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CONTENTS

Part I. Pre-history of English (c. 2000 B.C. c. 450 A.D.)

Seminar 1

English as an Indo-European and Germanic Language

Seminar 2

Phonetic Features of Germanic Languages

11

Seminar 3

Grammatical Features of Germanic Languages

17

Seminar 4

Germanic Vocabulary

22

Part II. Old English (c. 450 1066)

26

Seminar 5

The Sound System of Old English

26

Seminar 6

Grammatical Structure of Old English: The Nominal System

32

Seminar 7

Grammatical Structure of Old English: The Verbal System

41

Seminar 8

Old English Vocabulary

49

Part III. Middle English (1066 1475)

52

Seminar 9

The Sound System of Middle English

52

Seminar 10

Grammatical Structure of Middle English: The Nominal

56

System
Seminar 11

Grammatical Structure of Middle English: The Verbal

62

System
Seminar 12

Middle English Vocabulary

67

Part IV. Early Modern English (1476 c. 1660) and

69

English After the 17th Century


Seminar 13

The Sound System of Early Modern English

69

Seminar 14

Grammatical Structure of Early Modern English: The

72

Nominal System
Seminar 15

Grammatical Structure of Early Modern English:

76

The Verbal System


Seminar 16

The Sound System, Vocabulary and Grammatical Structure

80

of Late Modern English


Seminar 17

Phonetic, Grammatical and Lexical Features of Present-Day


3

84

English
Appendix 1

Model of Phonetic Analysis

88

Appendix 2

Model of Grammatical Analysis

88

Appendix 3

Model of Etymological Analysis

89

90

92


List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

93

Bibliography

94


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2000 B.C. c. 450 A.D.)) ,

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(Old English (c. 450 1066))


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(Middle English (1066 1475))
,
1066 . XV .
(Early Modern English (1476 c. 1660) and English
After the 17th Century)
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5

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Part I. Pre-history of English (c. 2000 B.C. c. 450 A.D.)


Seminar 1

English as an Indo-European and Germanic Language


English is an Indo-European language having approximately 140 sister
languages. Some of these languages, like Old Church Slavonic and Hittite, are now
extinct, whereas others, like Spanish and Russian, are spoken in areas with large
populations. Because English is one of the least conservative Indo-European
languages, it is sometimes difficult to recognize its family resemblances with sister
languages. There are nonetheless several criteria that demonstrate the genetic tie
between English and the rest of the Indo-European family.
The first one is the existence of cognates in core vocabulary such as numerals,
personal pronouns, body parts, animals, colors, objects of everyday use, etc. For
example, the English word door is foris in Latin, thr in Greek, dar in Gothic, turi
in Old High German, dvras in Sanskrit and in Russian. The English red
corresponds to the Old High German rt and the Sanskrit rudhirs, Lithuanian ruds
and Bulgarian . The first-person singular I is ich in German, ego in Latin, aham in
Sanskrit and in Old Church Slavonic.
Another criterion concerns morphological structure: Old English, like Russian,
Greek and Sanskrit, declines adjectives according to case, number, and grammatical
gender. English verbs, just like verbs in Russian and French, can be transitive (that is,
they can govern an object as in Kids like icecream) or intransitive (Daniel is
playing outside), though there is no specific formal marking on the verb to
distinguish the transitive and intransitive types.
Theoretically speaking, all Indo-European languages derive from one linguistic
source. Such an ancestral language has not been attested, however, and various
efforts have been made to reconstruct this common speech known as Proto-IndoEuropean.
Classical Proto-Indo-European is considered to be an inflectional language in
which nominal inflections indicate grammatical relationship of substantives,
adjectives and pronouns to other words in a sentence, and mark gender and number
agreement among words in phrases. The protolanguage is traditionally reconstructed
with eight (occasionally nine) cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative,
ablative, locative, instrumental, and vocative. The protolanguage had three numbers
(singular, dual, and plural), as well as three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter).
Adjectives followed the same pattern of inflection as nouns and agreed in gender and
number with their head noun. Pronouns are marked by their own more-or-less unique
endings.
The Proto-Indo-European verb encoded two voices, active and mediopassive; a
number of tenses (at least the present, imperfect, aorist, perfect, and possibly future);
and mood (at least the indicative, imperative, and optative moods are reconstructed,
and occasionally the subjunctive). Voice, tense, and mood markers are attached to
stems indicating aspectual categories, and the entire complex is indexed to the subject
by means of person/number markers.
7

Inflection languages like Proto-Indo-European and many of its descendants


(including Old English) have fundamentally different syntactic patterns from
languages like Modern English or French. The reason has much to do with word
order, and the fact that a good deal of the syntax of inflectional languages is
conveyed in morphological expressions, such as case endings. In Modern English, for
example, the order of elements in a sentence is grammatically fixed while in ProtoIndo-European word order was a stylistic, not a grammatical device.
The Indo-European language family may be pictured as a tree with differently
shaped branches radiating out from the center. One of the branches of the IndoEuropean language family is formed by Germanic languages, the most widely spread
being English and German with about 375 and 120 million native speakers,
respectively. Other significant languages include Low Germanic and Scandinavian
languages. Their common ancestor is Proto-Germanic, probably still spoken in the
mid-first millennium B.C. in Iron Age Northern Europe, since its separation from the
Proto-Indo-European language around 2000 B.C. The Germanic branch is
represented in the following figure:
Figure 1. Germanic Languages
Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Greek Proto-Italic

Proto-Celtic

Proto-Germanic

Proto-Balto-Slavic

etc.

etc.

Northwest Germanic
West Germanic

North Germanic

Anglo-Frisian

West Norse

East Germanic

East Norse
Gothic

Old English

Old Saxon

Old High German

Old Low
Franconian
Old Frisian

Middle
English

Old Icelandic
(Old Norse)

Old
Norwegian

Old
Danish

Old
Swedish

Middle High
German
Middle Low
German
Middle
Dutch

Crimean
Gothic

English Frisian Low Dutch German Yiddish Icelandic Faroese Norwegian Danish Swedish
German
8

Germanic languages became different from other languages of the IndoEuropean family in the following main ways:
The Indo-European verbal system was simplified. Indo-European distinctions
of tense and aspect were lost except for the present and past tenses. These two tenses
are still the only ones indicated by inflection in Modern English.
Germanic developed a past tense (called weak or regular) with a dental suffix, d or -t (e.g. walk, walked, etc.). Germanic languages thus have two types of verbs,
weak (regular) and strong (irregular) the latter building their past tense form and past
participle by means of sound alternation in the root (e.g. write, wrote, written).
Germanic developed weak and strong adjectives. The weak declension was
used when the modified noun was preceded by another word which indicated case,
number, and gender. The strong declension was used in other situations.
The Indo-European free accentual system allowed any syllable to be stressed.
In Germanic the stress is mainly on the root of the word, usually the first syllable.
Several Indo-European vowels were modified in Germanic while consonants
underwent two sound shifts, the second affecting only the high Germanic languages.
Germanic has a number of unique vocabulary items, words which have no
known cognates in other Indo-European languages. These words may have been lost
in the other Indo-European languages, borrowed from non-Indo-European languages,
or perhaps coined in Germanic.
Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. What are the aims of studying the history of a language?
2. The Indo-Europeans and their origins.
3. Ancient Germanic tribes and their languages.
4. The relationship of English to other Indo-European languages (with special
reference to Germanic, Celtic and Slavonic languages).
5. The status of English as a member of the Germanic subgroup.
6. English as a global language.

II. Give English and Russian cognates of the following Indo-European words:
1. MIr br hill, Toch prk to rise, Ger Berg mountain
2. Skr udan- water, Lat unda wave, Gr hdr water
3. Gr omhl cloud, Skr megh cloud, Lith migl mist
4. Lat nix, Gr npha, OIr snechti, Goth snaiws
9

5. Gaul bebru, Lat fiber, Lith bebrs


6. Lat lupus, Lith vilkas, Gr lkos
7. Lat canis dog, Gr kn dog, Arm un dog
8. Lat dns, Lith dants, Gr odn
9. Lat formus, Gr therms, Skr gharmh, Goth warmjan
10. OIr clas ear, Lith klausau I hear, Messapic klaohi hear!, OE hlysten
hear.
11. Lat peda sole, Lith ped footprint, Gr pdon ground
12. Lat is broth, sauce, Lith je fish soup, Skr ys soup, broth
13. OIr on single, Lat nus 'one', Lith venas one
14. Lat mns thought, Lith mints thought, Skr mat thought
15. OPrus grbin number, Gr grph scratch, OHG kerben to cut, OE ceorfan
to cut

III. Compile a summary table representing Germanic tribes, their languages and
early written records.

Report Topics
1. Language change and historical linguistics.
2. Proto-Indo-European and modern Indo-European languages.
3. Discovery of Sanskrit.
4. Twentieth-century discoveries: Hittite and Tocharian.
5. The Germanic branch of the Indo-European family tree: modern and old
Germanic languages.
6. Sources of information about earlier stages of English.
7. Ancient Germanic tribes: historical and cultural review.
8. Germanic civilization in Europe.
9. Germanic writing: old Germanic alphabets.
10. Periods in the history of English.
10

Seminar 2

Phonetic Features of Germanic Languages


Consonantism
Germanic, and all its descendants, is characterized by a number of unique
phonological features that set it apart from the rest of the Indo-European family. The
most conspicuous sound change in the pre-history of Germanic was Grimms Law or
the Germanic Consonant Shift, which took place in three steps:
1) PIE voiceless stops p, t, k, kw became the voiceless fricatives f, , h, hw when
not preceded by an obstruent;
2) PIE voiced stops b, d, g, gw became voiceless stops p, t, k, kw;
3) PIE voiced aspirated stops bh, dh, gh, ghw became voiced fricatives which
further developed into voiced stops b, d, g, gw.
The results of the First Consonant Shift can be presented in the following table:
Table 1. The Germanic Consonant Shift (Grimms Law)
PIE Germanic
PIE Germanic
PIE Germanic
p>f
b>p
bh > b
d>t
dh >d
t>
k>h
g>k
gh > g
kw > hw
gw > kw
ghw > gw
Examples:
Indo-European

Germanic

Lat ps, Skt pdas, Gr pods (Gen. Goth fotus, PDE foot
case)
Lat trs, Skt trayas, Gr treis

Goth rija, PDE three

Lat cor, cordis, Gr kard

OE heorte, PDE heart

Lat quod, Skt ks, Rus

Goth hata, PDE what

Lat scab

Goth skapjan, PDE shape

Lat dns, Lith dantis

Goth tunus, PDE tooth

Lat grnum, Rus

Goth kaurn, PDE corn

Lat vvus (< gwwos), Rus

Goth qius, PDE quick

Skr bhrami, Rus

Goth bara, PDE bear

Skr dadhmi, Gr t-thmi, Rus

OE dn, PDE do

Skr hatak, Lat hostis, Rus

Goth gasts, PDE guest

Skr gharms, Gr thermos, Rus

Goth warmjan (w < gw), PDE warm


11

In some cases the results of the First Consonant Shift differ from what we are led
to expect in accordance with the general formulas stated above. For example:
Indo-European
Germanic
Lat

noctem night (acc.)

Goth

nahts

Gr

nkta (acc.)

Ger

Nacht

Lat

octo eight

Goth

ahtau

Gr

okt

Ger

acht

Lat

stare stand

Goth

standan

Gr

histmi set

PDE

stand

It is apparent that the PIE t was not affected by the shift when it followed a
voiceless fricative: it did not change into , but was preserved as such in Germanic
languages.
The Germanic Consonant Shift applied both word-initially and word-internally
(Proto-Indo-European word-final stops were lost). In word-internal position,
however, the voiceless fricatives produced by the shift, together with the inherited
sibilant fricative s, were potentially subject to Verners Law. The effect of this rule
was to convert f, , h, hw to the corresponding voiced fricatives , , , w and z when
the preceding vowel did not bear the pre-Germanic movable accent.
For instance:
Gr dka, Rus Goth tahun, but:
Gr deks, Rus Goth tigus.
The High German Consonant Shift or the Second Consonant Shift is a feature
that sets off the High German dialects from the rest of the West Germanic group. The
shift is a systematic change of consonants under certain conditions. Word-initially,
the stop consonants p, t, k become affricates. Elsewhere in the word they become
fricatives. And voiceless geminate stops become affricates. Results of the High
German Consonant Shift can be presented in the following way (an asterisk marks
changes that penetrated into the literary German language):
Table 2. The High German Consonant Shift
Common Germanic
High German
Initially and after a consonant
After a vowel
b
p
P
d
t*
t*
g
k
k
p
pf*
f*
z*[ts]
t
s*
ch []*
k
kh
12

Examples:
Common Germanic

High German

Goth
OE
OE
OE
OE

badi bed
bedd
dn do
pol pool
hopian hope

Bett

Goth
Goth

tahun ten
itan eat

zehn
essen

OE
OE

macian make
storc stork

machen
Storch

tun
Pfuhl
hoffen

Vocalism
Germanic languages also have some peculiarities in the sphere of vowel
sounds, which distinguish them from other Indo-European languages. Compared to
the drastic changes in the consonant system, the vowel system of Germanic remained
relatively stable; the major changes are in the direction of simplification.
The main characteristic feature in this sphere is the treatment of the IndoEuropean short vowels [o] and [a] and the long vowels [] and [].
Indo-European [o] and [a] appear as [a] in Germanic languages (see the table
below). The falling together of IE [a] and [o] also affected the diphthongs, reducing
that category.
Table 3. Correspondence between IE short [a] and [o] and Germanic vowels
IE
Germanic
IE
Germanic
Rus
Ger Apfel
Lat oct
Goth ahtau
Lat noctem
Goth nahts
Gr okt
Ger acht
Rus
Ger Nacht
Rus
Indo-European [] and [] appear as [] in Germanic languages (see the table
below), so the inventory of long vowels is reduced by one.
Table 4. Correspondence between IE long [a] and [o] and Germanic vowels
IE
Germanic
IE
Germanic
Lat frter
Goth brar
Lat fls flower
OE blma
Gr phrtr
OE bror
Subsequent sound changes in Germanic were to alter the distribution of some
of its original vowels. In particular, there was a general tendency for [i] to replace [e]
in unstressed syllables and before nasals.
13

We might also note that the vowels [a] and [o] have a long history of instability
in Germanic languages. To this day, the various dialects of English handle them
differently, and many dialects do not phonemically distinguish the PDE reflexes of
these vowels, / a / and /o/; for example, in some dialects, the words caller and collar
are homophones. Even within the same dialect, different speakers often have different
distribution patterns.
Indo-European vowels participated in an extensive system of ablaut (also
called apophony or vowel gradation), whereby changes in the vowels of roots
indicated such morphological categories as tense, number, or even part of speech.
The basic ablaut series was e ~ o ~ 0, in which e represents full grade, o represents
secondary grade, and 0 represents lowest, or zero grade (that is, the vowel is lost
completely). The particular vowel that appeared in a given form originally depended
upon the location of the accent in the word. In Germanic, the conditioning factor (a
change in accent) for ablaut was eliminated when the accent was fixed on the first
syllable of all words, regardless of their grammatical form or function. Nonetheless,
the vowel alternations that had appeared in PIE often remained to some extent, to
the present day. They are most obvious in strong verbs like sing, sang, sung, but also
appear in related nouns from the same root (song).Ablaut in Germanic languages is a
further development of Indo-European alterations. Here we often find cases with both
the quantitative and qualitative ablaut. For example: OE findan fand fundan
(PDE find found found).
Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. What is meant by a phonetic law?
2. What is the pre-written and written period in the history of a language?
3. The essence and consequences of the First Consonant Shift.
4. Exceptions from Grimms law. Verners law.
5. West-Germanic lengthening of consonants.
6. The essence and consequences of the Second Consonant Shift.
7. Germanic and Indo-European vowels.
8. The Germanic fracture.
9. Ablaut in Indo-European and Germanic languages.
10. Umlaut in Germanic languages.

