms and it was hard to distinguish them (e.g. ME writen (Past Pl) – writen (Part. 2)) the category of Number disappeared in the Verb.

In ModE the subdivision into classes was lost though we still can trace some peculiarities of this or that class in the forms of the irregular verbs.

Weak Verbs and their Development

  1.  The division of weak verbs into classes was based on the original stem-building suffix of a verb that was already hard to distinguish even in OE:

Class 1

Infinitive

Past

Participle 2

Basis for Subdivision

OE

styrian

styrede

stured

stem-suffix -j 

most verbs – with front root-vowel

derived from nouns, adjectives

ME

stiren

stirede

stired

NE

stir

stirred

stirred

Class 2

Infinitive

Past

Participle 2

Basis for Subdivision

OE

lōcian

lōcode

lōcod

stem-suffix –oja

most numerous class

most verbs – with back root-vowel

ME

looken

lookede

looked

NE

look

looked

looked

Class 3

Infinitive

Past

Participle 2

Basis for Subdivision

OE

libban

lifde

lifd

3 verbs only:

habban (to have), libban (to live), secζan (to say)

ME

livien

livde

lived

NE

This class merged with class 1 in ME

  1.  Weak verbs were not as complex as strong ones and had a greater regularity and simplicity. That’s why they were productive, i.e. all borrowed verbs used weak model of form-building (suffix -t/-d) (e.g. Scand. to skate, Fr. to charm, Lat. to decorate, etc.) and, as it has already been mentioned above, many originally strong verbs turned into weak (e.g. to bake, to laugh, to help, to lie, etc.). The opposite process of turning of weak verbs into strong was very rare and was mainly based on phonetic similarity between some strong and weak verbs, i.e. was a result of mere confusion that later was accepted as a norm due to its persistent and regular character (e.g. to wear was originally weak and became strong because of the mistaken analogy with to swear, to ring (mistaken analogy with to sing), to hide (mistaken analogy with to ride)).

Non-Finite Forms

Participle 1

The formation of the Participle 1 was as follows:

OE

ME

NE

berende

bering

bearing

In OE Participle 1 was considered Present Participle, had only the form of the Active Voice, possessed the categories of Number, Gender, Case. It was used predicatively and attributively (agreed with the noun in Number, Gender, Case).

In ME it lost its nominal and adjectival features together with the categories of Number, Gender, Case and became unchangeable.

Participle 2

As it has been mentioned in the table above, in OE Participle 2 was formed:

  •  in strong verbs – with the help of the suffix –en (+ sometimes root-vowel interchange) + often marked by prefix ζe-:

e.g. OE bindan (Infinitive) – ζebunden (Participle 2) (to bind)

In ME prefix ζe- was weakened to prefix i-/y- (e.g. ME y-runne (run, Part.2 from “to run”) and in NE it disappeared at all.

  •  in weak verbs – with the help of the suffix -t/-d:

e.g. OE cēpan (Infinitive) – cēped (Participle 2) (to keep)

Participle 2, unlike Participle 1, had two meanings of the category of Voice:

OE

NE

Active Voice

Passive Voice

ζegān

ζeboren

gone, born

somebody was gone, i.e. he did it himself = he was the subject/active doer of the action

somebody was born, i.e. somebody gave birth to him = he was the object/passive recipient of the action

No Voice distinctions observed

Thus in OE Participle 2 was considered Past Participle, had the forms of the Active and Passive Voice, possessed the categories of Number, Gender, Case. It was used predicatively and attributively (agreed with the noun in Number, Gender, Case).

In ME it lost the category of Voice and the categories of Number, Gender, Case and became unchangeable.

Infinitive

In OE the Infinitive resembled the Noun and had the category of Case (only two Cases – Nominative (Nom) and Dative (Dat)):

e.g. OE Nom writan (uninflected)Dat to wrītanne (inflected, indicated direction or purpose).

In ME the Infinitive lost the Dative Case (the inflected form) and only one form was left:

e.g. ME (to) writen.

Particle to remained in NE as a formal sign of the infinitive with no meaning of direction or purpose:

e.g. NE (to) write.

\Though sometimes the traces of these meanings are still visible:

e.g. He came to feed the horses (purpose).

Gerund

The Gerund appeared only in the 12th c. Actually it presented a mixture of the OE Verbal Noun (with suffix -unζ/-inζ) and Participle 1 and its characteristics were:

  •  It took direct object (verbal feature) (e.g. buying a book);
    •  It could be preceded by an article or a possessive pronoun (noun feature) (e.g. the cleaning of my room, your coming late).

Preterite-Present Verbs

OE

The preterite-present verbs had the following characteristics:

  •  Their Present-Tense forms resembled Past-Tense forms . (Germ. “Präteritum” = past tense, that’s why they were called so);Later they acquired present meaning but preserved many features of the past.

