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Ablaut, vowel gradation :
(. sing/sang/sung).
Ancestor language, parent language, Proto-language , -.
Anglo-Norman, Anglo-French - :
, , -
Anglo-Saxon, Old English , -: -
V XII . ..
Branch : -
Breaking, fracture, vowel breaking : -
Comparative method - : -
Family of languages : -
Geminate : .
Genealogical classification of languages
: ,
Germanic languages :
Great Vowel Shift :
(XV .),
(e:>i:, o:>u:,
i:>ai, u:>au).
Grimms Law, consonant shift , , , -
: -

(ptk>fh; bdg>ptk; bh dh gh > bdg).
Indo-European languages .
Inflectional language , : ,
, , -
.. -
Internal inflexion :
( ) (tooth teeth).
Kenning : , -
, (.-. banhus
Metanalysis , , : -
(a napron>an apron).
Metathesis :
Middle English : XII
XV . ..
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Modern English : XV .
Multiple negation, cumulative negation .
Nostratic languages :
, -, , ,
, .
Preterite-present verb - : -
, -
, -
- , .
Reduced vowel .
Rune : .
Substratum :
Territorial dialect, local dialect, regional dialect, geographical dialect -
, .
Umlaut, mutation , : -
, -
(goose geese; mouse mice).
Verners Law :
(a a).
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1. The Subject of History of English.
2. English in the system of the Indo-European family of languages.
3. Germanic tribes and their classification.
4. The classification of Germanic languages. Old Germanic written records. Germanic alphabets.
5. Chief characteristics of Germanic languages: a) phonetics; b) grammar; c) lexicon.
1. History of English is a discipline, studying the origins, the phonetic system,
grammatical structure and vocabulary of the English language at different stages of
its development.
The purpose of history of English is a systemic study of the languages development from the
earliest times to the present day. It enables the student to acquire a more profound understanding of
the language of today.
Language as a historical phenomenon has been gradually, slowly but constantly
changing throughout its history. Some changes are due to external causes (extralinguistic factors:
social, economic and political events, wars, migrations, cultural contacts, etc.), some of them are
due to internal causes (intra-linguistic and systemic changes within the language itself, its
phonetics, grammar, etc.)
There are two aspects of the study of the historical development of the language:
synchronic (the study of the structure of the language existing at a particular time,
with no reference to its previous forms) and diachronic (the study describing the
changes occurred in this or that sphere of the language in the course of its development).
Historical development of the language does not mean permanent instability.
In both synchrony and diachrony we can find statics and dynamics. Some features of the language
remain stable: they suffer no or little alteration through time due to the tendency to preserve the
language in a state fit for communication (statics). Some features of the language undergo profound
changes due to the tendency to improve the language (dynamics).
The study of the history of any language is based on applying general principles
of linguistics to the language in question. Foundations of language history are studied in
introduction to linguistics. The basic method applied to the study of language history is
comparative-historical. It enables us to study various phenomena of the language development from
the point of view of evolution and in comparison with the phenomena of other language(s). The
comparative-historical method aims to reconstruct an ancestor language from the evidence that
remains in daughter languages. It can also be applied to determine which languages are related
within families.
2. Language family is a group of languages that are genetically related to one another, because they
have all developed from a single ancestral language. The Indo- European family is a language
family all of whose members are descendants of an ancestral language called Indo-European. To the
Indo-European family belong most 10 languages of Europe as well as most languages of Iran,
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and most of India. Of the 12 languages with more than 100 million native
speakers, 8 belong to the Indo-European family. Yet Indo-European languages number only 150.
The Indo-European family is represented by several groups of languages (old and
modern) (see the partial tree of the Indo-European language family).
Partial tree of the Indo-European language family
Armenian Albanian
Old Indo-Iranian
Proto-Italic Old Celtic
Proto-Germanic Common Slavonic
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Latin Irish Proto

- Iranian Sanskrit
Ancient Greek
West North French Spanish Persian Hindi
Germanic Germanic East Slavonic West
Greek Slavonic
Russian Ukrainian
English German Swedish
English is descended from Proto-Germanic, a language that was spoken about
the time of classical Latin and a few centuries earlier, and that also gave rise to German, Dutch,
Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish. Thus Proto-Germanic is the parent language of English. Except
for a few carved runic inscriptions from the third century A.D., Proto-Germanic has left no written
records. Modern knowledge of Proto- Germanic has been inferred from its daughter languages
through comparative reconstruction.
Proto-Germanic is itself a daughter language of Proto-Indo-European.
While there are no written records of Proto-Indo-European itself, a rich vein of information about it
can be deciphered from the linguistic characteristics of its daughter languages.
3. Our knowledge of old Germanic barbarian tribes is based on testimonies by Greek and Roman
authors: the evidence of the Greek traveler and astronomer Pytheas from Massilia (the 4th century
B.C.); Geography by the Greek geographer Strabo (63 B.C.20 A.D.); Natural History by the
Roman writer Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.);
Commentaries on the War in Gaul by Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.); Germania by the Roman
historian Tacitus (55-120 A.D.). At the beginning of the new era Germanic tribes occupied vast
territories in Western, Central and Northern Europe
(Plinys classification):
the Vindili (the Goths, Vandals and Burgundians) inhabited the eastern part of
Germanic territory;
the Ingaevones (the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians) inhabited the north-western
the Istaevones (the Franks) inhabited the western part;
the Hermiones (the Allemanians, Bavarians, Langobardians) inhabited the southern
the Helliviones (the Danes, Sweons) inhabited Scandinavia.
4. Germanic languages are also called Teutonic or Gothonic. Germanic group has
three branches: East Germanic (extinct), North Germanic (or Scandinavian), West
Old Germanic written records.Gothic is the only well-documented member of
the extinct eastern branch. It was spoken by the Ostrogoths of ancient Germany and Italy and by
Visigoths of Eastern Europe and Spain. Records of Gothic are older than those for any other
Germanic language (except for some runic inscriptions in Scandinavia).
Most knowledge of Gothic is derived from fragments of a translation of the
Bible (Silver Code or Codex Argenteus) made by the 4th-century Gothic bishop
Wulfila (311-383). The Gothic alphabet, traditionally devised by Wulfila, consisted of 27
characters: 25 modified Greek symbols and 2 runes.
Old Norse was the common Scandinavian language. Its earliest runic inscriptions
date from the 3rd century.
Among the most important monuments is Old Icelandic Older Edda, a collection
of epic songs dating from the 10th or 11th century.
The famous epic written in Old High German is Song of Hildebrandt (8th century).
The most important work of literature in Old English (or Anglo-Saxon) is an
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epic poem Beowulf (was written in the late 10th century on the basis of an 8th century poem). It
consists of 3,182 lines, each line with four accents marked by alliteration (the repetition of the
initial letter or first sound in 2 or 3 of 4 stressed syllables in every line).The poem is told in
vigorous language, with much use of metaphor.
Germanic Alphabets.
Germanic tribes used three alphabets. The earliest known was the runic alphabet,
the letters of which were called runes. The first runic inscriptions appear about
the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. It is customary to distinguish between an older and a
younger runic alphabet. The older runes (known as the Futhark) had 24 letters:
The younger runes had 16 letters (some letters were dropped). The last runic alphabet developed is
called the dotted runes (dots were added to some runes to denote new sounds). The runic alphabet
underwent changes with different Germanic tribes:
some new letters were added, some of the original ones were dropped. An Anglo-
Saxon runic alphabet had 31 runes.
The second Germanic alphabet was Wulfilas Gothic (4th century; based on the
Greek alphabet with devised by Wulfila admixture of Latin and runic letters).
With the spread of Christianity (7th century) the Germanic tribes borrowed the
Latin alphabet.
5. During the first millennium B.C., before the Germanic group of languages had
split into three branches, but after it had split from other branches of Indo-European, Proto-
Germanic developed certain characteristic features of phonology, lexicon, morphology and syntax
that continue in its daughter languages, setting them apart as a group from all the other Indo-
European languages. They are:
a set of consonant correspondences found in none of the other Indo-European languages
(Grimms law);
rhotacism (the change of z > r);
ablaut (internal vowel gradation);
Germanic fracture;
umlaut (palatal mutation of root vowels under the influence of the sounds [i] or [j]
in the suffix or ending);
shifting of stress patterns to a words first root syllable;
peculiarities of grammar and lexicon.