14

II. Explain correspondences between consonants in Germanic words and words of


other Indo-European languages:
1. Skr pit, Gr patr, Lat pater, Goth fadar, Ger Vater, OE fader.
2. Gr kardia, Lat cor, Rus , PDE heart.
3. Skr bharasi, Gr pherois, Lat fers, Goth bairis, OHG beris, Rus .
4. Lat t, Rus , Gr t, OE .
5. Lat centum, Gr he-katn, Goth hunda, Rus .
6. Skr bhrtr, Lat frter, Rus , OE bror.
7. Skr jana, Lat genus, Goth kuni, PDE kinship.
8. Gr oct, Lat oct, Rus , Goth ahtau.
9. Gr dein, Skr dmi, Lat edere, Rus , Goth itan.
10. Lat (co)gnosco, Skr jna, Rus , OE cnwan.
11. Lat gustre, OE csan.
12. Rus , Ger nackt, OE nacod.
13. Gr anepsis, Lat neps, OE nefa.
14. Lat digitus, OE tcen.
15. Skr mdhyas, Lat medius, OE middel.
III. Explain correspondences between consonants in Old English words and words of
other Germanic languages:
1. Goth midjis, OE midd, OHG mitti middle
2. Goth sibja, OE sibb, OHG sippea relationship
3. Goth lekeis, OE lce, OHG lhhi physician
4. Goth hazjan, OE herian to praise
5. Goth reiki, OE rce, OHG rhhi kingdom, power
6. OE sellan, OHG sellen, Goth saljan to sacrifice
7. Goth gaskapjan, ON skepja, OE scieppan, OHG skephen to make
8. Goth timrjan, ON timbra, OE timbran, OHG zimberen to build
9. Goth wopjan, OE wpan, OHG wuofen to weep
10. Goth dailjan, ON deila, OE dlan, OHG teilen to divide
15

IV. Explain correspondences between vowels in Germanic words and words of other
Indo-European languages:
1. Lat ad, Goth at.
2. Lat hostis, Rus , Goth gasts, OHG gast.
3. Gr pltos, Goth fldus, OE fld.
4. Lat mter, OE mdor.
5. Lat fer, OHG beran
6. Lat piscis, Goth fisks, OE fisc.
7. Gr hortos, Lat hortus, Goth gards.
8. Lat ar, Goth arjan.
9. Lat ventus, OE wind.
10. Gr ms, Lat ms, OE ms.
11. Rus , OE balu
12. Rus , Ger Salz

V. Insert missing consonants according to the First Consonant Shift:


Lat trans PDE rough

Gr grphein to write PDE arve

Lat pluva rain PDE low

Gr eikanos cock PDE en

Lat cere to lead PDE tug

Lat sum tallow PDE soap

Lat umre to swell PDE thumb

Lat uter rotten PDE foul

Rus PDE otter

Lat cere to show PDE teach

Report Topics
1. Phonological characteristics of Germanic languages.
2. Origins of the Germanic system of consonants.
3. Origins of the Germanic system of vowels.
4. Old English vowels and vowels of other Germanic languages.
5. Old English consonants and consonants of other Germanic languages.
6. Old English and Gothic consonantism.
7. Old English and Gothic vocalism.
16

Seminar 3
Grammatical Features of Germanic Languages
Four major word classes are identified for IE on the basis of the inflections
they took or did not take: nouns/adjectives, pronouns, verbs, and prepositions. The
adverb was not a separate word class. There was no article and no separate class of
conjunctions. Nouns and adjectives are lumped together because in IE they took the
same inflections; the sharp distinction we tend to make between PDE nouns and
adjectives did not exist. IE nouns, adjectives (including demonstratives), and
pronouns were inflected for case, number, and gender. IE probably had eight cases:
1) nominative, used for the subject of a finite verb or for predicate nouns or
adjectives;
2) genitive, used to indicate that a noun is the modifier of another noun and to
express such relationships as possession, source, and partition;
3) dative, used to indicate the indirect object of a verb, the object of some
prepositions, and the object of some verbs;
4) accusative, used to indicate the direct object of a verb and also the object of
some prepositions;
5) ablative, used to indicate separation or direction away from a source;
6) instrumental, used to express agency or means;
7) locative, used to indicate place in or at which;
8) vocative, used to indicate a person or thing being directly addressed.
In Germanic, the ablative and locative fell together with the dative case, giving
Germanic only six cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, and
vocative). Although there was a strong tendency for the instrumental to fuse with the
dative, West Germanic preserved the instrumental long enough for traces to survive
in early Old English. The vocative also later became identical to the nominative,
partly because many of its endings had already been the same as those of the
nominative.
IE had three numberssingular, plural, and dual (used to refer to only two of
something). Germanic preserved all three of these numbers, although the dual was to
be lost later. IE also had three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter), all of
which were preserved in Germanic.
In addition to this assortment of inflectional categories, IE had various classes
of noun stems, and the actual form of each inflection varied according to what vowel
or consonant the stem ended in. Again, Germanic tended to reduce the number of
different stem types.
Although its general tendency was to simplify the IE declensional system,
Germanic was unique among the IE languages in complicating the adjective
declension by introducing two different sets of adjective inflections, whose use was
determined by whether the adjective was preceded by a demonstrative (definite or
weak adjectives) or not (indefinite or strong adjectives). At least four Germanic
adjectives exhibited suppletive comparison. The securely reconstructable paradigms
are:
17

positive

comparative

superlative

*mikilaz

*maizo

*maistaz big

*ltilaz

*minnizo

*minnistaz little

*daz

*batizo

*batistaz good

*ubilaz

*wirsizo

*wirsistaz bad

Indo-European pronouns had all the cases, numbers, and genders of nouns and
adjectives. In addition, the personal pronouns distinguished three persons: first
person (speaker), second person (addressee), and third person (anything else). Firstand second-person pronouns did not, however, distinguish gender (nor is gender
distinguished in these pronouns today).
The IE verb was even more heavily inflected than the noun. In addition to
marking person and number, it also distinguished aspect, voice, and mood. Aspect is
only roughly equivalent to what we normally mean by "tense"; it focuses more on
completion, duration, or repetition of the action expressed by the verb than on time.
IE verbs had six aspects:
1) present, referring to continuing action in progress;
2) imperfect, referring to continuing action in the past;
3) aorist, referring to momentary action in the past;
4) perfect, referring to completed action;
5) pluperfect, referring to completed action in the past;
6) future, referring to actions to come.
Like the Celtic and Italic languages, Germanic changed the focus of verb
conjugations from aspect to tense, that is, to expressing only time relationships
through inflections. Germanic also reduced the six aspect categories of IE to two
tense categories, present (which included future), and past (often called preterite).
IE had three voicesactive, passive, and middle (or reflexive). Except for
Gothic, Germanic lost both the inflected passive and the inflected middle voices,
expressing these notions by means of phrases rather than inflections.
The five moods of IE were indicative (for statements or questions of fact),
subjunctive (expressing will), optative (expressing wishes), imperative (expressing
commands), and injunctive (expressing unreality). Germanic retained the indicative
and parts of the imperative, but subsumed both the subjunctive and the injunctive
under the optative (confusingly usually called the subjunctive).
There were seven major classes of verbs in IE, distinguished by their root
vowels and following consonants. Germanic retained these seven basic classes. Seven
classes of Gothic verbs are presented below:

18

Table 5. Germanic Ablaut Series (Gothic Strong Verb Classes)


Class

Infinitive

1st Sg. Pret.

1st Pl. Pret.

Sec. Part.

beitan bite

bait

bitum

bitans

II

kiusan choose

kaus

kusum

kusans

III

bindan bind

band

bundum

bundans

wairan become

war

waurum

waurans

niman take

nam

nmum

numans

bairan bear

bar

brum

baurans

iban give

af

bum

ibans

VI

faran go

fr

frum

farans

VII

heitan 'call'

hahait

hahaitum

haitans

aukan increase

aiauk

aiaukum

aukans

ltan let'

lalt

laltum

ltans

IV

Class A (no
vowel alternation)
Class B
(alternation /)

Germanic also added an entirely new category of verbs, the "weak verbs" (or
dental preterite verbs), formed from other parts of speech and characterized by past
tense and past participle endings containing [t] or [d]. In all Germanic languages except
Gothic there were three classes of weak verbs, which were distinguished by their stembuilding suffixes. In Gothic there was also a fourth class. The Gothic classes of weak
verbs had the following forms:
Table 6. Germanic Weak Verb Classes (Gothic Weak Verbs)
Class
Infinitive
Past Singular
Past Plural
Second Participle
I
hausjan 'hear'
hausida
hausiddum
hausis
II
salbn 'salve'
salbda
salbddum
salbs
III
haban 'have'
habeda
habaidedum
habais
IV
fullnan 'fill'
fullnda
fullnddum

Besides strong and weak verbs, fifteen preterite-present verbs are


reconstructable for Proto-Germanic. Their presents were conjugated like strong pasts,
not because they had developed from strong pasts but because both those categories
had developed from the PIE perfect. Their finite pasts and past participles were weak,
but there were various anomalies in the shape of the suffix. This archaic class, though
it always remained small, has been hugely important in the morphosyntactic
development of those Germanic languages that still survive.
19

Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. The substantive and its categories.
2. The adjective and its categories.
3. The verb and its categories. Basic forms of the verb.
4. Strong verbs and the system of gradation.
5. Weak verbs.
6. Preterite-present verbs and minor groups of verbs.
7. Compare nominal and verbal categories that existed in Germanic with those of
modern Germanic languages.

II. Read the following text of the Lords Prayer in Old English (c. A.D. 1000), Old
Norse (after A.D. 1000) and Gothic (c. A.D. 350) and its translation into Latin and
Present-Day English. List common Germanic words (pay attention to different
spelling conventions). Analyze the words marked with an asterisk. Comment on the
Germanic word order. Compare the Germanic text with the non-Germanic Latin.
OE

Fder ure pu e eart on heofonum*, si pin nama ehalod.

ON

Faer varr sa u ert

Goth Atta unsar pu


Lat

i hifne,

helesk nafn pitt.

in himinam, weihnai namo ein.

Pater noster qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum.

PDE Our father who is in heaven, may your name be made holy.

OE

Tobecume pin rice.

ON

Til kome pitt rike.

ewure Sin willa on eordan swa swa on heofonum.

Verde inn vile,

sua a ir sem

a hifne.

Goth Qimai iudinassus peins. Wairai wilja peins, swe in himina jah ana airai.
Lat

Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra.

PDE May your kingdom come. May your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

OE

Urne dhwamlican* half* syle us tod.


20

ON

ef oss i da vart dalit brau.

Goth Hlaif unsarana ana sinteinan if uns himma daa.


Lat

Panem nostrum supersubstantialem da nobis hodie.

PDE Give us today our daily bread.

OE

And foryf us ure yltas

swa swa we

ON

Ok fyrerlat oss ossar skulder

sua sem ver

Goth Jah aflet uns atei skulans sijaima, swaswe jah weis
Lat

Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos

PDE And forgive our debts, just as we

OE

foryfa urum* yltendum.

ON

fyrerltom ossom skuldo-nautom.

Goth afletam am skulam unsaraim.


Lat

dimittimus debitoribus nostris.

PDE forgive our debtors.

OE

And ne elaed* pu us on costnunge, ac alys us of yfele.

ON

Ok inn lei oss eige i freistne, heldr frels pu oss af illo.

Goth Jah ni briggais uns in fraistubnjai ak lausei uns af amma ubilin.


Lat

Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo.

PDE And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Report Topics
1. Noun declensions in Proto-Germanic and in Proto-Indo-European.
2. Adjective declensions in Proto-Germanic and in Proto-Indo-European.
3. The pronoun in Proto-Germanic and in Proto-Indo-European.
4. The verb in Proto-Germanic and in Proto-Indo-European.
5. Gothic as a source of information for reconstructing the nature of ProtoGermanic.
21

Seminar 4
Germanic Vocabulary
A good part of the Proto-Indo-European vocabulary survived in its descendant
branches. Common Indo-European words constitute the oldest part of the Germanic
vocabulary. We have cognates for a large number of words that any human culture
must have in order for its members to communicate with each other. They include the
following groups of words:
1) kinship terms;
2) names of natural phenomena;
3) names of plants and animals;
4) names of parts of the human body;
5) agricultural terms;
6) verbs denoting the basic activities of man;
7) adjectives indicating the most essential qualities, etc.
Some of the vocabulary of Proto-Germanic also seems to be peculiar to it,
since it is not paralleled in other Indo-European languages. The common Germanic
layer includes words which are shared by most Germanic languages, but do not occur
outside the group. In some cases this may be pure chance, a word having been
preserved by Germanic and lost by the other branches, but no doubt some of the
words were invented or acquired by the Germanic peoples after the dispersal of the
Indo-Europeans. The number of common Germanic words is smaller than that of IndoEuropean ones. Most scholars assume that this uniquely Germanic vocabulary was
borrowed from non-Indo-European speakers whom the Germanic speakers
encountered and probably assimilated at an early stage in their migration away from
the original Indo-European homeland. We have, however, no evidence whatsoever
for what this substratum language may have been or what it was like. Semantically
common Germanic words are connected with nature, the sea and everyday life.
Proto-Germanic also borrowed words from other Indo-European branches. For
example, Proto-Germanic speakers borrowed a number of words from neighbouring
speech communities, especially Celtic and Latin speakers, who were on a higher
cultural level and so had things to teach them. Groups speaking Celtic languages
were skilled in metallurgy, and the Germanic words for iron and lead (OE ren, lad)
were probably borrowed from them. From the Romans were borrowed many words to
do with war, trade, building, horticulture and food all fields where the Germanic
speakers learnt a good deal from their southern neighbours (for example, OE csere
emperor, wall, tile, chalk, pound, mile, cheap, apple, plum, pear, wine, kitchen,
cheese, butter, kettle, dish).
The influence of Latin also extended to bound morphemes. The Germanic
languages share the suffix which usually appears in Modern English as -er (Old
English -ere), as in Old English bcere scribeand sangere singer (compare Gothic
bkareis and Old Norse sngare). This suffix appears to have been an early
borrowing from the Latin suffix -rius, as in cprius a cooper, a barrelmaker (from
Latin cpa a vat, a cask) and molnrius a miller (from Latin molna a mill). The
22

borrowing of a suffix from Latin reinforces the impression that at least some
Germanic-speaking groups had extensive contacts with the Latin language.
It should be noted that the borrowing was not all one-way; these other branches
also borrowed extensively from Germanic. For example, the various words for blue
in the Romance languages come from Germanic.
Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. What etymological layers can be differentiated in the Proto-Germanic
vocabulary?
2. Give examples of common Indo-European and Germanic words in the English
vocabulary.
3. Comment on loan words in the Proto-Germanic vocabulary. What spheres of
everyday life do they belong to?
II. Use a dictionary to find out the Old English and original Latin forms of the
following words. Divide the words into sets according to their meanings (for
example, trade, household articles, etc.). Consider what these sets of loan words
might suggest about the relationship between the Germanic tribes and the Romans.
belt
bin
bishop
butter
cat
chalk
cheese

cup
dish
fork
inch
kettle
kiln
line

mile
mill
mint
mule
pan
pea
pepper

pillow
pin
pipe
pit
plum
poppy
pound

purse
sickle
street
tile
toll
wall
wine

III. Read the extract from Beowulf (lines 210-224) and complete the following tasks:
1. Compare the Old English text with its Present-Day English and Russian
translation.
2. List Old English words that are still used in Present-Day English.
3. List Old English words that have not survived into Present-Day English.
4. List any letters of the alphabet that are not used in Present-Day English.
5. List common Indo-European and Germanic words.
23

210

Fyrst for ewat. Flota ws on yum,


bat under beore. Beornas earwe
on stefn stion; streamas wundon,
sund wi sande; secas bron
on bearm nacan beorhte frtwe,

215

usearo eatolic; uman ut scufon,

weras on wilsi, wudu bundenne.


ewat a ofer wholm, winde efysed,

flota famiheals fule elicost,


o t ymb antid ores doores
220

wundenstefna ewaden hfde


t a liende land esawon,
brimclifu blican, beoras steape,
side snssas; a ws sundliden,
eoletes t ende.
Translation by Francis B. Gummere
Time had now flown; afloat was the ship,
boat under bluff. On board they climbed,
warriors ready; waves were churning
sea with sand; the sailors bore
on the breast of the bark their bright array,
their mail and weapons: the men pushed off,
on its willing way, the well-braced craft.
Then moved o'er the waters by might of the wind
that bark like a bird with breast of foam,
till in season due, on the second day,
the curved prow such course had run
that sailors now could see the land,
sea-cliffs shining, steep high hills,
headlands broad. Their haven was found,
their journey ended.