  •  Some of these verbs did not have a full paradigm and were called “defective”;
    •  These verbs expressed attitude and were followed by the Infinitive without “to” (NB! Most of these verbs are present-day modal verbs);
    •  Out of 12 preterite-present verbs only 6 survived in ModE:

āζ (ought), cunnan (can), dear (dare), sculan (shall), maζan (may), mōt (must).

E.g.:

Numb.

Pers.

Present

Past

(formed like Past Tense(IE perfect forms, denoting past actions relevant for the present) of strong verbs)

(formed like Past Tense of weak verbs)

cunnan

sculan

cunnan

sculan

Sg

1st

cann

sceal

cuðe

sceolde

2nd

canst

scealt

cuðest

sceoldest

3rd

cann

sceal

cuðe

sceolde

Pl

-

cunnon

sculon

cuðon

sceoldon

Some of the verbs acquired forms of the verbals infinitive+ participle.

ME   

The following changes happened to the preterite-present verbs:

  •  They lost their Verbals (participle and infinitive) (non-finite forms) (e.g. OE cunnen – Part 2 of cunnan);
    •  They lost the Number and Mood distinctions

(e.g. OE cann (Indicative) – cunne (Subjunctive); OE cann (Sg) – cunnon (Pl)).

NE

The paradigm of the preterite-present verbs (that had already become modal verbs) was reduced to one or two forms (e.g. must (just one form), can, could (just two forms), etc.).

 

Anomalous Verbs

They were irregular verbs that combined the features of the weak and strong verbs. There were 4 of them – willan (will), bēon (to be), ζān (to go), dōn (to do).

Willan:

  •  had the meaning of volition;
    •  resembled the preterite-present verbs in meaning (attitude) and in function (was followed by the Infinitive without “to”);
    •  eventually became a modal verb and also together with sculan developed into an auxiliary for the formation of the Future-Tense forms.

Dōn

This verb combined the features of the weak and strong verbs:

Infinitive

Past

Participle 2

strong verb feature (root-sound interchange) + weak verb feature (dental suffix -d)

strong verb feature (suffix -n and prefix ζe-)

dōn

dyde

ζen

ζan

This verb was suppletive and also combined the features of the weak and strong verbs:

Period

Infinitive

Past

Participle 2

OE

ζān

ēode (suppletivism + weak verb feature (dental suffix -d))

ζeζān (strong verb feature (suffix -n and prefix ζe-)

ME

goon

wente (suppletivism (from OE wendan) + weak verb feature (dental suffix -t)

goon (strong verb feature (suffix -n))

Bēon

This verb was highly suppletive and in OE employed two separate words/roots (Infinitives):

Present

OE

ME

NE

Numb.

Pers.

wesan

bēon

been

been

Sg

1st

eom

bēo

am

am

2nd

eart

bist

art

are

3rd

is

biþ

is

is

Pl

-

sint

bēoþ

are/arn

are

Past

wesan

been

be

Sg

1st

wæs

was

was

2nd

wǽre

wēre

were

3rd

wæs

was

was

Pl

-

wǽron

wēren

were

Analytical Forms

In OE there were no analytical forms. They appeared later:

  •  ME – Future Tense, Perfect, Passive and Subjunctive forms;
    •  NE – Continuous and Do-forms;

and had the following characteristics:

  •  They consisted of 2 elements:
    •  a verb of broad semantics and high frequency (an auxiliary);
      •  a non-finite form (Infinitive, Participle 1, 2).

Future-Tense Forms

In OE there was no Future Tense. Future actions were expressed by Present-Tense forms and modal phrases with sculan (shall), willan (will), maζan (may), cunnan (can), etc.

  1.  Formation

                   sculan/willan + Infinitive

Willan had more strong modal meaning (volition) that was later weakened and almost lost.

  1.  13th – 14th c. – these forms were very common and sculan (shall) and willan (will) were completely interchangeable.
  2.  17th c.John Wallis introduced the ruleshall – 1st person, will – 2nd and 3rd person”.
  3.  In ModE there is a tendency to use will + 1st, 2nd and 3rd person without any distinction (earlier will + 1st person had the modal meaning of volition).

Perfect Forms

  1.  Formation

                habban/bēon + Participle 2

                   ↓             

     with transitive   with intransitive   (this distinction is still left in German)

                 verbs          verbs

  1.  In ME and NE only the auxiliary habban was left while bēon ceased to be used in the Perfect forms not to confuse them with the Passive forms (though some of these forms are still left, e.g. He is gone).

Passive Forms

  1.  Formation

                  bēon/werthen + Participle 2

  1.  Werthen died out in late ME.
  2.  Passive constructions were often marked with prepositions “by/with” (to show the doer of the action or the instrument of the action).