1. Pre-Germanic Britain. The Celts. The Roman conquest of Britain.
2. The Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain.
3. Periods in the history of English.
4. The Dialects in Old English. Old English written records.
1. The earliest inhabitants of Britain were: cave-men (prehistoric population); Iberians
(Ivernians), who in 3 millennium B.C. came from the east and bore a striking resemblance to the
Basques (the population of the western Pyrenees); Celtic tribes
(from 1 millennium B.C.)
The earliest mention of the British Isles is in the 4th century B.C., when the
Greek explorer Pytheas, of Massilia, sailing round Europe landed in Kent. At this
time Britain was inhabited by Celtic tribes (Britons, Gaels), who spoke Celtic languages.
The Celts came to Britain in three waves. Economically and socially they
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were a tribal society made of kins, kinship groups, clans and tribes. They practiced a primitive
agriculture, and carried on trade with Celtic Gaul.
The Celts are the first inhabitants of Britain whose linguistic affiliation has been
established. Celtic languages are a branch of the Indo-European family of languages.
The Roman period in Britain (55 B.C. -410 A.D.)
The Roman colonization had a profound effect on the country. The natives borrowed the elements
of material culture (paved roads, powerful walls of military
camps) as well as the names of these objects. The borrowed words belong to the
spheres of military organization, trade, agriculture:

Latin English
strata via street
castra Chester, Manchester, Winchester
milia (passuum) () mile
saccus sack
molina mill
caseus cheese
prunum plum
secures secure
2. When the Roman legions withdrew in 410 A.D., the Celts, who had long been accustomed
to their protection, were at the mercy of the Picts and Scots from the north
of Britain. Vortigern, king of the Romanized Celts in Britain, sought help from three
Germanic tribes, who in 449 A.D. set sail from what is today northern Germany and
southern Denmark to aid the Celts. When they landed in Britain, however, they decided
to settle, leaving the Celts only the remote corners todays Scotland, Wales
and Cornwall.
The invaders spoke closely related varieties of West Germanic the dialects that
were to become English. The word England derives from the name of one of the
tribes, the Angles. The Old English language used by the early Germanic inhabitants
of England and their offspring up to about 1100 A.D. is often called Anglo-Saxon,
after the two of the tribes. Early Anglo-Saxon has left no written records. The oldest
surviving English-language materials come from the end of the 7th century.
Once the Anglo-Saxon tribes had settled in Britain, there were additional onslaughts
from other Germanic groups (the Scandinavians) starting in 787 A.D. Attacks
from the Scandinavians continued throughout the Viking Age (roughly 750-
1050). The intermingling between the Anglo-Saxon invaders and the subsequent
Scandinavian settlers created a mix of Germanic dialects in England that molded the
particular character of the English language and distinguishes it markedly from its
3. Scholars have divided the history of English into three main periods, representing
very different stages of the language: Old English (OE) or Anglo-Saxon (500 A.D.
1100 A.D.); Middle English (ME) (1100 A.D. 1500 A.D.); Modern English (MnE)
(since 1500 A.D.).
H. Sweet characterized OE as the period of full endings. The morphological system
was highly developed. Any vowel could be placed in an unstressed position: e.g.
sunu. ME was called the period of leveling of endings. Any vowel in an unstressed
position is reduced to neutral e: e.g. sone. For this reason many earlier distinctions
disappeared and new (analytical) forms appeared. Thus the morphological system
weakened. MnE was qualified as the period of lost endings: e.g. son_. The structure
of the language changed considerably, yielding to the analytical type.
Like the classical Latin of Roman times and the German of today, OE was a
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highly inflected language. It had an elaborate system of inflectional suffixes on

nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives and even determiners. For example, OE adjectives

were inflected for gender (masculine, feminine, neuter), number (singular, plural) and
case (Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Instrumental). Besides, there were
two distinct kinds of adjective declensions weak (or definite) and strong (or
indefinite). There were ten different forms of an adjective as compared to its single
form in MnE.
Major phonological changes of the ME period are:
leveling of short vowels in unstressed syllables: sunu>sone;
simplification of diphthongs: seon>seen, beon>been;
simplification of initial consonant clusters: hring>ring; hnutu>nute.
Unstressed syllables included all the inflections on nouns, adjectives and verbs.
The leveling of short vowels in unstressed syllables made the inflections indistinguishable
and led to their further dropping. Thus phonological reductions undermined
the inflectional morphology. As a result, the OE noun, adjective and verb paradigms
became greatly simplified.
The language of the 15th century is in most ways Modern though the principal
phonological development of English vowels took place sometime between 1450 and
1650, when the long vowels changed their quality very markedly.
The complex inflectional system of OE was destroyed in MnE. Most nouns, adjectives
and verbs lost their inflections. Gradually, the word order yielded to the relatively
fixed word order, whose linear arrangements have become the chief carrier of
grammatical functions. MnE thus became an analytical language, relying principally
on the word order to express grammatical relations that were formerly marked inflectionally.
4. By the end of the 6th century the Germanic tribes established 7 kingdoms (Heptarchy)
in Britain: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Wessex, Sussex, Essex, Kent.
Thus, four principal dialects of English sprang up: Northumbrian (in the north, above
the Humber River); Mercian (in the Midlands); Kentish (in the south-east); West
Saxon (in the south-west).
The West Saxon (Wessex) dialect is represented by the works of King Alfred
the Great (849-899); the oldest epic poem Beowulf (the author is unknown); the
epic poems Genesis and Exodus by Caedmon, Andrew and Elene by Cynewulf;
the works of the abbot lfric (10th century); the sermons of Wulfstan.
The Northumbrian dialect is represented by runic Franks casket and Ruthwell
cross; Bedes Dying Song; Caedmons Hymn; translations of the gospels.
The Mercian dialect is represented by translation of Vespasian Psalter (8th century)
and the Kentish dialect by translation of Psalms and charters.