24

.
,


;

, ,
,

, ;
,




,
, ,
- ,

,

,
,
,
,
.
Report Topics
1. The Proto-Indo-European lexicon.
2. Celtic borrowings in Proto-Germanic.
3. Latin borrowings in Proto-Germanic.
4. Germanic loan words in Baltic and Slavonic languages.
25

Part II. Old English (c. 450 1066)


Seminar 5
The Sound System of Old English
There is still much scholarly dispute about the details of Old English
pronunciation, although there is general agreement on the main characteristics. Our
knowledge of Old English usage derives from the analysis of spelling, and from
comparative and reconstructive work with other related languages and later states of
English. There are no tape-recordings from Anglo-Saxon times, and our current ideas
are based on the work of researchers over the last century or so. There is still a good
deal of uncertainty about various details of Old English pronunciation.
In general, all vowels should be pronounced in Old English. The Old English
vowel system carefully distinguishes between long and short vowels. All consonants
must be pronounced as well, for example, c in cnapa servant, r in er year, w in
wrtan write, g in ing thing.
Most Old English consonant-symbols are pronounced in the same way as in
Present-Day English, with a few exceptions. The chief of these are as follows:
Table 7. OE Consonant Symbols and Their Pronunciation
Letter
Sound
Example
[k]
OE col coal
c
OE cirice church
[t]

OE er year
OE eong young
OE folian follow

[g]
[j]
[]

c
f
s
sc
/

OE hec hedge
OE ft foot
OE lufu love
OE sendan send
OE cesan choose
OE scip ship

[d]
[f]
[v]
[s]
[z]
[]
[] or []

OE thatch
OE feer

Pronunciation of vowel symbols is reflected in Table 8.


Three types of vowel changes conditioned by the environment of the vowel
took place prior to the first written records of Old English. They are: breaking, back
mutation and front mutation.

26

Table 8. OE Vowel Symbols and Their Pronunciation


Letter
Sound
Example
i
[i]
OE brinan bring
[i:]
OE rdan ride
y
[y]
OE hyll hill
[y:]
OE hf hive
e
[e]
OE elm elm
[e:]
OE fdan feed

[]
OE sc ash'
[:]
OE clne clean
a
o
u
ea
eo

OE caru care
OE stn stone
OE stolen stolen
OE d good
OE ful full
OE hs house
OE earnian earn
OE st east
OE eor earth
OE prst priest

[a]
[a:]
[o]
[o:]
[u]
[u:]
[e]
[e:]
[eo]
[e:o]

Breaking (also called fracture) involved the development of a glide after


certain front vowels and before velarized consonants ([l], [r], [h], [w]). The front
vowels affected were [] and [e]. Different Old English dialects varied in the extent
to which they showed the effects of breaking. When breaking did occur, the vowels
changed as follows:
e > eo
> ea
For example:
herte > heorte heart, melcan > meolcan to milk, feh > feoh cattle
rm > earm arm, ld > eald old, hta > eahta eight
Later, a similar diphthongization of the stressed short vowels [e] and [] to
[eo] and [ea] took place when these vowels were followed by a back vowel in the
next syllable. For example, earlier *hefon heaven became heofon. The extent of this
back mutation varied greatly from dialect to dialect; it was also influenced by
following consonants.
The effects of breaking and back mutation were wiped out by later sound
changes, so the two processes are of little significance to the later history of English.
By far the most important and widespread vowel change between Germanic
and Old English was front mutation (also known as umlaut or i/j mutation). This
change predates written Old English and is shared by all West and North Germanic
27

languages. Because the fourth-century Gothic texts show no evidence of it, we


assume that it occurred afterward, probably in the sixth century. Under front
mutation, if a stressed syllable was followed by an unstressed syllable containing [i]
or [j], the vowel of the stressed syllable was fronted or raised; that is, the preceding
stressed vowel partially assimilated to the following high front [i] or [j]. Only low
front and back vowels and diphthongs were affected.
Table 9. Results of Front Mutation (Umlaut)
Original
Resulting vowel
Nonmutated OE
vowel
example
a+nasal
e
mann man

hl whole

Mutated OE example
menn men

slen slain
ofost eagerness
dm doom
full full
c known

ea
a

e
e

eo

feorr far

hlan to heal
slee slaying; death
efstan to hurry
dman to judge
fyllan to fill
can to announce
yldra older
grtra larger
fyrran to remove

bodan to offer

btt it offers

eald old
grat large

This change in the phonology of English, regular enough in itself, had drastic
effects on the morphology of English. Within a single paradigm, some suffixes might
have had [i] or [j] while others did not. Those with [i] or [j] would mutate the root
vowel of the words, while forms without the [i] or [j] in the suffix would remain
unchanged. Four parts of the Old English morphological system were especially
affected:
1. One class of Old English nouns had had an [i] in the endings of the dative
singular and the nominative-accusative plural. The [i] mutated the root vowel, giving
rise to oppositions like nom.-acc. sg. ft foot nom.-acc. pl. ft 'feet'. Todays
irregular plurals men, feet, teeth, geese, and lice all result from mutation.
2. Some common adjectives had i-mutation in their comparative and
superlative forms: compare OE strang strong with strengra stronger and strengest
strongest. All but one of these adjectives were regularized by PDE; the sole
exception is the alternative comparative and superlative elder and eldest for old,
which have survived beside the regularized older and oldest through a differentiation
in meaning.
3. Many Germanic weak verbs were formed by adding a formative suffix
beginning with [j] or [i] to another part of speech or a form of a strong verb. Again,
mutation gave the resulting new word a different root vowel from that of its etymon.
28

The PDE oppositions to lie/to lay, to fall/to fell, whole/heal, and doom/deem all result
from front mutation.
4. The second- and third-person singular present indicative forms of strong
verbs had originally had [i] in their endings; after mutation, these forms had a
different root vowel from the rest of the present-tense paradigm. Because any vowel
subject to mutation was affected, the alternation was widespread, even though it has
been totally regularized by PDE. Old English examples include cuman to come
cym he comes; feohtan to fight/fyht he fights; standan to stand/stenf he
stands.
Minor vowel changes included palatalization and lengthening. Under the
influence of the initial palatal consonants , c, and the cluster sc Old English vowels
were diphthongized. and c influenced only front vowels, while sc influenced all
vowels.
Table 10. Resuls of Palatalization
Original
Resulting vowel
Nonpalatalized OE
Palatalized OE example
vowel
example
e
ie
efan
iefan give

ea
*t
eat gate

fon gave (pl.)


*fon

a
o

ea
eo

scacan
scort

sceacan shake
sceort short

In the 9th century vowels were lengthened before the clusters nd, ld, mb:
bindan > bndan bind, cild > cld child, climban > clmban climb. If, however
the cluster was followed by another consonant, lengthening didnt take place, as in
cildru children.
Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. Old English pronunciation and reading Old English texts.
2. The system of Old English vowels and their origin.
3. The system of Old English consonants and their origin.
4. Phonetic changes in the system of Old English vowels and their traces in
Present-Day

English:

Old

English

fracture,

palatalization,

mutation,

lengthening of vowels.
5. Phonetic changes in the system of Old English consonants: palatalization, loss
of consonants, minor changes.

29

II. Read the following extract from Beowulf (lines 405-414) and comment on cases
of alliteration. Mark the alliterating words and make a phonetic analysis of the words
marked with an asterisk. Translate the extract into Russian.
405

Bowulf maelode on him byrne scn,


searonet seowed smies orancum:
Ws *, Hrr, hl*. Ic* eom Hielces
m ond maoen; hbbe ic mra fela
onunnen on eooe. M wear rendles in

410

on mnre eltyrf undyrne c;


seca slend t s sele stande,
reced slesta, rinca ehwylcum*
del ond unnyt, sian fenloht*
under heofenes hador beholen weore.

III. Read the following two versions of Cdmons Hymn, translate them into Russian

and comment on dialectal features of Old English. The version below is written in a
Northumbrian dialect on the last page of the earliest Latin manuscript of Bedes
Ecclesiastical History (the so-called Moore Manuscript):
Nu scylun heran hefnrics uard,
metuds mcti end his modidanc,
uerc uuldurfadur, sue he uundra ihus,
eci dryctin, or astelid.
5

He rist scop aelda barnum


heben til hrofe, hale scepen;
tha midduneard moncynns uard,
eci dryctin, fter tiad
Wrum foldu, frea allmecti.

The second excerpt is a later West Saxon version of the same poem in an Old English
translation of Bedes Ecclesiastical History, made in the second half of the 9th
century:
30

Nu sculon heriean heofonrices weard,


meotodes meahte and his modeanc,
weorc wuldorfder, swa he wundra ehws,
ece drihten, or onstealde.
5

He rest sceop eoran bearnum


heofon to hrofe, hali scyppend;
a middaneard monncynnes weard,
ece drihten, fter teode
Wrum foldan, frea lmihti.

IV. What phonetic processes are illustrated by the following pairs of words:
1. Goth maize OE mra (PDE more)
2. Goth kunian OE can (PDE to inform)
3. Goth daus OE dad (PDE dead)
4. Goth saljan OE sellan (PDE to sell)
5. Goth isarn OE ren (PDE iron)
6. Goth silba OE seolf (PDE self)

V. State which of the following words are Gothic. Comment on phonetic peculiarities
of their OE counterparts.
Hardus heard; mete matis; fairra feor; eall alls; wpjan wpan; mah
meaht; slan slahan.
Report Topics
1. Language in Britain before English.
2. The Old English alphabet and early writing.
3. Old English dialects.
4. Anglo-Saxon poetry.
5. Beowulf: origin and history.

31

Seminar 6
Grammatical Structure of Old English:
The Nominal System
The Noun
Compared to Present-Day English, Old English looks wealthy in its inflections,
but this wealth is only relative. Beside the inflectional system of classical Greek or
Latin, the OE system seems meager. Further, the OE system had a number of
inherent weaknesses that would contribute to its ultimate loss.
First, almost no paradigm contained the maximum amount of differentiation,
and some paradigms had so few distinctions as to make the entire inflectional group
virtually useless in distinguishing function within the sentence.
A second weakness of the OE inflectional system resulted from phonology.
Heavy stress on root syllables and light stress on succeeding syllables meant that all
the vowels of inflections would tend to be reduced to [a] and that most final nasals
[n] and [m] would first merge as [n], then drop off while nasalizing the preceding
vowel, and finally be lost without a trace.
A third contributing factor to though not necessarily a cause of the loss of
inflections is the fact that, by OE times, the language had already developed
relatively fixed word orders that indicated the function of words within a clause.
Thus, syntax provided a kind of backup system for assuring intelligibility when
inflections were lost but it also made the inflections less necessary.
A final contributing factor to the loss of inflections in English after the Old
English period is less easy to demonstrate but nonetheless important. This was the
necessity of adapting hundreds and even thousands of loanwords from two other
inflecting languages Old Norse and Frenchinto English. The simplest solution
was just to leave off inflections entirely, a procedure that had already been used to
some extent with Latin words in Old English.
Old English nouns were inflected for three genders (masculine, feminine, and
neuter), four cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, and dative), and two numbers
(singular and plural).
The gender of nouns was grammatical, not natural or biological as in PDE.
That is, gender did not, except accidentally, correspond to the actual sex of the
referent. Instead, the inherent gender of the word determined certain of its endings
and the forms of its modifiers and pronoun substitutes. For example, the OE words
for both woman (wf) and child (cld) were neuter. OE wfmann, also meaning
woman was masculine, and hlfdie lady was feminine.
Despite the fact that grammatical gender prevailed, there were weaknesses in
the system and, even as early as OE, signs of its eventual decline. First, there was
heavy overlapping of endings, especially in (a) masculine and neuter nouns, (b) the
genitive and dative plural of all nouns, and (c) all weak nouns. Second, only for a few
words could the gender be determined by the form of the nominative singular.
32

The OE noun had four cases: nominative, genitive, accusative and dative. The
instrumental case survived marginally in adjectives and pronouns, but it had
coalesced completely with the dative in nouns. Like the gender system, the OE case
system had weaknesses that would contribute to its eventual loss. The accusative was
particularly feeble, always identical to the nominative in the plural, but also in the
singular for many classes of nouns. All the oblique (non-nominative) cases of weak
nouns except for the neuter singular accusative were identical in the singular, and the
neuter accusative singular was the same as the nominative singular.
In addition to being inflected for gender, case, and number, each OE noun
belonged to one of several different classes. By far the most important of these
classes in terms of number of members are the vocalic - stem masculine and neuter
nouns, the corresponding vocalic - stem feminine nouns, and the consonantal -n
declension. The vocalic declensions are traditionally called strong nouns; the -n
declensions are called weak nouns. Table 11 gives the entire declension for OE
nouns.
Table 11. OE Noun Declension
a-stems
Singular
Case Masculine
in the
root
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

stn
stone
stnes
stne
stn

d
day
des
de
d

Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

stnas
stna
stnum
stnas

daas
daa
daum
daas

Neuter
Monosyllabic
Short
Long
syllable
syllable
scip
bn
ship
bone
Scipes
bnes
Scipe
bne
Scip
bn
Plural
Scipu
bn
Scipa
bna
Scipum
bnum
Scipu
bn

33

Neuter
Dissyllabic
Short
Long syllable
syllable
reced
neten ox
house
recedes
netenes
recede
netene
reced
neten
reced
recede
recedum
reced

netenu
netena
netenum
netenu

Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

hryc
back
hryces
hryce
hryc

Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

hryc(e)as
hryc(e)a
hryc(i)um
hryc (e)as

ja-stems
Singular
Masculine
here
ende
army
end
her(i)es
endes
her(i)e
ende
Here
ende
Plural
her(i)(e)as
ende
her(i)(e)a
endas
her(i)um
endum
her(i)(e)as
endas

Neuter
cyn(n)
kind
cynnes
cynne
cyn(n)

rce
realm
rces
rce
rce

cyn(n)
cynna
cynnum
cyn(n)

rc(i)u
rc(e)a
rc(i)um
rc(i)u

wa-stems
Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

Singular
Masculine
bearu wood
bearwes
bearwe
bearu

Neuter
bealu evil
Bealwes
Bealwe
Bealu

Plural
Masculine
bearwas
bearwa
bearwum
bearwas

Neuter
bealu
bealwa
bealwum
bealu

-stems
Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

Singular
swau trace
fr journey
swae
Fre
swaum
Frum
swaa
Fra

Plural
swaa
swaa
swae
swae

fra
fra
fre
fre

j-stems
Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

Singular
bryc bridge
wave
bryce
e
bryce
e
bryce
e

34

Plural
bryca
bryca
brycum
bryca

a
a
um
a

w-stems
Case
Nom.