Subjunctive-Mood Forms

  1.  These forms were not always analytical in OE but were widely used in:
    •  independent clauses – to express wish, command, hypothetical condition, concession, purpose (e.g. Sīēn hira ēāζan āþistrode.Be their eyes darkened!);
    •  dependent clauses – temporal clauses (related to future) (e.g. Bring me þæt ic ēte. – Bring me that, I would eat), etc.;
    •  impersonal sentences (e.g. Methinks – I think (мне думается), me lycige – I like (мне нравится)) – went out of use in NE.

  1.  In ME and NE analytical forms of the Subjunctive Mood appeared.

     Formation:

             biden (bid)/leten (let)/neden (need)/sholde (should)/wolde (would) + Infinitive

These were the modal phrases that were used to express problematic or imaginary actions. The forms with sholde/wolde outnumbered all other forms, soon they weakened their modal meaning and became auxiliaries: should – 1st person, would – 2nd, 3rd person.

  1.  Meaning of the Subjunctive forms:
    •  in the Past – present or future imaginary or unreal actions (e.g. He thought he would cope with the task);
    •  in the Present – future probable or problematic actions (e.g. She thinks he would still come).
  2.  Peculiarities:
    •  should/would + Infinitive simultaneous actions (e.g. If I was young I would be the happiest person in the world);
    •  should/would + Perfect Infinitive past or preceding actions (e.g. If I had known all this I would have left that house immediately).

Continuous Forms

Sometimes they were found in OE:

  1.  Formation

               bēon + Participle 1  

  1.  In OE it denoted a “quality” or a “lasting state” and was characterising a person or a thing indicated by the Subject of the sentence. The continuance was not limited in time (as it is in the ModE Continuous forms) and resembled more present-day Indefinite Tense forms, e.g.:

Sēō eorðe is berende missenlīcra fuζela – This land bears many birds.

  1.  In ME Continuous forms fell into disuse.
  2.  In NE these forms reappeared together with a synonymous form:

be + Participle 1 = be + on/in + Gerund (indicated a process of limited duration)

e.g.:

He was on huntinge – He was hunting (literally, He was on hunting).

  1.  18th c. – Continuous forms became well-established.
  2.  19th c. – Continuous forms in the Passive were accepted as a norm (e.g. The house is being built – previously such forms were considered clumsy and non-grammatical).

Do-Forms

  1.  In NE “do-periphrasis” was used in the Past and Present of the Indicative Mood.
  2.  16th c.  – “Do” was used in negative, affirmative and interrogative sentences and was freely interchangeable with the simple forms (without “do”), e.g.:

Heard you all this? = Did you hear all this?

I know not why he cries. = I don’t know why he cries.

He knew it. = He did know it (without any meaning of emphasis).

  1.  17th c. – “do” was left only in negative and interrogative sentences to keep the word-order S + P + O (e.g. I (S) pity (P) him (O). Do you (S) pity (P) him (O)?). In affirmative sentences “do” acquired an emphatic meaning (e.g. Did you really see him? – I did see him, I swear!).

H/w:

1. After reading the material of the lecture, use the glossary of “A Reader in the History of English” by Е.К. Щука and analyse the following verbs: clypode, þystrodon, mihte, ζeseon, cwæd, ζesihst. Plan of analysis:

  •  initial form;
    •  type of conjugation/type of the verb;
    •  class of the verb;
    •  a non-finite form (Infinitive, Participle 1, 2, Gerund) or a finite form (Tense, Number, Person if there are);
    •  Modern English equivalent;
    •  translation.

2. Find all the verbs in the abstract from “Beowulf” on p. 8 in “A Reader in the History of English” by Е.К. Щука and analyse them according to the plan given above.

3. Find the Perfect, Passive and Infinitive forms in the abstract from the “Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer (lines 1-14) on p. 33-34 in “A Reader in the History of English” by Е.К. Щука and analyse them.

Lecture 19

The Development of the Syntactic System

Old English was a synthetic language, i.e. there were a lot of inflections that showed the relations between the words in a sentence.

Syntactic Connections between the Words

  1.  Agreement – a correspondence between 2 or more words in Gender, Number, Case, Person:
    •  relation – correspondence between the Subject and the Predicate in Number and Person;
    •  correlation – agreement of an adjective, a demonstrative pronoun, a possessive pronoun, Participle 1, 2 with noun in Gender, Number, Case.
  2.  Government – a type of correspondence when one word (mainly a verb, less frequently – an adjective, a pronoun or a numeral) determines the Case of another word:

e.g.: OE niman (to take) noun in Acc;

       OE secζan (to say) noun in Dat (to whom?), noun in Acc (what?);

       OE hlusten (to listen) noun in Gen.