1. Phonetic structure and orthography of Old English.
2. Old English phonetic changes.
1. OE vowels.
OE had a system of long and short vowels:

short: a e i o u y
is found before n and m: mnn; y, were sounded like German in Mtter
and Gemt; was sounded like MnE [] in cat.
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OE diphthongs.
OE diphthongs were long and short:
short: ea eo ie io
long: a o e o
OE diphthongs were falling (their first element was stressed).
OE consonants.
OE consonant system consisted of 14 phonemes denoted by the following
p, b, m, f, t, d, n, s, r, l, /, c, h, .
The OE spelling was phonetic, but three pairs of sounds were allophones of single
[f] and [v]; [] and []; [s] and [z].
The voiceless allophones [f, , s] occurred at the beginning and at the end of
words and when adjacent to voiceless sounds within words. The voiced allophones
[v, , z] occurred between voiced sounds:
wf [wi:f] wife but wfes [wi:ves] wives.
The letter represented three sounds:
[j] initially when preceded and finally when it followed front vowels
gar year, Rmnabyrig Rome
[] after back vowels and consonants l, r
dagas days, folgian follow
[g] before consonants and back vowels
gd good, singan sing.
The letter c represented two sounds: [k] cuman come and [k] cild child.
The letter x was an alternative spelling of cs, as in axode asked.
2. OE phonetic changes (breaking or fracture; umlaut; lengthening of vowels before
the clusters nd, ld, mb; palatalization; metathesis; stress on the first root syllable).

1. The noun in Old English.
2. The pronoun in Old English.
3. The adjective in Old English.
4. The numeral in Old English.
5. The adverb in Old English.
1. OE was a highly inflected language. It had an elaborate system of inflectional suffixes
on nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives and even determiners. OE nouns were in-

flected for number (singular and plural) and case (Nominative, Genitive, Dative, and
Accusative). OE nouns exploited four or three cases because nominative and accusative
forms often coincided. OE gender (masculine, feminine and neuter) may not reflect
the natural gender of the noun. Every noun belonged to one of the declension
types: strong, weak or root.
2. There were several types of pronouns in OE: personal, possessive, demonstrative,
interrogative, definite, indefinite, negative and relative.
3. OE adjectives were inflected for gender, number and case to agree with their head
noun. There were two kinds of adjective declension: weak and strong. Degrees of
comparison were expressed synthetically (by means of suffixes, by means of vowel
gradation plus suffixes, or by means of suppletive forms).
4. Cardinal numerals. Numerals from 1 to 3 were declined. Numerals from 4 to 19
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were invariable. Numerals from 13 to 19 were formed by means of adding the suffix -
tien (tin, tyn). Numerals expressing tens were formed by means of the suffix -ti
(from 70 to 100 the numeral hund was added).
Ordinal numerals: 1st forma, fyresta; 2nd oer, fterra, 3rd ridda, irda;
numerals from 4th were formed by adding suffixes -a or -ta.
5. Some OE adverbs were primary, others were derived from other parts of speech
by means of suffixes (-e, -lice, -es). Degrees of comparison were expressed synthetically
by means of suffixes -or and -ost.

1. Strong verbs.
2. Weak verbs.
3. Preterite-present verbs.
4. Suppletive verbs.
5. Analytical formations.
1. Like other Germanic languages OE exhibited two main types of verbs: strong (the
traditional Indo-European type showing a vowel gradation (ablaut) in the Past and
Participle II) and weak (characteristically Germanic). The strong verbs in OE were
subdivided in 7 classes, each class with its own type of vowel change. There was one
more subdivision into 4 forms: the Infinitive, Preterite Singular, Preterite Plural,
and Past Participle. The OE system of verb forms includes two tenses (the Present
and the Past or Preterite) and three moods (Indicative, imperative and subjunctive).
The category of person is represented only in the Indicative Sg. and in the imperative.
There is no indication of person in the Indicative Pl. or in any of the Subjunctive
forms.The conjugation of the strong verbs.
2. The weak (regular) verbs in OE form their Past and Participle II by addition of a
dental suffix -d/t. They are subdivided in 3groups, according to the stem-vowel joining
the endings to the root. The conjugation of the weak verbs.
3. The group of Preterite-Present verbs consists of 12 verbs. These verbs have vowel
gradation in their present-tense forms, corresponding to vowel gradation in the preter17
ite of strong verbs. Their preterite is formed on the weak pattern. These verbs have a
marked modal meaning; most of them exist in MnE as modal verbs.
4. The suppletive verbs stand apart from all the other groups of verbs in OE. They are
building different forms from different roots. Among such verbs are bon/wesan (to
be), n/ode (to go) and don/dyde (to do). The first verb of each of the pairs is the
root for the present tense, the second for the past. A similar phenomenon is observed
in Russian: , .
5. During the OE period the verbal system acquires some analytical formations:
bon/wesan + Participle II of transitive verbs (a means of expressing a passive action):
r ws s fana enumen (there was a warbanner seized);
sculan/willan + Infinitive (a means of expressing a future tense):
wille ic secan (I will say);
bon/habban + Participle II (a means of expressing the result of the action):
he hfdon hiera cynin worpenne (They had deposed their king);
ic eom cumen (I have come).

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1. The syntactic structure of Old English.

2. Composition of Old English vocabulary. Means of enriching the vocabulary.
1. Word order. Having a rich inflectional system, OE could rely on its morphological
distinctions to indicate grammatical relations and certain semantic roles without having
to rely on word order. Word order was therefore more flexible in OE than it is in
MnE. Both OE and MnE show a preference for SPO order (subject preceding predicate
preceding object) in main clauses. OE preferred verb-final word order (SOP) in
subordinate clauses.
The order of elements in OE noun phrases was usually determiner-adjectivenoun:
s da mnn (the good man).
Far more frequently than in MnE, genitives preceded nouns: m res lfes mnn
(a man of splendid life).
OE nouns generally had prepositions, though pronouns often had the same form
in postposition: s hla Andreas him t cw (St. Andrew said to him).
OE adjectives almost uniformly preceded their head nouns (s foresprecena here
the aforesaid army), though they could sometimes follow them: wadu weallendu
(surging waters).
Relative clauses, unlike adjectives, generally followed their head nouns in OE:
a cyninas e one onwald h (the kings who had the power).
Negation. Negative words were freely used in OE, their number not being limited:
nn n dorste nn in scian (nobody dared ask anything). The negative particle
ne coalesces with some verb forms to form a unit: ne+habban (to have) >nabban;
ne+hfde (had)>nfde; ne+is>nis; ne+ws>ns; ne+w ron (were) >n ron.