Singular
sceadu shade
md meadow

Plural
sceadwa

mdwa

Gen.

sceadwe

Mdwe

sceadwa

mdwa

Dat.

sceadwe

Mdwe

sceadwum

mdwum

Acc.

sceadwe

Mdwe

sceadwa

mdwa

i-stems
Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

Masculine
hyll hill
hylles
hylle
hyll

Singular
Neuter
hilt hilt
hiltes
hilte
hilt

Feminine
hd hide
hde
hde
hd

Masculine
hyllas
hylla
hyllum
hyllas

Plural
Neuter
hilt
hilta
hiltum
hilt

Feminine
hde, hda
hda
hdum
hde, hda

u-stems
Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

Singular
Masculine
sunu sun
suna
suna
sunu

Plural

Feminine
duru door
Dura
dura
duru

Masculine
suna
suna
sunum
suna

Feminine
dura
dura
durum
dura

n-stems
Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

Masculine
nama
name
naman
naman
naman

Singular
Neuter
ae
eye
aan
aan
ae

Feminine
cwene
woman
Cwenan
Cwenan
Cwenan

35

Masculine
naman

Plural
Neuter
aan

Feminine
cwenan

namena
namum
naman

aena
aum
aan

cwenena
cwenum
cwenan

root stems
Case

Singular

Masculine
Nom. man
ft
man
foot
Gen. mannes ftes
Dat. menn
ft
Acc. mann
ft

Plural

Feminine
s
bc
goose book
se
bce
s
bc
s
bc

Masculine
men
ft

Feminine
s
bc

manna
fta
mannum ftum
menn
ft

sa

bca
sum bcum
s
bc

r-stems
Case

Singular

Masculine
Nom. bror brother
Gen.
bror
Dat.
brer
Acc.
bror

Plural

Feminine
dohtor daughter
dohtor
dehter
dohtor

Masculine
bror
brra
brrum
bror

Feminine
dohtra
dohtor
dohtrum
dohtor, -tra,-tru

relics of es-stems
Case
Nom.

cld child

lambes

Singular
cealf calf
egg
cealfes
es

lamb lamb

Gen.
Dat.

lambe

cealfe

clde

Acc.

lamb

cealf

cld

cldes

Plural
Nom.

lambru

cealfru

ru

cld, cildru

Gen.

lambra

cealfra

ra

clda, cildra

Dat.

lambrum

cealfrum

rum

cildrum

Acc.

lambra

cealfru

ru

cld, cildru

The adjective
The adjective was the most highly inflected of any Old English part of speech.
Like the noun, it was marked for gender, case and number all determined by the
noun or pronoun that the adjective modified. Adjectives also could take comparative
and superlative endings. Finally, OE preserved the Germanic innovation of two
separate weak and strong declensions for each adjective.
As Table 12 shows, OE adjective declensions were not identical to those of
nouns. Rather, they shared characteristics of both noun and pronoun declensions.
36

Table 12. OE Adjective Declensions


Strong declension
-a-, --stems
Monosyllabic
Short root vowel
Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Instr.

Singular
Masculine
Feminine
bl black
blacu
blaces
blcre
blacum
blcre
blcne
blace
blace

Plural
Masculine Feminine
blace
blaca
blacra
blacra
blacum
blacum
blace
blaca

Neuter
bl
blaces
blacum
bl
blace

Neuter
blacu
blacra
blacum
blacu

Long root vowel


Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Instr.

Masculine
d good
des
dum
dne
de

Singular
Feminine
d
dre
dre
de

Plural
Masculine Feminine
de
da
dra
dra
dum
dum
de
da

Neuter
d
des
dum
d
de

Neuter
d
dra
dum
d

Dissyllabic
Case

Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

Masculine
adi
happy
ad(i)es
ad(i)um
adine

Instr.

adie

Nom.

Singular
Feminine
ad(i)u

Neuter
adi

Masculine
ad(i)e

Plural
Feminine
ad(i)a

adire
adire
ad(i)e

ad(i)es
ad(i)um
adi

adira
ad(i)um
ad(i)e

adira
ad(i)um
ad(i)a

ad(i)e

Neuter
ad(i)u,
eadi
adira
ad(i)um
ad(i)u,
eadi

ja-, j-stems
Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Instr.

Singular
Masculine
Feminine
swte sweet
swtu
swtes
swtre
swtum
swtre
swtne
swte
swte

Neuter
swte
swtes
swtum
swete
swte

37

Plural
Masculine Feminine
swte
swta
swtra
swtra
swtum
swtum
swte
swta

Neuter
swtu
swtum
swtum
swtu

wa-, w-stems
Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Instr.

Masculine
nearu
narrow
nearwes
nearwum
nearone
nearwe

Singular
Feminine
nearu

Neuter
nearu

nearore
nearore
nearwe

nearwes
nearwum
nearu
nearwe

Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

Masculine
blaca black
blacan
blacan
blacan

The adjective
eald old
stron strong
lon long
eon young

The adjective
d good
yfel bad
micel large
ltel little

Plural
Masculine Feminine
nearwe
nearwa

Neuter
nearu

nearora
nearwum
nearwe

nearora
nearwum
nearu

Weak declension
Singular
Feminine
Neuter
blace
blace
blacan
blacan
blacan
blacan
blacan
blace
Degrees of comparison
Regular forms
Comparative
eildra
(<* ealdira)
strenra (<* stronira)
lenra (<* lonira)
inra (<*eonira)
Suppletive forms
Comparative
betera
slra
wiersa
mra
lssa

nearora
nearwum
nearwa

Plural
blacan
blcra (blacena)
blacum
blacan

Superlative
ieldest
(<* ealdist)
strenest (<* stronist)
lenest (<* lonist)
inest (<*eonist)

Superlative
betst
slest
wierest
mst
lst

The Pronoun
Of all the word classes of English today, by far the most conservative are the
personal pronouns. All of the surviving OE pronouns are recognizable today. The
PDE third-person plural pronouns in th- are ME borrowings from Old Norse. PDE
she is not a regular development of OE ho; the precise origin of she is uncertain.

38

Table 13. OE Personal Pronouns


Singular
st
nd
Case
1
2
3rd person
person person
Masculine Feminine
Nom.
ic

h
ho

Neuter
hit

Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

his
him
hit

mn
m
m,
mec

, c

Case
st

Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.

1 person
w
re
s
s, sic

his
him
hine

hire
hire
hie

Plural
2 person

ower
ow
ow, owic
nd

Dual
st

1
person

2nd
person

wit

it
incer
inc
inc,
incit

uncer
unc
unc,
uncit

3rd person
he, h, hy, ho
hiera, hira, hyra, hiora, heora
him
he, h, h, ho

Table 14. Declension of the OE Demonstrative Pronoun s


Case
Singular
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Nom.
s
so
t
Gen.
s
s
re
Dat.
m
re
m
Acc.
one

t
Instr.
, n

, n

Case
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Instr.

Plural

ra, ra
m, m

Table 15. Declension of the OE Demonstrative Pronoun es


Singular
Plural
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
es
os, os is
s
isses
isse
isses
issa
issum, eossum isse
issum, eossum
issum, eossum
isne, ysne
s
is
s
ys, is
s
pis

Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. The strong declension of the substantive: a-stems, -stems, i-stems, u-stems.
2. The weak declension of the substantive. Root-stems. r-stems.
3. The adjective: strong and weak declensions, degrees of comparison.
39

4. The pronoun: personal, possessive, demonstrative and other types.


5. The numeral. Cardinal and ordinal numerals.

II. State the case, number and gender of nouns, adjectives and pronouns in the
following word combinations:
dne mann, blinda dor, blindena dora, his yldran sunu, hira manna, mine daas,

blcum wulfum, blcum wulfe, one here, swn, bc, bc, dadan man.

III. Give the comparative and superlative degree forms of the following adjectives:
Blc, wilde, sceort, swte, ld, rat.

IV. Read and translate the following extracts from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Analyze the underlined words.
Extract 1
871 Hr cum s here t Radinum on Westseaxe, s ymb iii niht ridon ii eorlas
p; a emtte he elwulf aldorman on Enlafelda, him r wi efeaht sie nam;
s ymb iiii niht erd cynin lfrd his brur r micle fierd t Radinum
elddon, wi one here efuhton, r ws micel wl eslen on ehwre hond,

elwulf aldormon wear ofslen, Deniscan hton wlstwe ewald.


Extract 2
891 7 y ilcan eare ofer Eastron. ymbe an daas oe r, teowde se steorra e
mn on boclden ht cometa, Sume men cwea on Enlisc t hit sie feaxede
steorra. form r stent lan leoma of, hwlum on ane healfe hwlum on lce
healfe.
Report Topics
1. Anglo-Saxon civilization.
2. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle: origin and history.

40

Seminar 7
Grammatical Structure of Old English: The Verbal System
Old English had seven subclasses of strong verbs, varying in membership
from a handful of common verbs to scores of verbs. All seven classes had in common
the indication of past tense and past participle by a change in the stemvowel. The first
five classes had originally all had the same vowels, but different environments had
altered these vowels in different ways. Class 6 verbs had had a different set of stem
vowels. Class 7 verbs originally did not even belong to the ablaut series, but had been
reduplicating verbs in IE, verbs that formed their past tense by repeating the root
syllable. By OE, the reduplication had been lost, and the class had merged with the
ablaut verbs.
Strong verbs in OE had four principal parts infinitive, past singular, past
plural, and past participle, each part defined by characteristic stem vowels. From
these four parts, all other forms could be predicted. Table 16 illustrates forms of OE
strong verbs.
Table 16. OE Ablaut Series (OE Strong Verb Classes)
Class
Infinitive
Past Singular
Past Plural Past Participle
I
wrtan write
wrt
writon
writen
--i-i
snan cut
sn
snidon
sniden
II
bodan offer
bad
budon
boden
o-a-u-o cosan choose
cas
curon
coren
III
i-a(o)-u-u
e-ea-u-o
eo-ea-u-o

drincan drink
helpan help
steorfan die

dranc
healp
stearf

IV

weoran become
stelan steal

wear
stl

e---o

beran bear

druncon
hulpon
sturfon
wurdon

drunken
holpen
storfen
worden

stlon

stolen

br

bron

boren

tredan tread

trd

trdon

treden

e- --e

cwean say

cw

cweden

VI
a- --a
VII

faran go

fren

cwdon
fron

htan call
ht
hton
feallan fall
feoll
feollon
cnawan know
cnow
cnowon
Verbs having grammatical alternation are marked with a dagger ().

41

faren
hten
feallen
cnwen

Table 17. Strong Verb Complete Conjugation Sample


Indicative Mood
Present Tense
Person
Singular
Plural
st
1
rpe
sine
rpa
sina
nd
2
rpest
sinest
rpa
sina
rd
3
rpe
sine
rpa
sina
Past Tense
Person
1st
rp
nd
2
ripe
rd
3
rp

Singular
san
sune
san

ripon
ripon
ripon

Plural
sunon
sunon
sunon

Subjunctive Mood
Present Tense
Person
1st
rpe
nd
2
rpe
rd
3
rpe

Singular
sine
sine
sine

rpen
rpen
rpen

Plural
sinen
sinen
sinen

Past Tense
Person
1st
ripe
nd
2
ripe
rd
3
ripe

Singular
ripen
ripen
ripen

sune
sune
sune

Plural
sunen
sunen
sunen

Imperative Mood
Person
2nd
rp

Singular
sin

rpa

Plural
sina

Present Participle: rpende, sinende


Past Participle: (e)ripen, (e)sunen
Infinitive (Nominative case): rpan, sinan
Inflected Infinive (Dative case): rpenne, sinenne
OE had several subtypes of weak verbs, depending on the length of the stem
syllable and the presence or absence of -i- in the infinitive. As Table 18 shows, the
subtypes varied slightly in their personal endings, but all shared the [d] or [t] in the
past tense and past participle.

42

Table 18. OE Weak Verb Classes

Class
(I)
(II)
(IIb)

Infinitive
dman judge
heran hear
nerian save
styrian stir
fremman commit
cnyssan push

Infinitive
sellan give
tellan 'tell'
cwellan kill
tc(e)an teach
rc(e)an reach
lcc(e)an snatch
byc(e)an buy
sc(e)an seek
wyrc(e)an work
enc(e)an think
ync(e)an seem

Infinitive
macian make
lufian love
hopian hope

Infinitive
habban have
libban live
sec (e)an say
hyc(e)an think
ra(e)an threaten
sma(e)an think
fra(e)an free
fa(e)an hate

Class I
Regular Verbs
Past
dmde
herde
nerede
styrede
fremede
cnysede

Past Participle
dmed
hered
nered
styred
fremed
cnysed

Irregular Verbs
Past
sealed
tealde
cwealde
thte
rhte

Past Participle
seald
teald
cweald
tht
rht

lhte
bohte
shte
worhte
hte
hte
Class II
Past
macode
lufode
hopode
Class III
Past
hfde
lifde
sade, sde
hode
rade
smade
frode
fade
43

lht
boht
sht
worht
ht
ht

Past Participle
macod
lufod
hopod

Past Participle
hfd
lifd
sd, sd
hood
rad
smad
frad
fod

Table 19. Weak Verb Complete Conjugation Sample


Indicative Mood
Present Tense
Person
Singular
Class I
Class II
Class I
st
1
dm-e
maci-e
dm-a
nd
2
dm-(e)st
mac-ast
dm-a
rd
3
dm-(e)
mac-a
dm-a

Plural
Class II
maci-a
maci-a
maci-a

Past Tense
Person
st

1
2nd
3rd

Singular
Class I
dm-de
dm-dest
dm-de

Plural

Class II
mac-o-de
mac-o-dest
mac-o-de

Class I
dm-don
dm-don
dm-don

Class II
mac-o-don
mac-o-don
mac-o-don

Subjunctive Mood
Present Tense
Person
st

1
2nd
3rd

Singular
Class I
dm-e
dm-e
dm-e

Plural

Class II
maci-e
maci-e
maci-e

Class I
dm-en
dm-en
dm-en

Class II
maci-en
maci-en
maci-en

Past Tense
Person
st

1
2nd
3rd

Singular
Class I
dm-de
dm-de
dm-de

Plural

Class II
mac-o-de
mac-o-de
mac-o-de

Class I
dm-den
dm-den
dm-den

Class II
mac-o-den
mac-o-den
mac-o-den

Imperative Mood
Person
2

nd

Singular
Class I
dm-e

Plural

Class II
mac-a

Class I
dm-a

Class II
maci-a

Present Participle: dm-ende, maci-ende


Past Participle: (e)dm(e)d, (e)mac-od
Infinitive (Nominative case): dman, macian
Inflected Infinive (Dative case): dmenne, macienne
Some of the most common verbs of OE did not fit neatly into either the strong
or the weak classification. Most irregular of all, as it still is today, was the verb to
be. It had two different present stems, one based on the infinitive wsan and the
44

other on the infinitive bon. Also anomalous were dn do, willan want, wish, and
n go.
Table 20. Anomalous Verb Complete Conjugation Sample
bon
Indicative Mood
Present Tense
Person
Singular
Plural
st
1
eom, bo
sint, sindon, bo
nd
2
eart, bist
sint, sindon, bo
rd
3
is, bi
sint, sindon, bo
Past Tense
Person
1st
2nd
3rd

Number
Singular
Plural

Singular
ws
wre
ws

Plural
wron
wron
wron

Subjunctive Mood
Present Tense
se (s, s), bo
sen (sn, sn), bon

Past Tense
wre
wron

Imperative Mood
Person
2nd

Singular
wes, bo

Plural
wesa, bo

Present Participle: wesende, bonde


Past Participle:
Infinitive: wesan, bon
n
Indicative Mood
Present Tense

Person
1st
2nd
3rd

Singular

st

Plural

Past Tense

Person
1st
2nd
3rd

Singular
ode
odest
ode

Plural
odon
odon
odon
45

Number
Singular
Plural

Subjunctive Mood
Present Tense

Past Tense
ode
oden

Imperative Mood
Person
Singular
nd
2

Present Participle: anende


Past Participle: (e)n
Infinitive: n, anan

Plural

dn
Indicative Mood
Present Tense
Person
1st
2nd
3rd

Singular
d
dst
d

Plural
d
d
d
Past Tense

Person
1st
2nd
3rd

Number
Singular
Plural

Singular
dyde
dydest
dyde

Plural
dydon
dydon
dydon

Subjunctive Mood
Present Tense
d
dn

Past Tense
dyde
dyden

Imperative Mood
Person
Singular
nd
2
d
Present Participle: dnde
Past Participle: (e)dn
Infinitive: dn

Plural
d

willan
Indicative Mood
Present Tense
Person
1st
2nd
3rd

Singular
wille
wilt
wil(l)e

Plural
willa
willa
willa
46

Past Tense
Person
1st
2nd
3rd

Singular
wolde
woldest
wolde

Plural
woldon
woldon
woldon

Subjunctive Mood
Number
Present Tense
Singular
wille
Plural
willen
Present Participle: willende
Past Participle:
Infinitive: willan

Past Tense
wolde
wolden

Of particular interest are the OE preterite-present verbs, so called because the


original present had fallen into disuse and the original strong (ablaut) preterite had
taken on present meaning. A new weak (dental) preterite then developed to replace
the earlier one that was now a present. Old English had 12 preterite-present verbs (see
the table below).
Table 21. OE Preterite-Present Verbs
Class Infinitive Present
I
II
III

IV
V
VI

Past

wtan
aan
dan

wt

da

Singular
Plural
witon
wisse, wiste
on
hte
duon

unnan
cunnan
urfan
duran
sculan
munan
maan

ann
cann
earf
dearr
sceal
man
mae
eneah
mt

unnon
cunnon
urfon
durron
sculon
munon
maon
enuon
mton

e
ce
orfte
dorste
sceolde
munde
meahte
enohte
mste

Past
Participle
witen
en

Meaning

to know
to own
to be good
for
unnen
to give
c, cunnen to know

to need

to dare

to have to
munen
to remember

to be able

to catch

to be able

OE verbs were inflected for only two tenses, present and preterite. There was
no future conjugation; rather, the present was used to express future time, with
adverbs added to avoid ambiguity. OE infinitives were not preceded by to; the -an
suffix was adequate to identify them as infinitives. Past participles normally but not
always had a e- prefix.