Functions of Cases

Nominative:

  •  Subject of the sentence;
    •  Predicative;
    •  Direct Address.

Genitive:

  •  possessive meaning;
    •  partitive meaning;
    •  objective meaning;
    •  subjective meaning;
    •  qualitative meaning;
    •  adverbial meaning.

Dative:

  •  Indirect Object;
    •  Instrumental meaning;
    •  Passive Subject of the sentence (Me lycige).

Accusative:

  •  Direct Object;
    •  adverbial meaning denoting long periods of time (þone winter – той зимой).

Word Order

In OE the word order was free as far as there were a lot of inflections that showed the relations between the words in a sentence.

Most common word-order patterns were:

  1.  S + P + O (in non-dependent clauses);
  2.  S + O + P (when the Object was a pronoun, e.g. OE Ic þe secζe – literally “to you say”);

                      (in dependent clauses, e.g. OE þis wæs ζefohten siþþan hē of Ēāst Enþlum cōm – literally “This battle was held when he from eastern England came” –

such word order was called “frame” – after a connective went the Subject, it was followed by all the other parts of the sentence and the last place was occupied by the Predicate which thus created a frame together with the Subject);

  1.  P + S + O (in questions, e.g. OE Hwat sceal ic sinζan – “What shall I sing?”);

                      (in sentences starting with adverbial modifier, e.g. OE Nū synt ζeþrēāde þeζnas mīne – literally “Now were threatened my servants”).

In ME and NE, due to the loss of the Cases and, as a result, loss of the inflections the distinction between the Subject and the Object of a sentence was lost. Thus the word order became fixed and direct (S + P + O – The Subject almost always took the first place and was followed by the Object).

Such word order led to the appearance of the formal Subject (formal it, there, e.g. It was winter; There is a book.) that took the place of the Subject if a sentence did not have one and thus preserved the direct word order.

Inversion was used only in questions and for emphasis.

Negation

In OE the common word for negation was ne (IE origin). It was simply placed before a word that was to be negated:

e.g. OE Ne can ic (“I don’t know”, or literally “Not know I”).

As a result of this position before a word the particle ne often fused with:

  •  a verb (e.g. OE nis ← ne is; næs ← ne wæs; næfde ← ne hæfde (had), etc);
    •  a numeral (e.g. OE nān ← ne an (none));
    •  a pronoun (e.g. OE nic ← ne ic (not me));
    •  an adverb (e.g. OE nēfre ← ne āfre (never)).

Multiple negation was perfectly normal:

e.g. OE Nis nān wisdom ne nān rēad naht onean God. – “There is no knowledge concerning God.”

Often the particle ne was strengthened by the particle naht.

In ME particle ne fell out of use and was replaced completely by the particle naht that later developed into not, stood manly after a verb (V + not) and negated it:

e.g. I fell to earth I knew not where.

In NE, during the Normalisation Period, no-double-negation rule appeared that prohibited more than one negative word in a sentence.

Lecture 20

Old English Vocabulary

The history of words throws light on the history of the speaking community and its contacts with other people.

According to some rough counts OE vocabulary had between 23 000 and 24 000 lexical units. About only 15% of them survived in ModE.

In OE there were an extremely low percentage of borrowings from other languages (only 3% as compared to 70% in ModE). Thus OE from the point of view of its vocabulary was a thoroughly Germanic language.

Native OE words can be subdivided into 3 following layers:

  1.  Common IE words – the oldest and the largest part of the OE vocabulary that was inherited by the Proto-Germanic, and later by all the Germanic languages, from the Common Indo-European Language.

Semantic fields:

  •  family relations (father, mother, daughter, brother, etc. (except aunt, uncle – words of the Germanic origin));
    •  parts of human body (eye, nose, heart, arm, etc.);
    •  natural phenomena, plants, animals (tree, cow, water, sun, wind, etc.).

Parts of speech:

  •  nouns (eye, brother, etc.);
    •  verbs (basic activities of man) (to be, can, may, to know, to eat, to stand, to sit, etc.);
    •  adjectives (essential qualities) (new, full, red, right, young, long, etc.);
    •  pronouns (personal and demonstrative) (I, my, this, that, those, these, etc.);
    •  numerals (most of them) (1-10, 100, 1000, etc.);
    •  prepositions (for, at, of, to, etc.).
  1.  Common Germanic words – the part of the vocabulary that was shared by most Germanic languages. These words never occurred outside the Germanic group of languages. This layer was smaller than the IE layer.

Semantic fields:

  •  nature, plants, animals (earth, fox, sheep, sand, etc.);
    •  sea (starve, sea, etc.);
    •  everyday life (hand, sing, find, make, etc.).