Interrogative sentences. The interrogative sentences were built up by means of

putting the predicate before the subject: Hwannon feriea ftte seyldas? (From
where do you carry strong shields?).
Reported sentences. To express indirect speech (including indirect questions) the
subjunctive mood was used: h s de t Normanna land w re sw e lan and
sw e sml (he said that the land of the Northmen was very long and very narrow).
The composite sentence. In a compound sentence clauses may be connected by
the conjunctions and, oe (or),ac (but). The subordinate clauses of complex sentences
were introduces by the following conjunctions: / onne/anne (when); t
(that); syan (since); r (where); for (because); for (because); sw (so); if
(if); ah (though), etc.
2. Composition of OE Vocabulary. The Vocabulary of OE contained about 50000
words. The oldest stratum (Common Indo-European words): fder (father), mor
(mother), nama (name), niht (night), nowe (new), sittan (to sit), lican (to lie). The
second sratum (Common Germanic words): eore (earth), land, s (sea), earm (poor),
rne (green), findan (to find), sinan (to sing), steoran (to die). The third stratum
(specially English words): clipian (to call), wifmann (woman).
Means of enriching the vocabulary: derivation, composition, borrowings (Latin,

MIDDLE ENGLISH (1100-1500)
1. The Scandinavian invasions.
2. The Norman Conquest and its effect on the linguistic situation.
3. Spelling changes and reading rules in Middle English.
4. Phonetic system of Middle English: a) vowel changes; b) consonant changes; c)
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development of diphthongs.
1. The Viking Age (750 A.D. 1050 A.D.). The Danelaw. The intermingling between
the Anglo-Saxons and the Scandinavian settlers and a mix of Germanic dialects
that molded the particular character of the English language.
2. William, Duke of Normandy. The Battle of Hastings. A Norman Kingdom in England.
Norman French as the language of the ruling class. The decline of English during
the 12th and the 13th centuries. Struggle between English and French. Rise of the
English of the 14th century. French influence on ME.
3. Changes in the alphabet:
the letter was replaced by g and y;
the ligature comes into disuse;
the new letters (j, v, q, z) were introduced;
Changes in spelling habits:
the sound [u] came to be spelt ou/ow or o (in the neighbourhood of u, v, m, n);
the sound [e:] is denoted by French digraph ie;
the letters and for the sounds [] and [] were superseded by the digraph th;
the letter c was replaced by k before e, i and n to denote the consonant [k];
the cluster [kw] was spelt qu instead of OE cw.
4. a) The number of vowel phonemes was reduced. Vowel quantity lost its phonemic
significance. All unstressed vowels were weakened and reduced to a neutral vowel
denoted by the letter e. Long vowels occurring before two consonants were shortened
(except ld, nd, mb). Short vowels were lengthened in open syllables. Lengthening affected
the short vowels a, e, o. The narrow vowels i and u remained unaffected by
this change.
b) The number of consonant phonemes increased. The sounds [f] and [v], [s] and [z],
which in OE had been allophones of one phoneme, became separate phonemes. OE
palatal c developed into the affricate ch. The OE cluster sc changed into sh. The OE
long consonant denoted by c developed into the voiced affricate dg. The velar spirant
changed into w after the liquids l and r.
c) OE diphthongs containing a second open or half-open element (the ea or eo type)
disappeared. Diphthongs containing a second closed element (the ei or ai type) arose.
The new diphthongs aw[au] and ow [ou] appeared.

1. The noun in Middle English.
2. The adjective in Middle English.
3. The pronoun in Middle English.
4. The article in Middle English.
5. The adverb in Middle English.
1. The weakening of unstressed vowels was closely connected with developments in
declension. Unstressed syllables included all the inflections on nouns in OE. Thus,
most of them merged, becoming indistinguishable in ME. As a result of these merges,
the OE noun paradigms became greatly simplified in ME. In fact, only two numerous
groups of nouns survived in ME. The first is the former a-declension, which had absorbed
the other stems. The other group is the n-declension, which consists of the
former weak declension. The root declension lost some words, but continued to exist.
By the end of the ME period the noun had lost grammatical gender and got two cases:
the common case and the possessive case.
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2. The disappearance of grammatical gender and the reduction of case endings of

ME nouns led to a considerable change in adjective declension. The weak-declension
ending -en was dropped. The only case ending came to be -e. Degrees of comparison
were formed in ME by means of the suffixes -(e)r, -est. Some adjectives (old, long,
strong) kept a mutated vowel in the comparative and superlative. Several adjectives
(gd, evil, muchel, litel) preserved suppletive degrees of comparison. There also appeared
a new means of forming degrees of comparison: comfortable more comfortable
most comfortable.
3. In ME the pronominal paradigm was greatly simplified. What remained of pronominal
declension is mainly represented by the declension of personal pronoun. The
OE four-case system of personal pronouns gave way to a two-case system. Grammatical
gender disappeared. The OE three-number system was substituted by a twonumber
Other groups of pronouns: possessive, demonstrative, interrogative, reflexive
and relative pronouns.
4. The system of determination in ME is represented by means of the category of article.
In ME an indefinite article arose. It had its origin in the numeral n one. The
definite article appeared when the meaning of the demonstrative pronoun was weakened
in OE. In ME the definite article the developed from OE demonstrative pronoun
5. Derived adverbs. New ways of deriving adverbs in ME. Degrees of comparison
of adverbs: suffixation, mutation, suppletive and analytic forms.