47

Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. General information on the Old English verb. Verbal categories.
2. Strong verbs.
3. Weak verbs.
4. Minor groups of verbs.

II. Give four principal parts of the following verbs (the verb class is given in the
brackets):
1. Strong verbs: wrecan (V), faran (VI), weoran (III), stelan (IV), scfan (II),
hlapian (VII), rdan (I).
2. Weak verbs: ebyran (I), habban (III), lufian (II), tellan (I), secan (III).

III. Read and translate the following extract from Orosius History of the World.
Analyze the underlined words.
hthere sde his hlforde, lfrde cynine t h ealra Normonna normest
bde. H cwd t h bde on m lande norweardum wi Wests. H sde
ah t t land se nor onan; ac hit is eal wste, buton on feawum stowum
styccemlum wicia Finnas, on huntoe on wintra, and on sumera on fiscae be re
s.
Report Topics
1. Old English syntax within noun phrases.
2. Old English syntax within verb phrases.
3. Old English syntax within clauses.
4. Old English syntax of sentences.

48

Seminar 8
Old English Vocabulary
One of peculiarities of Old English is the extraordinary richness of its
vocabulary. A possible explanation for this is the nature of OE poetry. Because this
verse was alliterative, a poet needed a variety of synonyms for the same concept in
order to have a word that began with the right sound. In addition, OE poetry made
extensive use of variation, or the repetition of the same idea in different words. This
practice, too, required many synonyms.
The largest proportion by far of the OE lexicon was native in origin and of two
types, Indo-European or Germanic. The list of loanwords includes words
borrowed from Celtic, Latin and Old Norse.
Despite extensive contacts between Germanic and Celtic speakers on the
Continent and in Britain, OE had only a handful of loanwords from Celtic languages.
Some of these were originally from Latin (late OE cros from Old Irish cross from
Latin crux), and some had been borrowed while the Anglo-Saxons were still on the
Continent (OE rice kingdom). Much more Celtic influence is shown in place names
and place-name elements; Thames, Dover, London, Cornwall, Carlisle, and Avon are
the most familiar of many surviving Celtic place names in Britain.
The list of Celtic loanwords in Old English can be extended to include military
terms from Brittonic and ecclesiastical words resulting from seventh-century contacts
between Irish monks and Old English speakers in the northern parts of the country.
Among these lost borrowings are OE lrig shield rim, OE dry magician, druid,
OE syrce coat of mail, OE sacerd priest, OE truma host and OE lorh pole,
distaff.
Extensive contacts between the English and the Scandinavians began well
within the Old English period. However, few certain Scandinavian loans appear in
OE texts, partly because Old English and Old Norse were so similar that loans from
Old Norse are not always easy to detect, partly because there would have been no
prestige attached to the use of Scandinavian words.
The only major foreign influence on OE vocabulary was Latin. Because the
language of the Church was Latin, Christianization predictably brought Latin
loanwords to English. The introduction of Christianity brought not just a new
religion, but also administrative personnel, monastic life, and various secular
concepts and products previously unfamiliar in England. Consequently, OE borrowed
many secular Latin terms as well as religious terms.
Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. Foreign influences on Old English: Celtic, Latin, Scandinavian.
2. Lexical features of Old English poetry.

49

II. Use a dictionary to find out the Old English and original Latin forms of the
following words. Divide the words into sets according to their meanings (for
example, religion, education, etc.).
abbot

circle

mat

plant

shrine

altar

creed

minister

pope

silk

angel

fever

nun

priest

sock

balsam

ginger

organ

psalm

talent

box

lily

palm

radish

temple

candle

lobster

pear

sack

title

chest

martyr

pine

school

verse

III. Read and translate the following extract from lfrics Book of Genesis. Comment
on the origin of the italicized words.
lfric munuc rt elwrd ealdormann admdlce. bde m, lof, t ic
sceolde wendan of Ldene on Enlisc bc enesis: hte m hefitme t
tienne s, and cwde t ic ne orfte n mre wendan re bc bton t
Isaace, Abrahmes suna, for m e sum er man hfde wend fram Isaace
bc o ende. N inc m, lof, t t weorc is swe plolc m oe nium
men t underbeinnenne, for an e ic ondrde, if sum dysi man s bc rt oe
rdan ehr, t h wille wnan t h mte lybban n on re nwan sw sw
men leofodon under Moyses .
IV. Compare excerpts from two poems, one composed in the early 11th century and
one copied in the same period but composed much earlier and comment on their
linguistic similarities and differences. Comment on means of expressing variation.
Find compound words and analyze their structure.
The first is lines 267787 of Beowulf

50

a en ucynin

mra emunde, menstreno sloh


hildebille t hyt on heafolan stod
2680 nie enyded; Nlin forbrst,
eswac t scce sweord Biowulfes
omol ond rml. Him t ifee ne ws

t him irenna ece mihton

helpan t hilde; ws sio hond to stron


2685 se e meca ehwane mine efre
swene ofersohte; onne he to scce br
wpen wundum heard, ns him wihte e sel.
The other is lines 1628 of The Battle of Maldon, a poem which is thought to have
been composed a decade or so after the battle of 991 which it describes:
a Byrhtno brd bill of scee

brad and brunecc, and on a byrnan sloh.


To rae hine elette lidmanna sum,
165

a he s eorles earm amyrde.

Feoll a to foldan fealohilte swurd:


ne mihte he ehealdan heardne mece,
wpnes wealdan.
Report Topics
1. Old Norse effects on Old English.
2. Old English and Scandinavian surnames.
3. Old English and Scandinavian place names.
4. Formation of new words in Old English: compounding.
5. Formation of new words in Old English: affixing.
6. Lost words.

51

Part III. Middle English (1066 1475)


Seminar 9
The Sound System of Middle English
As a result of the social and political upheaval caused by the Norman Conquest
the West Saxon standard system of spelling and punctuation was no longer used. The
match between the sound system and the spelling was much worse than in Old
English. Writers used spellings that tended to match the pronunciation of their spoken
dialects, and scribes sometimes changes the spelling of words they were copying to
match their own dialectal pronunciation thus introducing a fair amount of confusion
into the spelling system. The following table illustrates differences between Old and
Middle English spelling conventions.
Table 22. OE and ME spelling conventions
Pronunciation
OE spelling
ME spelling
Examples in ME
[kw]
cw
qu
queen, quick
sc
ss, sch, sh fiss, fisch, fish
[]
[d]
[k]
[t]
[s]
[g]
[j]
[x]
[i]
[i:]
[e:]
[o:]
[u:]

c
c
c

i, j, g
k, c
ch

iuge, juge judge; egge edge


kinn, cool
chinn chin

s, c
g
, y
h, , gh
i, j
i, j
e, ee
o, oo
ou, ow

cyndre, sindir cinder, centre


god, good good
er, yer, yeer year
liht, lit, light
king, kyng
fir, fyr fire
quen, queen
fod, food
hous, hows house

Changes in the System of Consonants


The Middle English period saw numerous adjustments within the system of
consonants. Some of these changes were systemic; that is, they occurred wherever the
conditioning factors appeared. Other changes were sporadic, occurring under given
conditions in some words but not in others.
Systemic changes:
1. Loss of long consonants.
2. Loss of initial [h] before in clusters [hl], [hn] and [hr].
3. Loss of [] as an allophone of the phoneme [g].
4. Loss of [j] in the prefix e-.
52

1.
2.
3.
4.

Sporadic changes:
Voicing of initial and final fricatives.
Loss of unstressed final consonants.
Simplification of consonant clusters.
Appearance of intrusive consonants.
Changes in the System of Vowels

The vowels of English have always been less stable than its consonants. The
majority of OE vowels remained unchanged in ME. Changes did occur, however, in
eight of the eighteen OE vowels and diphthongs.
Quantitative changes:
1. OE [y] and [] had unrounded to [i] and [] in some dialects during the OE
period.
2. OE [] apparently had lowered to [a] in all dialects by the end of ME.
3. OE [] became ME [] during the course of ME in all areas except the
North, where it remained [] throughout the ME period.
4. All the OE diphthongs smoothed (became pure vowels) in Middle English.
Qualitative changes:
1. Lengthening of short vowels before certain consonant clusters.
i, o + mb
early OE climban; ME clmbe(n)
i, u + nd
early OE grindan; ME grnde(n)
any vowel + ld
early OE hold; ME hld
early OE milde; ME mlde
early OE weald; ME wld forest
2.Shortening of long vowels.
Beginning as early as the 10th century, there was a parallel shortening of long
vowels in stressed closed syllables.
OE sfte ME softe soft
OE gdsibb ME godsib gossip
OE scaphirde ME scepherde shepherd
3. Loss of unstressed vowels. During the course of Middle English, unstressed
final -e (pronounced []) was dropped, although, to judge from the scansion of
poetry, its pronunciation remained optional throughout the period.
By the end of Middle English, the unstressed -e of inflectional endings was
also being lost, even when it was followed by a consonant. Thus, although the e as
still usually written in the plural ending -es, the third-person singular present endings
-es and -eth, and the past tense and past participle ending -ed, it was no longer
pronounced (except in the positions where it is still pronounced today, such as in
wishes, judges, wanted, raided).

53

Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. The alphabet and changes in the spelling system.
2. Phonetic changes of Middle English vowels:
2.1. Shortening and lengthening of vowels;
2.2. Changes of individual vowels;
2.3. Monophthongization of Old English diphthongs;
2.4. Levelling of unstressed vowels.
2.5. Rise of new diphthongs.
3. French sounds.

II. Explain the origin of the underlined letters and the sounds they stand for in the
following Middle English words:
Bowe, chiken, broun, knight, comen, quyk, dryven, loud, lawe, book, field,
bridge.

III. Give ME forms of the following OE words. Comment on their new spelling.
Scacan, swylc, secan, feld, slpan, wisdom, cosan, dop, hlan, cneoht,
hlysten, hyll, heofon, scan, nama, lufian, hlf, fisc, oos.

IV. Read the following ME words:


Open, weke, child, wisdom, doore, yvel, blak, that, taughte, knowen, may, bowe,
night, herd, queen, hous, my, snow, now, thief, edge, what, love, foul.

V. Read the following extract from The Ancren Riwle, a monastic manual dating from
the late 12th or early 13th century, and translate it into Russian. Comment on
peculiarities of the Middle English spelling. Analyze the words marked with an
asterisk.

54

Efter messecos, hwon* e preost sacre, er uorite al ene world, & er


beo al vt of bodi: er in sperclinde luue* bicluppe oure* leofmon et into ower
breoste bur is ilihtof heouene*, & holde* hine ueste, uort he habbe igranted ou al et
e euer wulle.

VI. Read the following extract from Ormulum, a book dating from the late 12th century,
and translate it into Russian. Comment on the authors spelling system.
Forrrihht anan se time comm.
att ure Drihhtin wollde
ben borenn i iss middellrd
forr all mannkinne nede
he chs himm sone kinnessmenn
all swillke summ he wollde
& whr he wollde borenn ben
he chs all att hiss wille.

Report Topics
1. The effects of the Norman Conquest (political and social structure, linguistic
consequences).
2. The languages of Medieval England (language in different social levels, in the
Church, and in the government and law).
3. Dialectal variation in Middle English.
4. London as a commercial and governmental centre and the spread of the East
Midlands dialect.
5. Ancrene Wisse (Guide for Anchoresses): origins, contents and style.

55

Seminar 10
Grammatical Structure of Middle English:
The Nominal System
The few major and numerous minor changes in phonology between Old
English and Middle English are relatively unimportant compared to the cataclysmic
changes in inflectional morphology. By the end of the ME period, English had only a
handful of leftover inflections.
The Noun
By late Old English, the -um of dative endings had become -un. At about the
same time, all the vowels of inflectional endings were reduced to [], spelled e. Thus
-um,-an, -on, and -en all became [n], usually spelled -en. Later, this final -n was also
lost in most, though not all, noun endings. Finally, by late Middle English, final
inflectional -e had dropped (though it often continued to be spelled).
Along with the loss of inflection came the loss of grammatical gender and its
replacement by natural (or biological) gender. Nouns were reduced to two cases
(possessive and nonpossessive). For the most part, the OE distinctions among the
several noun classes vanished, and over time, almost all nouns were generalized to
the older strong masculine declension.
Table 23. ME Noun Declension
Strong masculine: hund hound
Weak masculine: nama name
Case
OE
ME
Case
OE
ME
Sg. Nom.
hund
hund
Sg. Nom.
nama
name
Gen.
hundes
hundes
Gen.
naman
names
Dat.
hunde
hund
Dat.
naman
name
Acc.
hund
hund
Acc.
naman
name
Pl. Nom.
hundas
hundes Pl. Nom.
naman
names
Gen.
hunda
hundes
Gen.
namena
names
Dat.
hundum
hundes
Dat.
namum
names
Acc.
hundas
hundes
Acc.
naman
names
The Adjective
Of all the parts of speech, the adjective suffered the greatest inflectional
losses in Middle English. Although it was the most highly inflected part of speech in
Old English, it became totally uninflected by the end of the ME period. Because its
case and gender depended on that of the noun it modified, it quite predictably lost
case and gender distinctions when the noun lost them, failing to preserve even the
possessive endings that the noun retained. The distinction between strong (indefinite)
and weak (definite) adjectives was often blurred even in Old English usage. By
Middle English, it had vanished entirely except for monosyllabic adjectives ending in
56

a consonant. Here a final e distinguished the strong singular form from the weak
singular and from the plural.
Table 24. ME Adjective Declension
Strong
Weak
Singular
Nom., gen., dat., acc.
gd
gde
Plural
Nom., gen., dat., acc.
gde
gde
The comparative and superlative forms of adjectives developed predictably and
undramatically in ME. The OE comparative suffix -ra became ME -re and later, by
metathesis, -er. The OE superlative endings -ost and -est became -est. Several
common adjectives in OE had had i-mutation in their comparative and superlative
forms. After the 14th century, ma (more), more, and most often appear either along
with the -er and -est inflections or as a substitute for them. Hence we find swetter
sweeter, more swete, and even more swetter.
Table 25. Degrees of Comparison of ME Adjectives
The adjective
old
glad
strong

Comparative
elder
gladder
strenger
Suppletive forms
Comparative

The adjective
OE

Superlative
eldest
gladdest
strengest

ME

OE

ME

Superlative
OE

ME

d good
yfel bad
micel large

gd

betera, slra

bett(e)re betst, slest best

evil, yvel, evel


muchel, much

wiersa
mra

ltel little

litel

Lssa

werse
mre
lasse

wierest
mst

werst
meast, mst

lst

least, lst

The Pronoun
Throughout the ME period and, for that matter, up to the present day, English
personal pronouns have preserved all their original inflectional categories of number,
gender, case, and person. During ME, one case was lost through the coalescence of
dative and accusative into a single object case. In addition, the dual number, weak
even in OE, disappeared. All other OE inflectional distinctions were preserved in one
way or another.