Parts of speech:

  •  nouns (horse, rain, ship, bridge, life, hunger, ground, death, winter, evil, etc. );
    •  verbs (to like, to drink, to bake, to buy, to find, to fall, to fly, to make, etc.);
    •  adjectives (broad, sick, true, dead, deaf, open, clean, bitter, etc.);
    •  pronouns (such, self, all, etc.);
    •  adverbs (often, again, forward, near, etc.).
  1.  Specifically Old English words – native words that occur only in English and do not occur in other Germanic and non-Germanic languages. They are very few and are mainly derivatives and compounds (e.g. fisher, understand, woman, etc.).
  2.  Borrowed words – this part of OE vocabulary, as it has already been mentioned above, was a small portion of words that remained on the periphery of OE vocabulary. The words were mainly borrowed from:
    •  Latin (around 500 words only) (abbat, anthem, alms, etc. );
    •  Celtic dialects:
      •  common nouns (bin, cross, cradle, etc.) – most of them died out, some survived only in dialects;
      •  place names and names of waterways:
        •  Kent, London, York, etc.;
        •  Ouse, Avon, Evan, Thames, Dover – all with the meaning “water”;
        •  -comb (“deep valley”) – Duncombe, Winchcombe, etc.;
        •  -torr (“high rock”) – Torr, Torcross, etc.;
        •  -llan (“church”) – Llandoff, Llanelly, etc.;
        •  -pill (“creek”) – Pylle, Huntspill, etc.
    •  hybrids:

Celtic element + Latin element

Celtic element + Germanic element

Man-chester

York-shire

Corn-wall

Devon-shire

Lan-caster

Salis-bury

Devon-port

Lich-field

More detailed information about the borrowings in English will be given in Lectures 22 and 23.

Lecture 21

Word-Formation in Old English

In OE the vocabulary mainly grew by means of word-formation. The words fell into 3 main types:

  •  simple words (root-words) – a word consisting of a root-morpheme with no derivational suffixes (e.g. OE ζōd (good), land (land), dæζ (day), etc.);
    •  derived words – a word consisting of a root-morpheme + 1 or more then one affix (e.g. OE be-ζinnan (begin), ζe-met-inζ (meeting), etc.);
    •  compound words – a word consisting of more then one root-morpheme (e.g. OE mann-cynn (mankind), fēower-tīene (fourteen), etc.).

Ways of Word-Formation

Word-Derivation:

  •  sound interchange – was employed frequently, but never alone (usually was accompanied by suffixation). Sources of sound-interchange:
    •  ablaut (OE rīdan (V) – rād (N) = NE ride (V) – raid (N); OE sinζan (V) – sonζ (N) = NE sing (V) – song (N), etc.);
      •  palatal mutation:
        •  verbs from nouns (doom deem; food feed, etc.);
          •  verbs from adjectives  (full fill; healthy heal, etc.);
          •  nouns from adjectives (long length; strong strength, etc.);
      •  consonantal interchanges (death –  dead; rise – rear, etc.).
    •  word stress – was not frequent; it helped to differentiate between parts of speech and was used together with other means (e.g. OE ‘andswaru (N answer) – and’swarian (V answer);
    •  prefixation – was a productive way (unlike in ModE):
      •  IE prefixes (OE un- (negative));
      •  Germanic prefixes (OE mis-, be-, ofer-(over-));
      •  prefixes were widely used with verbs, but were far less productive with the other parts of speech (e.g. OE ζān (to go) – ā-ζān (to go away) – be-ζān (to go round) – fore-ζān (to precede), etc.);
      •  prefixes often modified lexical meaning (e.g. OE siþ (journey) – for-siþ (death));
      •  there were grammatical prefixes, e.g ζe-:
        •  was used to build Participle 2 of strong verbs (e.g. OE sitten (to sit) ζesett (sat), etc.);
          •  turned durative verbs into terminative (e.g. OE feran (to go) ζeferan (to reach), etc.).
    •  suffixation – was the most productive way, mostly applied to nouns and adjectives, seldom to verbs.

Classification of OE suffixes:

  1.  Suffixes of agent nouns (-end (OE  frēond (friend)), -ere (OE  fiscere (fisher)), -estre (feminine) (OE  bæcestre (female baker)), etc.);
  2.  Suffixes of abstract nouns (-t (OE  siht  (sight)), -þu (OE  lengþu (length)),    -nes/nis (OE  beorhtnes (brightness), blindnis (blindness)),  -unζ/inζ (OE  earnunζ (earning)), etc.);
  3.  Adjectival suffixes (-iζ (OE  hāliζ (holy)), -isc (OE  mannisc (human)), -ede (OE  hōcede (hooked)), -sum (OE lanζsum (lasting)) etc.);
  4.  New suffixes derived from noun root-morphemes (-dōm (OE  frēodōm  (freedom)), -hād (OE  cīldhād (childhood)), -lāc (OE  wedlāc (wedlock)),  -scipe (OE  frēondscipe (frendship)), etc.);
  5.  New suffixes derived from adjective root-morphemes (-lic (OE  woruldlic  (worldly)), -full (OE  carfull (careful)), -lēas (OE  slǽplēas (sleepless)), etc.).