1. Strong verbs.
2. Weak verbs.
3. Preterite-present verbs.
4. Suppletive verbs.
5. Growth of analytical forms and new grammatical categories.
1. All types of verbs existing in OE were preserved with modifications in ME. Due
to phonetic changes (leveling of unstressed vowels) the endings of the forms of
strong verbs were weakened: -an, -on, and -en were all reduced to -en. The final -n,
which characterized many verb forms, was lost. It proved stable only in some second
participles. There was a strong tendency to reduce the number of stems. Vowel gradation
was considerably modified. Some strong verbs entered other classes. Some
strong verbs passed into the group of weak verbs and (rarely) vice versa. Conjugation
of strong verbs.
2. Weak verbs were becoming more numerous in ME due to passing of some strong
and borrowed verbs (of Scandinavian and French origin) into this type. Classes of
weak verbs. Forms of weak verbs. Quantitative changes. Changes on analogy. Conjugation
of weak verbs.
3. OE preterite-present verbs were preserved in ME except the verb eneah, but their
forms underwent changes (phonetic and analogical) due to the general tendencies of
the period: they lost the forms of the verbals and the distinctions between the forms
of number and mood in the Present tense. Some of them have changed their meaning.
Most of them are commonly used as modal verbs.
4. The verbs bn and gn preserved the suppletive forms inherited from OE: different
forms were derived from different roots. The suppletive verbs preserved some of
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the grammatical distinctions which were practically lost in other verbs, namely the
distinctions of number, person and mood. The paradigms of the suppletive verbs.
5. The OE verb had four categories: person, number, tense and mood. In ME there
developed three more grammatical categories order (category of temporal relation
Prof. A.I. Smirnitsky), voice and aspect. All the new forms are analytical. These analytical
forms developed from OE free word combinations habban, bon/wesan + Infinitive
(or Participle):
Perfect forms (the Present Perfect and the Past Perfect): habban, bn + Participle
Continuous forms: bn + Participle I;
Future Tense: shal, wil + the Infinitive;
Passive Voice: bn + Participle II.

1. The Southern dialects.
2. The Central (Midland) dialects.
3. The Northern dialect.
4. Spread of London dialect in the 15th century.
5. The Scottish language.
6. Formation of the national language: a) development of the literary language; b)
peculiar features of Modern English.
7. Expansion of English.
1. The South-Western and South-Eastern (Kentish) varieties. Peculiarities of spelling
and phonetics. Morphological peculiarities. Written documents: Ayenbyte of Inwit,
2. The East Midland and West Midland varieties. Peculiarities of spelling and phonetics.
Morphological peculiarities. Written records: Petersborough Chronicle, Ormulum,
3. Peculiarities of the Northern dialect: spelling, phonetics, morphology. Written
documents: Cursor Mundi, The Prick of Conscience, York Plays.
4. London dialect as the prevalent written form of the language. Its features. The history
of the London dialect as the source and the basis of the literary standard. The
Early ME records. The Proclamation of 1258. Chaucer and his contemporaries.
5. Scotland as another centre of forming the national language. Scots and its basis.
Characteristic peculiarities of Scots. Scotlands national literature. Bruce by J.
6. The formation of the national language covers the early MnE period. It witnessed
some great social and political events: the revolution of the 17th century, the Restoration
of 1660, the industrial revolution of the 18th century. The economic and political
unification played a decisive role in the development of the English language. Progress
of culture. William Caxton and the introduction of printing. The role of printing
in fixing and spreading the written form of English. Literary Renaissance. W. Shakespeare.
Establishment of written and spoken standards. The period of normalisation.
Grammarians and orthoepists.
MnE and its characteristic features. Phonetic changes: loss of unstressed []; loss
of vowels in intermediate syllables; The Great Vowel Shift; influence of -r; other
changes. Changes in morphology. Vocabulary. Word-building. Conversion. Syntax.
7. In OE and ME English was spoken in what is known as England proper. From
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the 13th to the 17th century it extended to the whole of the British Isles. It spread beyond
the British Isles with the growth of Englands colonial expansion (North America,
India and Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa).
The present-day English as the global lingua franca.

: The Subject of History of English. English as a Germanic Language.

Discussion points:
1. The Subject of History of English.
Give the definition of history of English. What is the purpose of history of English?
Speak on the synchronic and diachronic aspects of the study of the historical
development of the language. Characterize the main methods applied to the study of
language history. Explain why linguistic changes are usually slow and gradual.
2. The position of English in the system of the Indo-European family of languages.
Name the pioneers of historical and comparative linguistics. What is meant by
the statement that two languages are related? Explain the relations between English
and German, English and French, English and Russian. What is a language family?
Enumerate the main groups of languages of the Indo-European family. What is the
accepted understanding of the term parent language? What is the parent language of
English? of Spanish? of all Indo-European languages? How can you account for the
special status of Sanskrit in historical linguistics?
3. Germanic tribes and their classification.
What are the accessible sources of our knowledge of Germanic tribes? What territories
did they occupy? Dwell on Plinys classification.
4. The classification of Germanic languages. Old Germanic written records. Germanic
Speak on the classification of Germanic languages and compare it with the classification
of Germanic tribes. What is called Common Germanic? When and into
what groups did it split? Date the pre-written and written periods in the history of
Germanic languages. What are the earliest Germanic written records? Speak on the
origin and structure of Germanic alphabets.
5. Chief characteristics of Germanic languages: a) phonetics; b) grammar; c) lexicon.
Give account of main characteristics of Germanic languages in phonetics,
grammar and lexicon. Cite examples to illustrate Grimms Law and Verners Law.
What verbal and nominal categories existed in Germanic languages? Compare them
with the categories of modern languages. What word-building means can be distinguished
in Germanic languages? What phenomenon is termed ablaut?
Recommended Reading:
1. .. . ., 1985. . 5 19.
2. .. . ., 2007. . 817.
3. .., .., .. . -
. . . ., 1998. . 46 62.
4. .. . ., 1972. . 5 8.
5. .. . ., 2003. . 10 48.
6. .., .., .. A History of the English Language.
. ., 2003. . 16-32.

Practical assignments:
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I. We can infer a good deal about the culture of the people, their social structure and
geographical conditions from the words of their language. Consider the following
Proto-Indo-European reconstructions. Conspicuously, no word for sea can be reconstructed
for Proto-Indo-European:
*rtko bear, *laks salmon, *er eagle, *gwou cow, bull, *kwon
dog, *mori lake, *yewo wheat, *weik village, *se to sow, *yeug to
yoke, *sne to spin, *ayes metal, *peisk fish, *sper sparrow, *trozdo
thrush, *su pig, *sneigwh snow, *medhu honey, *sel fortification,
*webh to weave, *are to plow, *agro field.
Describe what these reconstructions tell us about the Proto-Indo-Europeans, the
areas and the environment in which they lived, and their activities.
II. What can be reconstructed of the life of Germanic tribes from the following English
words, whose cognates are found in other Germanic languages: borough, brew,
broth, cliff, earl, east, lore, king, knead, north, sea, seal, ship, south, steer, strand, tin,
were, west, whale, wheat?
III. Analyze the shifting of word stress in the word-building and form-building and
point out the words which can illustrate the original Germanic way of word accentuation:
read, reading, re-read, readable; bear, bearer, unbearable; photograph, photographer,
photographic; circumstance, circumstantial, circumstantialities.
IV. Write down five illustrations of Grimms law and five illustrations of Verners
V. MnE words borrowed from Latin or Greek do not show the influence of Grimms
Law. For many such words, English also has a related word directly inherited from
Indo-European through Germanic. For each borrowed word, cite an English word that
is related in meaning and whose pronunciation shows the result of the consonant
shift: cardiac, paternal, plenitude, dual, pentagon, dentist, capital, piscatorial, triangle,
cordial, canine, decade.
VI. For each given English Germanic word provide the English word that is likely to have been
borrowed and has not undergone the Germanic consonant shift: fire,
hound, lip, ten, eat.
VII. Latin did not undergo Germanic consonant shifts. Instead, Indo-European [bh]
became [f] in Latin, and Indo-European [gh] became [h] in Latin. With this information,
you may be able to provide an English word inherited directly from Indo-
European for each of the following words borrowed from Latin (focus on the initial
consonant): fraternity, fragile, hospitable, fundamental, flare, fracture.
VIII. Analyse the consonant correspondences in the following groups of words and
classify the words into Germanic and non-Germanic: tame, domestic; agriculture,
acre; agnostic, know; three, trinity; doublet, twin.
IX. Explain the consonant correspondences in the following parallels from Germanic
and non-Germanic languages: Got. winds Lat. ventus , OE wurdon Lat.
vertere ; OE etan Lat. edere , OE cnawan Lat. gnosco .
X. Classify the following verbs into descendants of the strong verbs and the weak
verbs: sing, live, rise, look, answer, speak, run, shake, warn.