57

Table 26. ME Personal Pronouns


Case
Singular
1 person 2 person
3 person
Neut.
Masc.
Fem.
Nom. I, ich
thou,
hit, it
h
ho, sch, sh, h, h
Obj. m
th, , thee hit, it, him him
hire, hure, her, heore
Plural
1 person
2 person
3 person
Nom.
w
y,
h, h, h, hie, they, ei, ai
Obj.
s
you, eu, iu hem, ham, heom, them, em, am, aim
Table 27. ME Possesive Pronouns
Singular
1 person 2 person
mn(e),
m

thn(e), th

Plural

3 person

Masc.

Fem.

Neut.

his, hir

her, hir(e),
heor(e)

his

1 person

2 person

3 person

our, ure

your(e)

hire,
their, air

The two OE demonstrative pronouns had been highly inflected (two numbers,
three genders, and five cases), but by the end of the ME period, only one singular and
one plural form remained for each. At the same time, morphological fission took
place as a separate, indeclinable definite article developed, splitting off from the true
demonstratives. In sum, by the end of the ME period, the modern system of two
demonstratives inflected only for number (this/these and that/those) and a single
indeclinable definite article (the) was firmly established for English.
As for interrogative pronouns, even in Old English, there was no distinction
between masculine and feminine gender, nor was there a singular-plural distinction.
In Middle English, the accusative predictably fell together with the dative. The OE
instrumental hwy was separated from the pronoun declension to become the
interrogative adverb why. All of the forms except what show some irregularities in
their phonological development in ME, the most striking being the loss of the /w/ in
who (and whom and whose) when it was assimilated to the following back vowel.
Table 28. ME Interrogative Pronouns
Nom.
wh, wh
what
Gen.
whs, whs
whs
Obj.
whm, whm
what
The Numeral
As in PDE, ME numerals are divided into cardinal and ordinal. Below are the
ME cardinal numbers ONE to TEN, 100 and 1000, and equivalent ordinals for FIRST
to TENTH. In the ordinals, the most interesting change is the replacement of the OE
oer by ME seconde.

58

Table 29. ME Numeral


Cardinal
1 oon
2 two(o)
3 thre(e)
4 four
5 five
6 sixe
7 sevene
8 eighte
9 nine
10 ten
100 houndred
1000 thousand

Ordinal
first(e)
seconde, secunde
thridde, thirde
ferthe, fourthe
fifthe
sixte
seventhe
eighthe
ninthe
tenthe

Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. The substantive. Cases and prepositional phrases.
2. The pronoun: personal, possessive, demonstrative and other pronouns.
3. The adjective. Rise of the stative.
4. The numeral.
5. Rise of the article system.

II. Give plural forms of the following ME words:


man, mous, goos, foot, tooth.

III. State the number and case of the underlined pronouns in the following word
combinations:
1) ... me thincth ic lede;
2) and geven hem mine kinetheode;
3) that we moten comen him to...;
4) ... that ich you wile telle;
5) at the beginning of ure tale.
59

IV. Read the following extract from The Prick of Conscience, a popular ME poem
which was composed in the north of England around the year 1350, translate it into
Russian and analyze the underlined words.
. . . this bok ys in Englis drawe,
Of fele maters that ar unknawe
To lewed men that er unconna[n]d,
That can no Latyn undurstand:
To mak hemself frust to knowe
And from synne and vanites hem drawe,
And for to stere hem to ryght drede,
Whan this tretes here or rede,
That prik here concience wythinne,
Ande of that drede may a ful bygyng
Thoru confort of joyes of hevene sere,
That men may afterward rede here.
Thys bok, as hit self bereth wyttenesse,
In seven partes divised isse.

V. Read the following extract from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and
compare it with its Present-Day English translation. Analyze the underlined words:
1

Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote


The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour,

Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth


Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his half cours y-ronne
And smale foweles maken melodye,
60

10

That slepen al the nyght with open ye


(So priketh hem nature in hir corages),
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;

15

And specially from every shires ende


Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende

When April with his showers sweet


The drought of March has pierced unto the root
And bathed each vein with such power
To generate fresh strength within the flower;
When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath,
Quickened again, in every wood and heath,
The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun
Into the Ram one half his course has run,
And many little birds make melody
That sleep through all the night with open eye
(So Nature urges them on to ramp and rage)
Then people long to go on pilgrimage,
And palmers to go seeking out strange strands,
To distant shrines well known in sundry lands.
And specially from every shires end
Of England they to Canterbury wend...

Report Topics
1. The Ormulum: origins, contents and style.
2. Ayenbite of Inwyt: origins, contents and style.
3. The language of G. Chaucer.
61

Seminar 11
Grammatical Structure of Middle English:
The Verbal System
The ME verb retained, at least to some extent, all the earlier categories of
tense, mood, number, and person. The three basic types of verbs were also
preserved.
Strong verbs
The biggest casualties occurred among the strong verbs in Middle English.
Strong verbs were particularly vulnerable for the following reasons:
1) there were many more weak verbs than strong verbs, even in Old English;
2) the strong verbs were fragmented into seven different classes, with numerous
irregularities within most of these classes;
3) sound changes had blurred or eliminated some of the distinctions within and
between classes;
4) many OE verbs had appeared in pairs consisting of a strong verb and a parallel
weak verb derived from it and similar to it in form and meaning (for example,
OE cwelan to die and cwellan to kill). In ME, these separate but related
verbs tended to fall together as a single weak verb.
5) Many new verbs from French almost always entered English as weak verbs,
thus strengthening the class of weak verbs at the expense of the strong verbs.
The loss of a strong verb was not, however, sudden; often the strong and weak
versions coexisted for centuries. The following table summarizes the strong verb
classes in Middle English.
Table 30. ME Strong Verb Classes
Infinitive
Past Singular
Past Plural
Class I
i
a, o
i
wrten write
writen
wrt

i
writen

rden ride

ridden

rt

e
chsen choose

e
chs

i
(a) drinken drink
bnden bind

a
drank
bnd

riden
Class II
o
chsen
Class III
u
drnken
bounden
62

Second Participle

o
chsen
u
drnken
bounden

e
(b) helpen help
a, i
() karven carve
fighten fight

a
halp
a
carf
fa(u)ght

e
bren bear

a
bar

o
holpen
o, u
corven
foughten
Class IV
e,a
bren, bar

stlen steal

stal

stlen, stal

e
gten get
a
shken shake
drwen draw
a,o,e
fallen fall
knwen know
hlden hold
wpen weep

o
holpen
o, u
corven
foughten
o
bren
stlen

Class V
a
e, a
gat
gten, gat
Class VI
o
o
shk
shken
drough, drew
drwen, drewen
Class VII
e
e
fell
fellen
knw
knwen

e
gten
a
shken
drwen
a, o
fallen
knwen

hld

hlden

hlden

wp

wpen

wpen

Weak verbs
In terms of sheer numbers, far more weak verbs than strong verbs were lost
between OE and ME. However, there were far more weak verbs to begin with, and
most of the many new verbs coming into ME from Scandinavian and French came in
as weak verbs.
The following table summarizes the weak verb classes in Middle English.
Table 31. ME Weak Verb Classes
Class
12th century
14th century
Infinitive

Past Plural

Second
Participle

Infinitive

beleven

belevden

belev(e)d

beleeve

beleev(e)de

belev(e)d

II

loken

lokeden

loked

looke

looke(e)de

lok(e)d

III

liven

livden

livd

live

liv(e)de

liv(e)d

63

Past Plural

Second
Participle

A sample of ME strong and weak verb conjugation is given below:


Table 32. Strong Verb Complete Conjugation Sample
Indicative Mood
Person
Present
Past
Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
st
1
bnde
bnden
bnde
bounden, bnd
nd
2
bndest
bnden
bounde, bnd
bounden, bnd
rd
3
bndeth, bnt
bnden
bnd
bounden, bnd
Subjunctive Mood
Person
st

1
2nd
3rd

Present
Singular
bnde
bnde
bnde

Past

Plural
bnden
bnden
bnden

Singular
bounde
bounde
bounde

Plural
bounden
bounden
bounden

Imperative Mood
Person
2nd
bnd

Singular

Plural
bnde(th)

Present Participle: bndinge


Past Participle: bounden
Infinitive: bnden
Table 33. Weak Verb Complete Conjugation Sample
Indicative Mood
Person
Present
Singular
Plural
Singular
st
1
have
han
hadde
nd
2
hast
han
haddest
rd
3
hath
han
hadde

Past
Plural
hadden
hadden
hadden

Subjunctive Mood
Person
st

1
2nd
3rd

Present
Singular
have
have
have

Past
Plural

Singular
hadde
hadde
hadde

han
han
han

Plural
hadden
hadden
hadden

Imperative Mood
Person
2nd
have

Singular

Plural
haveth
64

Present Participle: havinge


Past Participle: had
Infinitive: haven, han
Anomalous Verbs
Of the anomalous verbs do and will developed more or less regularly in ME.
By the end of the ME period, the two separate present tenses that to be had had in OE
had collapsed to one, though the particular forms used varied over the period and
from area to area.
The OE past tense of the verb to go (eode, eodon) survived into ME, but during
ME, the past tense from the verb wendan (also meaning to go) began to replace the
older form; went of course eventually supplanted eode completely, though Chaucer
still regularly used yede and yeden as past tenses of go.
Most of the OE preterite-present verbs survived into ME and usually retained
their OE functions and meanings. Their forms are presented in the following table:
Table 34. ME Preterite-Present Verbs
Infinitive
Present
Past
Meaning
Singular
Plural
witen
wot
witen
wiste
to know
owen
ough
owen
oughte
to own
dowen
deh, dow
dowen
doughte
to be good for

an
unnen
outhe
to give
cunnan
can
cunnen
couthe
to know

tharf
thurven
thurfte
to need
durren
dar
durren
dorste
to dare

shal
shulen
sholde
to have to

man
munen

to remember
mowen
may
mowen
mighte
to be able

mot
moten
moste
to be able
Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. ME strong verbs.
2. ME weak verbs.
3. Minor types of verbs.
II. Give the Past tense forms of the following ME verbs:
Writen, drinken, been, deemen, spreken, looken, haven, knowen, finden.

65

III. Compare the OE and ME forms of the following words and comment on the
differences.
OE

ME

scan (weak, cl. I) shte sht

seken soghte/sought soght/sought

hran (weak, cl. I) hrde hrd

hren herde herd

wsan (str., cl. VII) ws wron weren

was weren

cnwan (str., cl. VII) cnow cnowon cnwen

knowen knew knewen - knowen

n (anom.) ode e-n

goon wente goon

IV. Read through the following extract from the Ancren Riwle, translate the text into
Russian and analyze the underlined words.
Nu aski e hwat riwle e ancren schullen holden? Ye schullen alles weis, mid
alle mihte, & mid alle strence, wel witen e inre, & e uttre vor hire sake. e inre is
euere iliche: e uttre is misliche. Vor euereich schal holden e uttre efter et e
licome mei best mid hire serui e inre. Nu eonne is hit so et alle ancren muwen wel
holden one riwle?
V. Read the following extract from Thomas Malorys Morte DArthur (written in the
second half of the 15th century) and see if you can understand the gist of it without
using a dictionary. Find verbs in the text and comment on their forms.
Than sir Launcelot had a condicion that he used of custom to clatir in his slepe
and to speke oftyn of hys lady, quene Gwenyver. So sir Launcelot had awayked as
longe as hit had pleased hym, and so by course of kynde he slepte and dame Elayne
bothe. And in his slepe he talked and claterde as a jay of the love that had bene
betwyxte quene Gwenyver and hym, and so as he talked so lowde the quene harde
hym thereas she lay in her chambir. And whan she harde hym so clattir she was
wrothe oute of mesure, and for anger and payne wist not what to do, and than she
cowghed so lowde that sir Launcelot awaked.
Report Topics
1. Middle English syntax within phrases.
2. Middle English syntax within clauses.
3. Middle English syntax of sentences.
66

Seminar 12
Middle English Vocabulary
The ME vocabulary consisted of a mixture of forms inherited from OE and
forms borrowed from languages with which ME came into contact. New forms
were also derived from processes of word-formation: compounding and affixation.
The core vocabulary of ME derives from OE. However, OE seems to have
been relatively inhospitable to words from other languages; by contrast, a
characteristic feature of ME is its habit of borrowing from other languages to increase
its wordstock.
There are three main sources of loanwords into English during the ME period:
Norse, French and Latin.
A few Norse words had entered the spoken mode during the OE period but had
been hidden by the standardized written record and only appeared in ME times.
Most loanwords from Norse which are found in PDE but date from the ME period
express very common concepts (for example, bag, bull, dwell, egg, root, ugly,
window, wing).
A number of Latin words came directly into English during the ME period.
Through Latin also came words from more exotic languages, such as Arabic.
However, the great wave of Latin borrowings into English takes place from the 15th
century onwards, with the first, late medieval stirrings of what developed into
renaissance humanism.
By far the largest number of words borrowed into English during the ME
period are taken from varieties of French. Up to the 13th century, such borrowings
were rather few and reflected the role of French as the language of the ruling class.
Most of these words were adopted from Norman French. However, from the 14th
century onwards, French words from Central French dialects enter the language at a
great rate, reflecting the cultural status of Central France.
Other languages had a much smaller impact on ME vocabulary. A few Celtic
loans are first recorded in ME, but probably were already in spoken English during
the Anglo-Saxon period.
Low German and Dutch had a growing impact on the English lexicon
throughout the ME period, as a result of increasing commercial links between
England.
As for word building, it should be noted that ME continued to use OE
strategies of word-formation. The most productive kinds of OE compound nouns
continued to appear in ME. French usages were also adopted to augment patterns of
English word-formation, although not really until the 14th and 15th centuries.
Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. Principal sources of ME vocabulary.
67

2. Native words vs. foreign words.


3. Word building in ME.

II. Read the following extract from G. Chaucers dream-vision poem The Parlement
of Foules and translate it into Russian. Comment on the origin of the italicized words.
With hed enclyned and with humble cheere bowed
415

This royal tersel spak, and tariede noght:


Unto my soverayn lady, and not my fere,
I chese, and chese with wil, and herte, and thought,
The formel on youre hond, so wel iwrought,
Whos I am al, and evere wol hire serve,

420

Do what hire lest, to do me lyve or sterve;


Besekynge hire of merci and of grace,
As she that is my lady sovereyne;
Or let me deye present in this place.
For certes, longe may I nat lyve in payne,

425

For in my herte is korven every veyne.


Havynge reward only to my trouthe,
My deere hert, have on my wo som routhe.