Word-Composition

Word-composition – a combination of 2 ore more root-morphemes – was a highly productive way of word-formation. The main patterns were:

  •  N + N N (the most frequent) (e.g. OE ζimm-stān (gemstone), OE mann-cynn (mankind));
  •  syntactical compounds N (e.g. OE dæζes-ēaζe (literally “day’s eye” = NE daisy));
  •  Adj + N Adj (so-called bahuvrihi type) (e.g. OE mild-heort (literally “mild heort” = NE merciful), OE ān-ēaζe (literally “one eye” = NE one-eyed));
  •  N + Adj Adj (e.g. OE dōm-ζeorn (eager for glory), OE mōd-ceariζ (sorrowful));
  •  V + N N (very rare) (e.g. OE bæc-hūs (baking-house)).

Word composition was often accompanied by other ways of word formation mentioned above (e.g. OE þēaw-fæst-nes (þēaw = “custom” N, fæst = “firm” N, nes = “-ness” suffix)) = NE discipline).

Lecture 22

Latin Borrowings in Old English

Borrowings from Classical Languages (Latin, Greek) during the Renaissance

Latin has been the most long-lasting donor of borrowings to English because its influence started before the 5th A.D. (when Anglo-Saxons still lived on the Continent) and continues up to present day.

Usually Latin borrowings in OE are classified into the following layers:

  1.  Continental borrowings – words that the West Germanic tribes borrowed from Latin while they still lived on the Continent. Later, when they conquered the British Isles, they brought these words with them. These words are present in all the Germanic languages.

Semantic fields:

  •  concrete objects (household (cup, pillow, etc.), food (cheese, butter, etc.), animals (mule, turtle, etc.));
    •  units of measurement (mile, pound, inch, etc.).
  1.  Borrowings after the Roman Invasion of the British Isles (through the Romanised Celts) that lie within the following semantic areas:
    •  trade (trade, deal, chest, flask, etc.);
    •  building (chalk, file, copper, etc.);
    •  domestic life (dish, kettle, etc.);
    •  military affairs (wall, street, pile, etc.);
    •  place names:
      •  -castra (“castle”) (Chester, Lancaster, etc.);
      •  -wich (“village”) (Norwich, Woolwich, etc.);
      •  -port (“port“) (Bridport, Devonport, etc.).
  2.  Borrowings after the Introduction of Christianity (597) that lie within the following semantic areas:
    •  religion (angel, hymn, idol, pope, psalm; from Greek through Latin – anthem, bishop, candle, apostle, etc.);
    •  learning (school, scholar, master, verse, accent, grammar, etc.);
    •  everyday life (plant, pine, radish, cap, sock, etc.).

Plus there appeared a lot of so-called translation loans – words that were translated part-for-part from Latin (e.g. Monday (“moon day”, from Latin Lunae dies), goldsmith (from Latin aurifex (auri = gold, fex = worker)), etc.).

All Latin borrowings in OE underwent assimilation, i.e.:

  •  changed their spelling according to the English rules;
  •  underwent some phonetic changes according to the English rules;
  •  were used in derivation and compounding;
  •  acquired grammatical categories of the English parts of speech.

ME

After the Norman Conquest the main spheres of the Latin Language remained:

  •  church;
  •  law;
  •  academic activities.

French became the official language of administration (it was used in the king’s court, in the law courts, in the church (as well as Latin), in the army, by the nobles in the south of England).

English was the language of common people in the Midlands and in the north of England. It still remained the language of the majority who were the representatives of the lower classes of society and never learned French, so the Norman barons had to learn English to be able to communicate with locals and soon English regained its position as the language of the country.

The surge of interest in the classics during the Age of the Renaissance led to a new wave of borrowings from Latin and Greek (through Latin mainly).

Latin

Greek

abstract concepts (anticipate, exact, exaggerate, explain, fact, dislocate, accommodation, etc. )

theatre (drama, episode, scene, theatre, etc.)

literature (anapest, climax, epilogue, rhythm, etc. )

rhetoric (dialogue, metaphor, etc.)

affixes de- (demolish, destroy, etc.),

ex- (extract, , explore, explain, etc.),

re- (reread, retell, retry, etc.),

-ate (locate, excavate, etc.),

-ent (apparent, present, turbulent, etc.),

-ct (correct, erect, etc.)

roots for creation of new words ( )

affixes -ism (humanism, mechanism, aphorism, etc.),

-ist (protagonist, terrorist, cyclist, etc.),

anti- (antibody, antidote, antibiotic, etc.),

di- (digest, diverse, etc.),

neo- (neo-realism, neo-conservatism, etc.)