: Historical Background of English. Periods in the History of English

Discussion points:
1. Pre-Germanic Britain. The Celts. The Roman conquest of Britain.
What languages were spoken in the British Isles prior to the Germanic invasion?
Which of their descendants have survived today? What historical events account for
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the influence of Latin in OE? Describe the linguistic situation in Britain before the
Germanic settlement.
2. The Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain.
Describe the chronology of the Anglo-Saxon invasion. Note the significance of
geographical separation as well as mixture and unification of people as major factors
in linguistic differentiation and in the formation of the English language.
3. Periods in the history of English.
Speak on the commonly accepted periodisation of English. What criterion of periodisation
did H. Sweet suggest? Characterize the distinguishing features of OE, ME
and MnE.
4. The Dialects in Old English. Old English written records.
What is Heptarchy? What principal OE dialects are commonly distinguished?
Why can we regard the group of OE dialects as a single language despite their differences,
which continued to grow in later OE? What binds them together?
What is called insular writing? Speak on the principal OE written records:
runic inscriptions, religious works, Anglo-Saxon chronicles, glosses, OE poetry.
Recommended Reading:
1. .. . ., 1985. . 19 30.
2. .. . ., 2007. . 1821.
3. .., .., .. . -
. . . ., 1998. . 7 18.
4. .. . ., 1972. . 34 43.
5. .. . ., 2003. . 49 71.
6. .., .., .. A History of the English Language.
. ., 2003. . 33-43.
Practical assignments:
I. What is the time of the written records below?
1). Hwt w Gr-Dena in ardaum
odcynina rym efrnon,
h elinas allen fremedon. (Beowulf)
2). Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages. (The Canterbury Tales)
3). So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
To be commenced in strands afar remote. (Henry IV)
2 .
: Old English: Orthography and Phonetics
Discussion points:
1. OE Orthography.
How many letters were there in OE? On what principle was OE writing based?
What are the peculiarities of OE writing? What rules should be observed in reading
OE texts? Where did the word stress in OE fall?
2. Phonetic structure of OE. OE vowels.
How many vowels were there in OE? Make a list of OE vowels and comment on
the differentiating between them (in quality and quantity). Was the vowel system
symmetrical? State your arguments.
3. Phonetic structure of OE. OE diphthongs.
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Describe the OE diphthongs. Comment on the phonemic status of OE short

4. Phonetic structure of OE. OE consonants.
Comment on the system of OE consonant phonemes. What fricative consonants
were allophones of the same phonemes?
5. OE phonetic changes.
Innumerate the assimilative changes of vowels in OE. Explain the term mutation
and illustrate the results of palatal mutation in OE. Comment on the consonant
changes in OE.
Practical assignments:
I. Read the following OE words with the consonants s, f, :
hs, isel, mynster, hlisa, self, wesan, sendan, wse, seofon, risan, ofslean, bfan,
efstan, drfan, luflice, iefu, fifti, iefan, nfre, lufian, rafan, lian, da,
c an, urfan, broor, clan, ro, encan, h en.
II. Read the OE words with the letter c:
cynedm,cliff, bycan, cynin, reccan, cuman, ec, lecan, cyrce, sprecan,
lican, wcian, swylc, secan.
III. Read the following OE words with the letter :
be-itan, odcund, swiian, ealwe, ecnwan, e, n, fuol, d, edn,
eond, uma, been, mani, edrync, eorn, hala, drye, hli, ebdan, ear, fylan,
buan, myri, eban.
IV. State on what syllable the stress falls in the following words:
under-ietan, a-n, an, clofan, e-ban, t-lican, of-hran, ofer-cuman,
sund+plea, swel+condell.
V. Explain what consonant or vowel changes are illustrated by the following pairs of
frosan (OE to freeze) froren (OE Participle II); full (OE full) fyllan (OE to
fill); ni (OE any) n (OE one); *sehan son (to see); et (OE yet) - et (Got
yet); ft (OE foot) - ft (OE feet).
VI. Read and translate the text. Make its phonetic analysis.
s on hrfeste wicode s cyn on naweste byri, hwle e he hre
corn er pan, t Deniscan ne mehton s ripes forwiernan. sume de rd s
cyn p b re s and ehawade hw r mon mehte a forwyrcean t he ne
mehton scipu tbrenan. (The Parker Chronicle)
Glossary to the text:
adv. then
hrfest n.m.a. harvest
wician wv. 2 to dwell; to stay
cyn, cynin n.m.a. king
nawest n.f.. nearness, neighbourhood
byri dat. of bur n.f.cons. town
hwle e adv. while
he pron. they
hre pron. their
corn n.neut.a. corn
er pan, erpan sv.1 to reap
t conj. that
Denisca adj. Danish; Danes pl. of Dene n.m.i. the Danes
ne particle not
maan pret.-pres. v.(Past Sg. meahte, mehte; Past Pl. mehton) may, might
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forwiernan wv. 1 to prevent

sum pron. some
d n.m.a. day
rdan sv. 1 (Past Sg. rd) to ride
p, pp adv. up
b prep. By, near
s n.f.i. sea
ehawian wv.2 to look at, to observe, to reflect
hw r adv. where
mon, mann n.m.cons. man
a n.f.cons. water, river
forwyrcan, forwyrcean irr. wv.1 to block
scip n.neut.a. ship
tbrinan, tbrenan irr.v. to bring out