III. Below is a list of verbs borrowed from French or Latin during the Middle English
period. Give their MnE doublets, that is, words from the same source that entered the
language by a different route. For example, Latin invidisus gave envious (via
French) in Middle English and invidious (directly from Latin) in Early Modern
English.
Chamber, choir, frail, jealous, mould, pale, porch, prove, spice, strait, treasure.
Report Topics
1. The Paston Letters: contents and style.
2. The Vision of Piers Plowman by William Langland: contents and style.
3. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by the Pearl Poet: contents and style.
68

Part IV. Early Modern English (1476 c. 1660) and


English After the 17th Century
Seminar 13
The Sound System of Early Modern English
Changes in the System of Consonants
The present-day inventory of English consonants was established during the
Early Modern English period. By 1800, the system was identical to that of today.
The only system-wide change in consonants between Middle English and Early
Modern English was the addition of two new sounds: [] and []. Besides, numerous
changes in the distribution of individual consonant phonemes occurred. Most of the
systemic changes involved loss of consonants in particular environments, or,
occasionally, the substitution of one consonant for another. The sporadic changes
involved either substitution or pronunciation (or both). Major changes included the
following:
1. The consonant [l] was lost after low back vowels and before labial or velar
consonants (half, palm, folk, talk), but not after other vowels (film, silk, hulk) or
before dental or palatal consonants (salt, bolt, Walsh).
2. The consonant [t] and, to a lesser extent, [d] tended to drop in consonant
clusters involving [s].
3. Probably in the late 17th century, [g] and [k] were lost in initial position
before [n], as in gnaw, gnome, know, and knight. During the 18th century, [w] was lost
before [r] in initial position (wrong, wrinkle, wrist).
4. During OE and ME, the combination ng had been pronounced [g]. During
EMnE, the [g] was lost when the combination appeared in final position.
5. The loss of [r] before [s] had begun as early as ME. By EMnE, its loss had
extended to other positions, at least in some dialects. During the 18th century, the loss
of [r] before a consonant or finally became general in the standard language in
England. In America, r-lessness prevailed along the Atlantic seaboard areas with
close ties to England, but not in the more inland settlements, a pattern that survives to
the present day.
Changes in the System of Vowels
The changes in English consonants during EMnE were relatively minor.
However, the vocalic system of English underwent a greater change than at any other
time in the history of the language. The short vowels experienced a number of
adjustments, but the major activity concerned the ME long vowels. The ultimate
result of the sweeping sound change known as the Great Vowel Shift was the loss of
length as a distinctive feature of English vowels and hence a restructuring of the
entire system.
Under the sound change known as the Great Vowel Shift, all the ME long
vowels came to be pronounced in a higher position. Those that were already in the
69

highest position fell off the top and became diphthongs. Short vowels were not
affected. Figure 2 illustrates the changes involved in the Great Vowel Shift.
Figure 2. Great Vowel Shift
ai i: i: i:
u: u: au

e: e: ei ou o

a: :
Precise dating of the Great Vowel Shift is impossible and, in any case, varied
from dialect to dialect. In general, the process began in late ME and was pretty much
over by the end of the 16th century, although the change of ME [e:] to [i:] was not
complete in standard English until the 18th century (and is not uniformly complete in
all dialects to this day). Scholars do not agree on all the details, but it is likely that at
least some of the changes took several generations to reach their final stage. Tables
35 and 36 represent stages and results of the Great Vowel Shift respectively.
Table 35. Stages of the Great Vowel Shift
Spelling
Chaucers
Shakespeares
Present-day
pronunciation
pronunciation
pronunciation
abate
foul
bite

[a ba:t]
[fu:l]
[bi:t]

[ b t]
[foul]
[beit]

Table 36. Results of the Great Vowel Shift


Spelling
Middle English
pronunciation
take
['ta:k]
beat
[b:t]
meet
[me:t]
like
['li:k]
moan
[m:n]
tool
[to:l]
house
[hu:s]

[ beit]
[faul]
[bait]

Modern English
pronunciation
[teik]
[be:t] > [bi:t]
[mi:t]
[laik]
[moun]
[tu:l]
[haus]

Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. The vowel shift.
2. Development of individual stressed and unstressed vowels. Loss of vowels.
3. Development and loss of consonants.
70

II. Analyze the phonetic changes that occurred in the following English words:
Heart, shall, stone, busy, be, that, fire, make, ride, feel, mother, children, tell.

III. Give PDE words which appeared due to certain phonetic and graphical changes:
OE spdan, sceort, scnan, snwan, bc, bt, mtan, hwt, smoca, drfan, cl, dop.

IV. Read the following sonnet by W. Shakespeare and translate it into Russian.
Comment on phonetic changes in the words marked with an asterisk:
Sonnet II
1

When forty winters shall beseige thy brow*,


And dig deep* trenches in thy beautys* field*,
Thy youths proud* livery, so gazed on now*,
Will be a tatterd weed, of small* worth* held:

Then being askd* where all thy beauty lies,


Where all the treasure* of thy lusty* days,
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame* and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserved* thy beautys use,

10

If thou couldst answer* This fair* child of mine


Shall sum my count* and make my old excuse*,
Proving* his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new* made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm* when thou feelst it cold.

Report Topics
1. William Caxton and the early printing presses in England.
2. Characteristics of Early Modern English in Shakespeares language.
3. Characteristics of Early Modern English in Malorys Mort DArthur.

71

Seminar 14
Grammatical Structure of Early Modern English:
The Nominal System
The Noun
In all essentials, noun morphology in EMnE was the same as that of PDE. The
distinction between singular and plural remained, but cases were reduced to two
common case and possessive case. All traces of grammatical gender were gone, and
biological gender prevailed. EMnE observed the same mutated plurals that we have
today (mice, feet, teeth, men, etc.). Particularly in the early part of the period, a few -n
plurals remained, often side by side with -s plurals. For example, Shakespeare used
shoes as the plural of shoe in one act of Hamlet but shoon in the next act.
The configuration of the EMnE noun-declensions is essentially the same as that
found in late ME. The Basic Noun Declension in Shakespearean English was
as follows:
Table 37. Early Modern English Noun Declension
Case
Singular
Plural
Nominative
stone
stones
Accusative/Dative
stone
stones
Genitive
stones
stones
The Pronoun
Though personal pronouns remain to this day the most heavily inflected of
English word classes, there were still a number of changes in the pronominal system
between the end of ME and the end of EMnE, both in the personal pronouns and in
other types of pronouns.
The originally plural forms ye and you were already being used as polite
singular forms during Middle English. During the 17th century, the singular thou/thee
forms dropped out completely. Thus, by the beginning of the 18th century, English
had lost the singular-plural distinction in the second person; it survives today only in
the forms yourself/yourselves.
The earlier subject form ye gave way to you during the 16th century. Although
ye continued to be spelled in texts for several decades afterwards, it appears as both
subject and object pronoun and probably represents simply the reduced pronunciation
of you still familiar in speech today.
The PDE system of demonstrative and interrogative pronouns was established
in all its essentials during ME. However, EMnE still had a few minor differences
from PDE. For example, although the plural form those appeared as early as late ME,
the earlier plural tho remained in use until the mid-16th century or so. Whether is
today only a conjunction, but historically it is an interrogative pronoun meaning
which of two. It could still be used this way throughout the EMnE period, in both
direct and indirect questions.
72

The EMnE personal and possessive pronouns are presented in tables 38 and 39.
Table 38. Early Modern English Personal Pronouns
Case
Singular
1 person
2 person
3 person
Neut.
Masc.
Fem.
Nom.
I
thou
it/t
he
she
Obj.
me
thee
it/hit
him
her
Plural
1 person
2 person
3 person
Nom.
we
ye/you
they
Obj.
us
you
them/em
Table 39. Early Modern English Possesive Pronouns
Singular
1
person
my,
mine

2 person

thy, thine

3 person

Masc. Fem.

Neut.

his

its, his, its

her, hers

Plural

1 person

2 person

3 person

our(s)

your(s)

their(s)

The Adjective
English adjectives had lost all their inflections except the comparative -er and
the superlative -est by the end of ME, so there was little adjective morphology left to
be changed by EMnE times. The rules for the use of the comparative and superlative,
however, had not yet achieved their modern form. More and most were historically
not comparative markers, but intensifiers. In EMnE, this intensifying function was
felt much more strongly; hence writers did not find it ungrammatical or pleonastic to
use both a comparative adverb and -er or -est with the same adjective. Examples from
Shakespeare include in the calmest and most stillest night and against the envy of less
happier lands. Further, the rules for when to use the periphrastic comparative had not
yet reached their PDE rigidity. Therefore Shakespeare could say violentest and
perfecter and also more sweet and the most brave.
Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. The substantive: development of plural forms, the case system.
2. The pronoun.
3. The adjective. The statives.
4. The numeral.

73

III. Read the following sonnet by W. Shakespeare and translate it into Russian.
Analyze the underlined words.
Sonnet CXIII
1

Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind;


And that which governs me to go about
Doth part his function and is partly blind,
Seems seeing, but effectually is out;

For it no form delivers to the heart


Of bird of flower, or shape, which it doth latch:
Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,
Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch:
For if it see the rudest or gentlest sight,

10

The most sweet favour or deformedst creature,


The mountain or the sea, the day or night,
The crow or dove, it shapes them to your feature:
Incapable of more, replete with you,
My most true mind thus makes mine eye untrue.

IV. Read the following sonnet by W. Shakespeare and translate it into Russian. Find
personal, possessive and demonstrative pronouns and comment on their forms.
Sonnet XLII
1

That thou hast her, it is not all my grief,


And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;
That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief,
A loss in love that touches me more nearly.

Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye:


Thou dost love her, because thou knowst I love her;
And for my sake even so doth she abuse me,
74

Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her.


If I lose thee, my loss is my loves gain,
10

And losing her, my friend hath found that loss;


Both find each other, and I lose both twain,
And both for my sake lay on me this cross:
But heres the joy; my friend and I are one;
Sweet flattery! then she loves but me alone.

Report Topics
1. Translations of the Bible into English: linguistic aspects.
2. Grammar books and rhetorics of the Early Modern English period.
3. Precursors of modern dictionaries (1400-1700).

75

Seminar 15
Grammatical Structure of Early Modern English:
The Verbal System
Early MnE saw the continuation of a number of processes that had been going
on since OE times, processes such as the change of strong verbs to weak, the further
reduction of verbal inflections, and the gradual decline in the use of the subjunctive.
As in Old English and Middle English, EMnE verbs fall into three categories:
strong, weak and anomalous. However, by the end of the EMnE period, the division
of verbs into strong and weak categories was no longer a viable one. The majority of
OE strong verbs had disappeared, become weak or lost separate past and past
participle forms. Further, sound changes in weak verbs during ME had created
irregularities in many weak verbs. From EMnE on, it is really more reasonable to
speak of regular and irregular verbs than of strong and weak verbs.
A sample of EMnE regular and irregular verb conjugation is given below:
Table 40. Irregular Verb Complete Conjugation Sample
Indicative Mood
Person
Present
Past
Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
1st
bind(e)
bind(e)
bound(e)
bound(e)
nd
2
bind(e)st
bind(e)
bound(e)st
bound(e)
rd
3
bindeth
bind(e)
bound(e)
bound(e)
Subjunctive Mood
Person
st

1
2nd
3rd

Present
Singular
bind(e)
bind(e)
bind(e)

Past
Plural
bind(e)
bind(e)
bind(e)

Singular
bound(e)
bound(e)
bound(e)

Plural
bound(e)
bound(e)
bound(e)

Imperative Mood
Person
2nd

Singular
bind(e)

Plural
bind(e)

Present Participle: binding(e)


Past Participle: bound(e)
Infinitive: bind(e)

76

Table 41. Regular Verb Complete Conjugation Sample


Indicative Mood
Person
Present
Past
Singular
Plural
Singular
st
1
loue
loue
loued
nd
2
lou(e)st
loue
louedst
rd
3
loueth
loue
loued

Plural
loued
loued
loued

Subjunctive Mood
Person
st

1
2nd
3rd

Present
Singular
loue
loue
loue

Past
Plural
loue
loue
loue

Singular
loued
loued
loued

Plural
loued
loued
loued

Imperative Mood
Person
2nd

Singular
loue

Plural
loue

Present Participle: louing(e)


Past Participle: loued
Infinitive: loue
As for EMnE anomalous verbs, the verbs be, do and go had essentially taken
on their modern forms by the end of the ME period, and there has been little change
in them since. During EMnE, went completely supplanted yede as the past tense of
go, and gone replaced yeden as the past participle. For the verb to be, are became the
standard present plural indicative form, though the alternate be was possible
throughout the period (and survives dialectally to the present day).
The preterite-present verbs (or modal auxiliaries, as they can be called now)
have historically been unstable, as is attested by their origin as verbs whose past
tenses came to be used as present tenses. EMnE was a period of particularly great
changes in their form, function, and meaning. First, the membership of the class of
modal auxiliaries continued to decline. OE unnan to grant and munan to
remember had been lost in ME. During EMnE, OE urfan to need and dan to
avail were totally lost, and wtan to know survived only dialectally. Of the
surviving modals, couthe, the earlier past tense of can, gave way to could. The
present mote was lost entirely, and the earlier past tense must came to be used with
present (or future) meaning. For dare, a regular weak past, dared, began to compete
with the earlier past durst. By the end of EMnE, might had supplanted earlier mought
as the past form of may in the standard language, though mought is found as late as
the 18th century.
77

Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. Personal endings in verbs.
2. Strong verbs.
3. The second participle.
4. Weak verbs.
5. Rise of invariable verbs.
6. Preterite-present verbs.

II. Compare the following extracts from the New Testament, St. Matthews Gospel,
Chapter 26 Verses 69-75 and comment on the principal changes that have taken place
in the MnE period in the system of the English verb.
Extract 1: Early MnE (1582)
69 But Peter sate vvithout in the court: and there came to him one vvenche,
saying: Thou also vvast vvith IESVS the Galilean. 70 But he denied before them all,
saying, I vvot not vvhat thou sayest. 71 And as he went out of the gate, an other
vvenche savv him, and she saith to them that vvere there, And this felovv also vvas
vvith IESVS the Nazarite. 72 And againe he denied vvith an othe, That I knovv not
the man. 73 And after a litle they came that stoode by, and said to Peter, Surely thou
also art of them; for euen thy speache doth bevvray thee. 74 Then he began to curse
and to svveare that he knevve not the man. And incontinent the cocke crevve. 75 And
Peter remembred the vvord of IESVS, vvhich he had said, before the cocke, thou
shalt deny me thrise. And going forth, he vvept bitterly.
(The New Testament of Jesus Christ Rheims, 1582)

Extract 2: Early MnE (1611)


69 Now Peter sate without in the palace: and a darnosell came vnto him,
saying, Thou also wast with Iesus of Galilee. 70 But hee denied before them all,
saying, I know not what thou saiest. 71 And when he was gone out into the porch,
another maide saw him, and saide vnto them that were there, This fellow was also
78

with Iesus of Nazareth. 72 And againe hee denied with an oath, I doe not know that
man. 73 And after a while came vnto him they that stood by, and saide to Peter,
Surely thou also art one of them, for thy speech bewrayeth thee. 74 Then beganne hee
to curse and to sweare, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cocke crew.
75 And Peter remembred the words of Iesus, which said vnto him, Before the cocke
crow, thou shalt denie mee thrice. And hee went out, and wept bitterly.
(King James Bible, 1611)

Report Topics
1. Restoration of the Stuart dynasty and its effects on the English manners and
language.
2. Royal Society and its influence on the language.
3. Samuel Johnsons Dictionary of the English language (1755).