Greco-Latin Hybrids (words one part of which is Greek and the other one – Latin):

e.g. tele-graph, socio-logy, tele-vision, etc.

Fate of these Borrowings in English:

  1.  Many of them underwent a shift of meaning:

e.g. Lat. musculus (literally “little mouse”) Eng. muscle;

      Gr. kosmos (“universe”) Eng. cosmetics;

      Gr. climax (“ladder”) Eng. climax (the top of something).

  1.  Many of them formed the basis for international terminology:

e.g. Latin borrowings:  facsimile, introvert, radioactive, relativity, etc.;

      Greek borrowings: allergy, antibiotic, hormone, protein, stratosphere, etc.

  1.  Many of them increased the number synonyms in English:

reckon

count

compute

size

calibre

magnitude

kingly

royal

regal

  1.  
  2.  Lecture 23
  3.  French and Scandinavian Borrowings in English
  4.  
  5.  In ME the main donors of borrowings to English were French and Scandinavian Languages:
  6.  

Basis for Comparison

French Borrowings

Scandinavian Borrowings

Time

since the 11th c. (Norman Conquest)

since the 9th c. (Scandinavian Invasion)

Number

10 000

1 000

Area

French borrowings started to penetrate from the South and spread northwards.

Scandinavian borrowings came to English from Northern and North-Eastern Dialects

Ways of Borrowing

French borrowings penetrated through oral and written speech and at first were adopted only by the high strata of the society (French was the language of the administration, king’s court, law courts, church (as well as Latin) and army).

Scandinavian borrowings penetrated only through oral speech as far as the Scandinavians had never been too eager to come to the power wherever they went. They were just raiders.

Native Germanic Word

French Borrowing

Latin Borrowing

Assimilation of Borrowings

French borrowings were more difficult to assimilate as far as French was a Romance language while English was a Germanic one (they belonged to different language groups). So they two languages differed in some essential features (stress/accent, vocalic system, etc.) and the assimilation was hard.

Scandinavian borrowings were easier to assimilate as far as the Scandinavian Dialects as well as Old English Dialects were Germanic dialects (they all belonged to one and the same language group). So the languages were very similar and the assimilation was easy.

Semantic Fields

  •  government and administration (assembly, authority, council, to govern, office, nation, etc.);
  •  feudal system (baron, countess, duke, feudal, noble, etc.);
  •  military (aid, arms, army, battle, defeat, force, etc.);
  •  law (crime, court, jury, justice, false, defendant, etc.);
  •  church (abbey, Bible, chapel, clergy, grace, etc.);
  •  art, architecture (chimney, palace, colour, figure, design, etc.);
  •  entertainment (pleasure, leasure, sport, dance, cards, etc.);
  •  address (madam, sir, mister, etc.).
  •  everyday life (cake, raft, skirt, birth, dirt, fellow, root, window, to die, etc.);
  •  military (knife, fleet, etc.);
  •  legal matters (law, husband, etc.);
  •  some pronouns and conjunctions (they, their, them, both, though, etc.);
  •  essential notion (N scar, anger; V to call, to take, to want to kill, to cast, to scare; Adj happy, ill, weak, wrong; Pron same, both; Prep till, fro, etc.).

Recognition in ModE

French borrowings are often recognisable due to some phonetic, word-building and spelling peculiarities:

  •  oi, oy (point, joy, toy, etc.);
  •  initial v (very, voice, etc.);
  •  -age (village, carriage, etc.);
  •  c as [s] (pierce, city, etc.).

Scandinavian borrowings are hard to distinguish from the native words as far as Scandinavian Dialects belonged to the same language group (Germanic). The only distinctive Scandinavian feature in English:

Scandinavian cluster [sk] (sky, skill, skin, skirt, etc.);

Contributions

  •  French borrowings enlarged the English vocabulary (a lot of new words);
  •  Some French borrowings replaced the native words (very, river, easy,etc.);
  •  French borrowings enlarged the number of synonyms in English:

native to hide – Fr. borr. to conceal,

native wish – Fr. borr. desire,

native smell – Fr. borr. odour, etc.

  •  Some French affixes were borrowed into English (

com-, sub-, dis-, (prefixes)

-ment, -ish, -able, (suffixes) etc.).