: Old English Morphology
Discussion points:
1. The Noun.
Explain why OE is called a synthetic or inflected language. Enumerate the
grammatical categories of the OE noun. Why are noun declensions in OE referred to
as stems? Point out relics of the stem-suffixes in the forms of nouns.
2. The Pronoun.
What are the main classes of OE pronouns? Enumerate the grammatical categories
of the pronouns. Point out the peculiarities of all classes of pronouns.
3. The Adjective.
Enumerate the grammatical categories of OE adjectives. Explain the difference
between the groupings of nouns into declensions and the two declensions of adjectives.
Speak on the means of expressing the degrees of comparison.
4. The Numeral.
Into what groups do the OE numerals fall? What characterizes each of these
groups? What are the peculiar features of the numerals n, tween, ro?
5. The Adverb.
What is understood by primary and secondary adverbs in OE? Speak on the
means of expressing the degrees of comparison.
Practical assignments:
I. Determine the type of noun declension and supply the missing forms. Look through
the noun paradigms and find the instances of different means used in form-building.
Sg. Pl. Sg. Pl.
Nom. word word earm earmas
Gen. wordes ? earmes ?
Dat. ? ? ? ?
Acc. ? ? ? ?
Nom. bc bc cuppe ?
Gen. bce, bc ? ? ?
Dat. ? ? ? ?
Acc. ? ? cuppan ?

II. Which forms of adjectives, weak or strong, should be used in the following contexts?
Fill in the blanks with the appropriate endings:
Ic eom d_ hierde I am a good shepherd;
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and one hl_ mann tuon t of his hse and they drove that holy man out
of his house.
III. Form the degrees of comparison of the following adjectives:
heard, ld, blc, hwt, rat, sceort, strong, hah, eon.
IV. Determine the case, number and gender of nouns, pronouns and adjectives in the
wildan hrnas; ealra normonna;
hiera num lande; his yldran sunu;
mine daas; t him.
V. Write down the forms of the OE numerals 40, 50, 60, 80, 1st, 23rd, 77th. Comment
on their structure.
VI. Comment on the structure of the following adverbs:
r, luflice, swylce, frondlice, swe, oft, hwi, fullice, eft, astlan, earmlice,

: Old English Verb

Discussion points:
1. Strong Verbs.
Enumerate the grammatical categories of the finite and non-finite forms in OE.
In what respects was the OE verb system simpler than the MnE system? What are
the main distinguishing features of the strong verbs? Into what classes did they fall?
Point out the differences between them. Speak on the conjugation of the strong verbs.
2. Weak verbs.
What is the proportion of strong verbs to weak in OE? What are the main distinguishing
features of the weak verbs? Would it be correct to say that the weak verbs
employed suffixation as the only form-building means? Account for the division of
the weak verbs into classes and point out the differences between them. Speak on the
conjugation of the weak verbs.
3. Preterite-Present verbs.
Explain the origin of the term preterite-present verbs? How many preteritepresent
verbs were there in OE? What are their peculiar features? How are they subdivided?
What MnE verbs did preterite-present verbs give rise to?
4. Suppletive Verbs.
What distinguishes suppletive verbs from all the other groups of verbs in OE?
Prove that suppletion is an ancient way of form-building that can be traced to Proto-
Indo-European. Cite the principal forms of the paradigm of OE suppletive verbs.
5. Analytical formations in OE.
Enumerate the analytical formations the verbal system acquired during the OE

Recommended Reading:
1. .. . ., 1985. . 69 88.
2. .. . ., 2007. . 166205.
3. .., .., .. . .
. . ., 1998. . 133 150.
4. .. . ., 1972. . 87 110.
5. .. . ., 2003. . 108 129.
6. .., .., .. A History of the English Language. -
. ., 2003. . 107-125.
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Practical assignments:
I. Build the principal forms of the strong verbs forlosan, weoran and drfan and explain
the interchange of vowels and consonants.
II. Determine the class of the following strong verbs and supply the missing forms:
Infinitive Past Sg. Past Pl. Part. II MnE
stelan ? ? ? steal
? scn ? ? shine
? ? ton ? eat
? ? ? sunen sing
ceorfan ? ? ? carve
? wear wurdon worden become
? sanc ? ? sink
? ? ? liden glide
? wc ? ? wake
? ? ? bacen bake
III. Prove that the non-finite forms in OE had more nominal features than they have
IV. Find instances of breaking in the principal forms of strong and weak verbs.
V. Define the person, number, tense, mood and the morphological class of the verb in
the following:
h s Ohthere bd; ars h; uhte m; clypode h; u esihst; his aan
VI. Define the form and class of the verbs in the following phrases and reconstruct
their initial forms:
wcia Finnas; fr h; Beornas spr con; Ohthere mtte; w willa secan.
VII. Explain with what classes of the strong verbs the preterite-present verbs mt
(must) and dearr (dare) correlate.
VIII. Read the sentences and define the forms of the suppletive verbs:
Ic bo uneh .
Fond treddode, ode yrre-mod. , .
Hw is s man? ?
ht cwicce ws - .
Ealle mne yn synt ine. .
Da s cyn herde, wende h hine west. ,