79

Seminar 16
The Sound System, Vocabulary and Grammatical Structure of
Late Modern English
A few factors contributing to stability of English grammar and sound system
have been particularly effective during the past two centuries. They include the
printing press, popular education, improvements in travel and communication, and
social consciousness. Very few changes in grammatical forms and pronunciation
conventions are to be observed.
If we had to rely on written records alone, we would be forced to conclude that
the phonology of English has remained unchanged since before the beginning of the
EMnE period. Our fixed spelling system hides both changes in the language over
time and dialectal differences among speakers at any given point in time.
It should be noted, however, that the Late MnE inventory of consonants was
established in EMnE. Recent changes include the tendency to reinsert previously lost
sounds in isolated words. For example, we frequently hear [h] in forehead, [p] in
clapboard, and [t] in often (but in silhouette, cupboard, and soften, the h, p, and t are
not pronounced).
As for vowels, by the Late MnE period, unstressed vowels have almost
universally been reduced to either [] or [i]. For the stressed vowels, the Great Vowel
Shift was completed in most dialects by the beginning of the Late MnE period. This
is not, however, to say that the stressed vowels of English are absolutely stable today.
For example, both diphthongization of simple vowels and smoothing of former
diphthongs are characteristic of a number of American dialects of the South.
Morphological categories of late MnE are identical to those of EMnE. Nouns
are inflectionally distinguished only for singular versus plural and for possessive
versus non-possessive. Seven native words retain mutated plurals (feet, teeth, geese,
lice, mice, men, women), and three -n plurals remain (brethren, children, oxen). As in
EMnE, a few words have unmarked plurals (for example, sheep, deer, salmon), and
several more have either an -s plural or an unmarked plural (for example, fish/fishes;
elk/elks). Otherwise, the -s plural has become universal for native and naturalized
words. Foreign plurals are restricted primarily to learned words of Latin and Greek
origin and, occasionally, Italian (librettos or libretti), French (trousseaus or
trousseaux), and Hebrew (seraphs or seraphim).
Like EMnE adjectives, adjectives can be inflected only for comparative (-er)
and superlative (-est), and this remaining inflection alternates with the periphrastic
forms more and most. In, however, more and most have almost completely lost their
intensifying function and have become purely grammatical markers of comparison.
The personal pronouns are the only class of words in that preserve two
numbers and three distinct cases (subject, object, possessive). Demonstrative
pronouns retain separate singular and plural forms. Other types of pronouns, such as
relative and indefinite pronouns, had lost all inflections by EMnE, but their
distribution and use has since changed somewhat.
80

With the loss of the second-person singular pronoun by the end of the EMnE
period, English also lost the corresponding verbal inflection -st (as in thou hast, thou
didst). Only four verbal inflections remain in Late MnE: (1) the third-person singular
present indicative in -s, (2) the past tense -ed (or irregular, as with brought, gave, and
hid), (3) the past participle -ed (or irregular, as with bound, chosen, and rung), and
(4) the present participle -ing.
The 19th century saw the development of the passive progressive construction.
A sentence such as The authenticity of the painting is being questioned by the experts
would have been heavily stigmatized in the earlier 18th century, when the required
form would be an active sentence (i.e., The experts are questioning the authenticity of
the painting).
Another nineteenth-century development is the so-called get passive (he got
fired instead of he is fired). This construction is unusual before the 19th century. One
other tendency is the extension of verb-adverb combinations made up of a common
verb, often of one syllable, combined with an adverb. One of the most interesting
features of such combinations in modern times, however, is the large number of
figurative and idiomatic senses in which they have come to be used. Another is the
extensive use, especially in colloquial speech, of these verb-adverb combinations as
nouns: blowout, cave-in, holdup, runaway.
During the Late MnE period large-scale borrowing into English from a range
of other languages continued. While the majority of words that entered the English
lexicon during the EMnE period were of Latin or Greek origin, the principal new
source of loanwords in Late MnE resulted from the encounter between Europeans
and the peoples they met during the trading and imperial expansions of the period.
Words from the Romance languages, especially French and Italian, continued to enter
the language in great numbers as well.
Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. The sound system of Late MnE. Received pronunciation.
2. Phonetic features of British and American English.
3. Changes in the morphological system.
4. Grammatical features of British and American English.
5. Modern English syntax.
6. Word-building in Modern English.
7. Modern English vocabulary. Sources of loanwords in the 19th and 20th
centuries.
8. Dialectal varieties of Modern English.
81

II. Comment on mute vowels and consonants in the following PDE words:
late, sight, wrong, often, autunm, course, knowledge, honour, what, guest,
pneumonia, psalm, delight, thumb.

III. Make a contrastive study of the language using the following texts as evidence of
the principal changes that have taken place since the OE period in vocabulary, word
and sentence structure, spelling and pronunciation. Make a table (one column for
each text) and write down the equivalent words or phrases from each text. Find words
that have changed their meaning or have been lost from the language. Comment on
peculiarities of spelling, changes in the word structure and word order.
Text 1: late 10th century OE
eac swylce seo nddre ws eapre onne ealle a ore nytenu e God
eworhte ofer eoran. and seo nddre cw to pam wife. hwi forbead God eow t
e ne ton of lcon treowe binnan paradisum.

Text 2: late 14th century ME


But the serpent was feller than alle lyuynge beestis of erthe which the Lord
God hadde maad. Which serpent seide to the woman. Why comaundide God to ou
that e schulden not ete of ech tre of paradis.

Text 3: early MnE, 1611


Now the serpent was more subtill then any beast of the field, which the Lord
God had made, and he said vnto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of
euery tree of the garden?

Text 4: PDE, 1961


The serpent was more crafty than any wild creature that the LORD God had
made. He said to the woman, Is it true that God has forbidden you to eat from any
tree in the garden?
82

IV. Find the source of the following words from an etymological dictionary:
almanac
armada
arsenic
bog
bonnet

carnival
chorus
cipher
galleon
genius

jasmine
lemon
medium
pickle
plaid

redeem
rhythm
scrag
serviette
silt

slogan
taffeta
traffic
vacuum
waggon

V. State the origin of the following words and explain what kind of contacts Great
Britain had with nations from whose languages they were borrowed:
macaroni, maize, rouble, violin, cargo, vodka, tomato, cigar, canoe, kangaroo, jungle,
cookatoo, samovar, opera.

VI. Explain the existence of such pairs of words as:


father fatherly, paternal; sun sunny, solar.
Report Topics
1. English in North America and Australia in the 18th century.
2. English in Britain and North America in the 19th century.
3. English in India and China in the 19th century.
4. English in the Carribean and Australia in the 19th century.

83

Seminar 17
Phonetic, Grammatical and Lexical Features of Present-Day English
Most of the inflections that characterized Old English and the early part of
Middle English had been lost by Early Modern English. The inflectional categories
that did survive into Early Modern English (plural, possessive, past, past participle,
present participle, third-person singular indicative, and comparative and superlative)
have remained in Present-Day English.
Besides that, a number of features have increased or decreased in frequency
over the past fifty years. The following table presents a summary of grammatical
trends working in the second half of the 20th century:
Table 42. Grammatical Trends of the Second Half of the 20th Century
Features increasing in frequency
Features decreasing in frequency

Nominal System
use of the non-inflected form who
- use of the inflected form
instead of whom
whom
use of analytical forms of comparison
- use of inflected forms of
of disyllabic adjectives (quietermore
comparison of disyllabic
quiet, quietestmost quiet)
adjectives
use of less instead of fewer with
countable nouns (e.g. less people)
use of the s-genitive with non-human
nouns (the books cover)
spread of singular they and their to
formal and standard usage (Everybody
came in their car)
Verbal System
use of semi-modals in general instead
of modals, particularly: have to, be
going to, want to, need to, supposed to
use of will as a future marker in the
first person
use of get-passive
use of help + bare infinitive
use of the mandative subjunctive (we
demand that she appear in court
tomorrow)
use of regular forms instead of
84

use of modal verbs,


especially must
use of shall as a future
marker in the first person
use of be-passive
use of help + to infinitive
use of subjunctive with
should

irregular ones (burntburned)


do-support for have (Have you any
money? Do you have any money?)
use of progressive forms, especially
present progressive and modal
progressive
development of new, auxiliary-like
uses of certain lexical verbs
(wantwanna) and further auxiliation
of semi-auxiliaries (going togonna,
have got togotta)
use of contracted forms (its, dont)
increase in the number and types of
phrasal verbs (have/take/give a + verb)
Syntax

- use of which in relative clauses

- use of that in relative clauses


and zero relativization

- use of like, same as and immediately as


conjunctions
The events of the 19th and 20th centuries affecting the English-speaking
countries have been of great political and social importance, but in their effect on the
language they have not been revolutionary. During the first half of the 20th century
the world wars and the troubled periods following them affected the life of almost
everyone and left their mark on the language. At the same time, the growth in
importance of some of Englands larger colonies, their eventual in-dependence, and
the rapid development of the United States have given increased significance to the
forms of English spoken in these territories and have led their populations to the
belief that their use of the language is as entitled to be considered a standard as that of
Great Britain. Some of these events and changes are reflected in the English
vocabulary. But more influential in this respect are the great developments in science
and the rapid progress that has been made in every field of intellectual activity in the
last 200 years. Periods of great enterprise and activity seem generally to be
accompanied by a corresponding increase in new words. The following spheres of
social and industrial life have particularly affected the language:
- science (CAT scan (computerized axial tomography), hydrogen bomb, chain
reaction, ionization, schizophrenia, psychoanalysis);
- automobiles (carburetor, clutch, piston rings, differential, universal,
steering wheel, shock absorber, radiator, bumper, chassis, hubcap, power
steering, automatic transmission);
- wars (blockbuster, dive-bombing, evacuate, resistance movement,
paratroop, landing strip, crash landing);
85

- mass media (screen, reel, film, scenario, projector, fade-out, three-D,


broadcast, television);
- computers and the Internet (RAM (random-access memory), ROM (readonly memory), DOS (disk operating system), microprocessor, byte, cursor,
modem, software, hacker, hard-wired, download, cyberspace).
Class Activities
I. Questions and issues for discussion:
1. Influences affecting PDE.
2. Language as a mirror of progress.
3. Recent grammatical trends in PDE.
4. Sources of new words in PDE: borrowings, compounds formed from Greek
and Latin elements, coinages, common words from proper names.
5. American words in general English.
6. Phonetic features of British and American English.

II. Read the following extracts from contemporary British and American fiction and
find lexical and grammatical features typical of PDE English. Comment on
peculiarities of spelling and sentence structure.
Extract 1
Works pretty busy at the moment. I shrug. Its just a blip. Im fine. Can
we get on with it?
Well. Maya gets up. She presses a button set in the wall and gentle pan-pipe
music fills the air. All I can say is, youve come to the right place, Samantha. Our
aim here is to de-stress, revitalize, and detoxify.
Lovely, I say, only half listening. Ive just remembered that I never got back
to David Elldridge about the Ukrainian oil contract. I meant to call him yesterday.
Shit.
Our aim is to provide a haven of tranquility, away from all your day-to-day
worries. Maya presses another button in the wall, and the light dims to a muted
glow. Before we start, she says softly, do you have any questions?
Actually, I do. I lean forward.
Good! She beams. Are you curious about todays treatments, or is it
something more general?
Could I possibly send a quick email?
Mayas smile freezes on her face.
86

Just quickly, I add. It wont take two secs


(from Kinsella S. The Undomestic Goddess. The Dial Press, 2005.)
Extract 2
Do you realize what time it is? she shoots back. Once and for all, youve
got to stop this psychotic screaming every morning.
I look at Mrs. Rosencrantz all four feet ten of her as if shes the one
whos psychotic. I may have been crying, but I certainly wasnt screaming.
You know, if you really want to hassle someone about noise, Mrs.
Rosencrantz, you should find out whos playing that music at six a.m.
She gives me a sideways look. What music?
Cmon, you dont hear that? Its coming from . . . I step into the hallway,
turning my head left and right.
Wait where exactly is it coming from?
Mrs. Rosencrantz shakes her head and huffs. I dont hear any music, Ms.
Burns. And if youre trying to be a little smart-ass with me, Im telling you right now
I dont appreciate it.
Mrs. Rosencrantz, Im not trying to
She cuts me off. Dont think I cant get you evicted, because I can.
I frown at the old bat, who happens to look even more unpleasant and haggard
than usual, if thats possible.You want smart-ass, lady? Ill give you smart-ass!
Mrs. Rosencrantz, Im going back to bed now . . . and if you dont mind my
saying so, you could use a little more beauty sleep yourself.
With that, I promptly close the door on her stunned, sourpuss face.
Im about to turn and make a beeline for my bed, when I catch a glimpse of
myself in the mirror by the coat closet.Whoa! Im sporting some serious raccoon eyes
and a pretty spectacular case of bedhead. Omigod, I look almost as bad as Mrs.
Rosencrantz!
Supposedly, I have this killer wink that everybody loves. I wink at myself in
the mirror. It doesnt help. I wink at myself again. Nope, nothing.
(from Patterson J., Roughan H. Youve been warned. Little, Brown and
Company Hachette Book Group, 2007.)
Report Topics
1. The effects of World War I and World War II on the English vocabulary.
2. The growing importance of American English in the 20th century.
3. American standard grammatical features.
4. The historical development of American slang.
5. The effects of globalization on the development of English in the 20th and 21st
centuries.
87

Appendix 1
Model of Phonetic Analysis
cm* of mre under* misthleoum
rendel onan, odes yrre br*;

mynte se mansca manna cynnes*


sumne besyrwan in sele m hn*.
(Beowulf, lines 710-713)
,
; -
.
cm (should be cwm): related to Lat. venire (from *gvenire; 1st person sg
present venio << guemi). Parallels in cognate languages: Goth. qiman, Ger. kommen
(OHG queman), Old Norse koma. IE [gw] correlates to Germanic [kw] by First
Consonant Shift (2nd stage). PDE come.
under: related to Skr. dharas, Lat. inferus. IE [dh] correlates to Germanic [d]
by First Consonant Shift (2nd stage). Parallels in cognate languages: Goth. undar, Ger.
unter. OE [d] correlates to Ger. [t] by Second Consonant Shift. PDEunder.
br: related to Skr. bhrati, Gr. phrein, Lat. ferre, Rus. . IE [bh]
correlates to Germanic [b] by First Consonant Shift (3rd stage). Parallels in cognate
languages: Goth. baran (past sg form bar), Ger. gebren. OE [] corresponds to
Goth. [a]. PDEbear.
cynnes: related to Gr. gnos, Lat. genus, Rus. . IE [g] correlates to
Germanic [k] by First Consonant Shift (2nd stage). PDEkin.
hn (Nom. case: hah): related to Skr. kucas, Rus. . IE [k] correlates to
Germanic [h] by First Consonant Shift (1st stage). Parallels in cognate languages:
Goth. hahs, Ger. hoch. OE [ea] corresponds to Goth. [au]. PDEhigh.

88

Appendix 2
Model of Grammatical Analysis
mre: noun, masc., a-stem, Dative sg.
misthleoum: noun, neuter, a-stem, Dative pl.
br: strong class IV verb (infinitive beran), past sg.
mynte: weak class I verb (infinitive myntan), past sg.
m: demonstrative pronoun s, Dative sg.

Appendix 3
Model of Etymological Analysis
onan: anomalous suppletive verb (infinitive gn, past sg ode). Parallels

in cognate languages: OHG gangan, Goth. gaggan (past sg iddja derived from the
IE root * meaning to go. Cf. Rus. , Lat. re).
manna: noun, masc., root-stem. Parallels in cognate languages: Ger. Mann. Cf.
Skr. manu, Rus. (< *mong). The root is thought to be related to the IE *mn
meaning thought, memory (Cf. Lat. memini to remember, Rus. , ),
presumably under the illusion that man is a cognitive creature.

89


1. .
2.
.
3. .
4. .
5. ; ,
.
6. .
.
7. .
8. .
9. .
10. .
11. - .
12. .
13.
.
14.
.
15. .
16. .
17. .
18. .
19. .
20. .
21. .
22. .
23. .
24. .
25. .
26. .
27. .
28. .
29. . .
30. . .
31. .
32. .
33. [r].
34. [w].
35. [j].
90

36.
.
37. .
38.
.
39. .
40. .
41. : , ,
.
42.
.
43. .
44. .
45. .
46. .
47. .
48. - .
49. .
50. (
XVIII-XXI .).

91

,
. :
1. . . .1, 2: 2. ., 2006.
2. .., .., .. :
. . . ., 2006.
3. .., .., ..
: . . ., 2005.
4. .. . . ., 2008.
5. .. : . ., 2003.
6. .. . ., 2006.

. :
1. .. . ., 1958.
2. .. :
- . ., 2002.
3. . . ., 2003.
4. .. VII
XVII . -
. ., 2008.
5. .. ( VII XVII.).
, 2007.
6. English Language History Online Resources. [ ]
: http://pages.towson.edu/duncan/hellinks.html
7. King Alfreds Grammar [ ] :
http://acunix.wheatonma.edu/mdrout/GrammarBook2007/index.html
8. Old English Pages. An encyclopedic compendium of resources for the study of
Old English and Anglo-Saxon England. [ ]
:
http://web.archive.org/web/20061130060154rn_1/www.georgetown.edu/facult
y/ballc/oe/old_english.html

92

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms


Arm = Armenian
cl. = class
EMnE = Early Modern English
Fem. = feminine
Gaul = Gaulish
Ger = German
Goth = Gothic
Gr = Greek
Lat = Latin
Lith = Lithuanian
Masc. = masculine
ME = Middle English
MIr =Middle Irish
MnE = Modern English
Neut. = neuter
OHG = Old High German
OE = Old English
OIr =Old Irish
ON = Old Norse
OPrus = Old Prussian
PDE =Present-day English
PIE = Proto-Indo-European
Pl = plural
Pret. = preterite
Rus = Russian
Sec. Part. = Second participle
Sg = singular
Skr = Sanskrit
str. = strong
Toch = Tocharian

93

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