  •  A lot of Scandinavian borrowings disappeared, some were left only in dialects;
  •  Some Scandinavian borrowings replaced the native words (they, take, call, etc.);
  •  Scandinavian borrowings enlarged the number of synonyms in English:

native to blossom – Scan. borr. to bloom,

native wish – Scan. borr. want,

native heaven – Scan. borr. sky, etc.


 

А также другие работы, которые могут Вас заинтересовать

27144. СИСТЕМЫ ОПЕРАТИВНОЙ ОБРАБОТКИ ИНФОРМАЦИИ 41.76 KB
  Транзакция некоторый набор операций над базой данных который рассматривается как единое завершенное с точки зрения пользователя действие над некоторой информацией обычно связанное с обращением к базе данных. Со временем в таких системах начали аккумулироваться большие объемы данных документы сведения о банковских операциях информация о клиентах заключенных сделках оказанных услугах и т. Постепенно возникло понимание того что сбор данных не самоцель. Появилась потребность в информационных системах которые позволяли бы проводить...
27145. Управление жизненным циклом информации 150.37 KB
  Например в заказе на покупку ценность информации меняется с момента размещения заказа до истечения срока гарантии. В момент получения заказа на покупку и его обработки для доставки товара значимость информации максимальна. Управление жизненным циклом информации Information Lifecycle Management ILM Проблемы клиента В настоящее время расходы на хранение составляют более 15 ИТбюджетов Ежегодно объемы данных растут более чем на 50 В большинстве случаев дисковые устройства хранения используются менее чем на 50 40 из них...
27146. Классификация данных: структурированные, неструктурированные, детализированные, агрегированные, метаданные 30.27 KB
  Метаданные должны содержать описание структуры хранилища и структуры данных в том числе импортируемых их внешних источников. В хранилищах данных метаданные нужны для извлечения преобразования и загрузки данных из разных источников а также для последующего использования и интерпретации хранимых данных. Технически метаданные содержат данные для обеспечения работы самого хранилища статистика загрузки описание модели данных Классификация данных в зависимости от способа управления и хранения: Структурированные 20 Неструктурированные 80.
27147. Комбинация многомерного и реляционного подхода: киоски (витрины) данных 39.38 KB
  Преимущества реляционных ХД: неограниченный объем хранения данных т. РСУБД лежат в основе большинства OLTP систем а те в свою очередь являются основным источником данных для хранилищ то упрощена загрузка данных в ХД OLTP Online Transaction Processing транзакционная система обработка транзакций в реальном времени. OLTPсистемы предназначены для ввода структурированного хранения и обработки информации операций документов в режиме реального времени при добавлении новых изменений не нужно выполнять сложную физическую реорганизацию...
27148. Многомерные хранилища данных 69.22 KB
  Сущность многомерного представления данных состоит в следующем. Например для описания процесса продаж могут понадобиться сведения о наименованиях товаров или их групп о поставщике и покупателе о городе где производились продажи а также о ценах количествах проданных товаров и общих суммах. Представление данных в виде многомерных кубов более наглядно чем совокупность нормализованных таблиц реляционной модели структуру которой представляет только администратор БД.
27149. Реляционные ХД 11.22 KB
  Данные хранятся в реляционных таблицах но образуют специальные структуры эмулирующие многомерное представление данных. Многомерные ХД реализуют многомерное представление данных на физическом уровне в виде многомерных кубов. Гибридные ХД сочетают в себе свойства как реляционной так и многомерной модели данных. Виртуальные ХД не являются хранилищами данных в привычном понимании.
27150. ВВЕДЕНИЕ В OLAP 336.95 KB
  И если количество аналитиков в десятки раз меньше числа кассиров то объемы данных необходимых для анализа превышают размер средней транзакции на несколько порядков величины. Технология OLAP Online Analytical Processing представляет собой методику оперативного извлечения нужной информации из больших массивов данных и формирования соответствующих отчетов. Однако вскоре выяснилось что OLAP–системы очень плохо справляются с ролью посредника между различными транзакционными системами источниками данных и клиентскими приложениями.
27151. Информационные системы 10.52 KB
  ETL получает несогласованные данные которые надо преобразовать к единому формату. ETL загружает данные в центральное хранилище. SRD должно доставить данные в различные витрины в соответствии с правами доступа графиком доставки и требованиями к составу информации.
27152. Принципы построения систем, ориентированных на анализ данных 52.16 KB
  Принципы построения систем ориентированных на анализ данных Модели данных используемые при построении Хранилищ Данных В настоящее время наибольшее распространение получили три вида моделей хранилищ данных: многомерная реляционная и комбинированная. Измерения играют роль индексов используемых для идентификации конкретных значений данных. Вращение изменение порядка измерений; обычно для двухмерных сечений остальные фиксированные для приведения данных к форме удобной для восприятия; Свертка замена одного из значений измерения другим ...