: Syntax and Vocabulary of Old English

Discussion points:
1. The syntactic structure of OE.
Speak on the tendencies in the order of words in the OE sentence. How does it
differ from the word-order in MnE? What are the peculiarities of the OE negation?
What are the peculiar features of the interrogative sentences in OE? Characterize OE
reported sentences. Speak on the structure of compound and complex sentences.
2. Composition of OE vocabulary. Ways of enriching the vocabulary.
Speak on the three strata (etymological layers) of the OE vocabulary. Comment
on the morphological classification of the OE vocabulary and the ways of enriching
it. Why does the OE vocabulary contain so few borrowings from the Celtic languages?
Why do place-names constitute a substantial part of Celtic element? Describe
the Latin impact on the OE vocabulary. What facts can be given to prove that
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OE was generally resistant to borrowing and preferred to rely upon its own sources?
Practical assignments:
I. Read the following sentence and comment on the word-order in each of the clauses:
Wulfstn sde t h efre of H t h w on Trso on syfan daum
and nihtum, t t scip ws ealne we yrnende under sele.
II. Read the given sentence and explain the use of the inverted word order:
On lcan re worhte s foresprecena here eweorc b Lyan XX mla bufan
III. Point out the connectives and comment on their type:
s e nor nele ne leornan ne t
h t byri cm, nolde so burhwaru ban;
onne hys estr on bo us eall spended, onne byr man hine t;
ot h t mran andyte becumon;
foran e urh lre by s elafa ehealden;
hwle e t lc bi inne.
IV. Comment on the multiple negation in the following sentences:
H cw t nn man ne bde benoran him.
H ne mihte nn in eson.
Ne con c nht sinan.
V. Read and translate the text. Explain the distinguishing features of the OE syntax:
c bidde n on odes naman, yf hw s bc writan wylle, t h h erihte
wel b re busne; foran e ic nh eweald, ah h hw t woe ebrine urh
lase writeras, and hit bi onne his pleoh, n mn. (Aelfrics Grammar)
VI. Classify the OE words into four groups: a) simple words; b) derived words; c)
compound words; d) loan translations.
fuolere, Tiwesd, tunol, spinnestre, stron, tunolwitea, strenu,
Sunnand, ceceald, bysi, bodan, dessaa, helpleas, fri, misbodan, r den,
r desman, miht, unfrie, witea,
VII. Pick out the OE suffixes and prefixes which are still used in English and can be
regarded as productive today.
VIII. Add negative prefixes to the following OE words and explain the meaning of
the derivatives:
rot glad un, hal healthy wan, spdi rich un, cu cnown
un, lcian please mis, limpan happen mis .
VII. Classify the following OE words into three groups: a) Common Indo-European
words, b) Common Germanic words, c) specifically English words.
finer, wfman, fder, etan, scip, mere, cwene, hs, winter, s , hlford, cl ,
bitter, sand, trow, findan, lon, beard, macean, hl e, fox, at.
IX. Classify the following loan-words in OE into: a) the first layer of Latin borrowings;
b) the second layer of Latin borrowings; c) Celtic borrowings.
Cleric, creda, assa, dn, avon, offrian, myln, pere, mint, mister, loch, scl.
X. From the list of Latin loan-words in OE speculate on the kind of contacts the English
had with Rome at different historical periods:
capman, pund, wn, plume, cese, pipor, cealc, coper, disc, cytel, cuppe, pyle,
ml, weal, str , ceaster, apostol, antefn, biscop, candel, dofol, msse, mynster,
munuc, sclere, fers, dihtan.
XI. Fill in the tables with the English place-names with the Latin and Celtic elements:
Fossway, Worcester, Bridport, Lincoln, Huntspill, Dunedin, Batcombe,
Torrcross, Llanelly.
Latin borrowing
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English placename
Celtic borrowing






: Genre Stratification of the Old English Texts
Discussion points:
1. The genres of OE texts.
Speak on the main genres of OE texts (literary and non-literary) and their peculiarities.
2. OE prose.
Discuss the distinguishing features of OE texts of religious, legal, philosophical
and scientific character.
3. OE poetry.
Speak on the most noticeable lexical and semantic features of OE poetry: synonyms;
metaphoric circumlocutions (kennings); repetitions; alliteration).
Practical assignments:
I. Read the two extracts from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (A.D. 896 and 1013).
Make a phonetic analysis and a grammatical of all the inflected parts of speech.
Translate the texts into MnE. Find examples of different types of word order and of
multiple negation. Point out prototypes of analytical forms of the verb. Pick out derived
and compound words and analyse their structure. Comment on the meaning of
verb prefixes. Note the loan-words from Latin.
II. Read the extract from Beowulf (837-852). Point out the alliteration in each line.
Point out the synonyms and metaphoric circumlocutions. Make a phonetic and a
grammatical analysis of the text.

: Middle English
Discussion points:
1. The Scandinavian invasions.
Speak on the Scandinavian invasions and the Scandinavian contribution to the
English language (the first onslaughts from the Vikings; the Treaty of Wedmore and
the Danelaw; the intermingling between the Anglo-Saxons and the Scandinavian in33
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vaders; the political annexation of England under Canute; the incorporation of the
Scandinavian element in OE and Early ME dialects).
2. The Norman Conquest and its effect on the linguistic situation.
What were the historical and social conditions operative at the time of the
French influence? In what way did the French influence differ from the earlier influences?
How can you characterize the general impact of the Norman Conquest on the
English language? What was the outcome of the struggle between English and
French? What is your opinion as to the effect of the large-scale adoption from French
on the means of vocabulary extension in English? What groups of borrowed words
can be distinguished? What is the proportion of native words to foreign?
3. Spelling changes and reading rules in ME.
Study the reading rules in ME and say what new letters and digraphs denoting
consonants and what new spelling devices denoting vowels appeared in ME.
4. Phonetic system of ME: vowel changes.
What phonetic conditions affected the length of vowels in ME? What change affected
the OE monophthongs in ME? Were the changes positional or independent?
What changes did the unstressed vowels undergo in ME? How did it affect the
grammatical endings?
5. Phonetic system of ME: consonant changes.
Speak on the consonant changes in ME (the growth of affricates and sibilants,
the new phonological treatment of fricatives).
6. Phonetic system of ME: development of diphthongs.
Speak on the loss of OE diphthongs and the development of new diphthongs in
Practical assignments:
I. Read the words with the letters a and o:
a [a] a [a:] o [o:] o [u]
was tale throte cumen
appel maken stolen sone
hath haven brother some
al waken dores wonder
ladder same open aboven
II. Read the words with the digraphs ow and ou:

ou [u:] ow [u:] ow [ou]

out < t town < tn owen < en
mous < ms how < h bowe < boa
wound < wnd now < n knowen < cnwan
our < r cow < c snow < snw
III. Read the words with the letter e:
ee [e:] ie [e:] ei [e:]
feet chief receiven
street field deceiven
breed shield obeisaunce
heath thief receipt
ea [e:] ey [ei] ew [eu]
year wey < we knew
dead grey < r trewe
meat key < c dew
IV. Read the following ME words and explain the employment of the italicized letters:
certainly, pacient, carrie, killen, geste, gold, was, seson, ese, sory, other,
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thinken, the, that, natheless, both, afere, every, fight, thief, very, yonge, sonne, not,
hose, mous, low, loud, toun, how, knowen, whether, straunge, what, knight, taughte.
V. Comment on the changes of the short monophthongs [] and [y] and long monophthongs
[], [ , [ ].
VI. Give the corresponding ME words and account for the shortening of the OE vowels:
sft, mn, w sc, lc, dst, d, fdde, ff, fl sc, ffti.
VII. What is the origin of the MnE consonant phonemes [], [t], [d] in native words?
fish, techen, edge, sheep.
VIII. Account for the underlined consonants in:
ship, child, bridge.
IX. What is the origin of the diphthongs [ai], [au], [ou] in day, now, owe?
X. Write and read the ME words originated from the following OE words:
sel , ren , he , naan , sau , lau .
XI. Classify the following borrowings into two groups: a) the French borrowings, b)
the Scandinavian borrowings:
Stur , prut , chaunceler , wrong , paisant
, windoe , skye , were , mountain , sergeaunt -
, low , ill , frre , loos , chamber ,
pencil , fellawe , carpenter , table , egg , mercer
, pleasure .

XII. Fill in the table with the English place-names with the borrowed Scandinavian




English placenames
XIII. What conclusion can be drawn about the nature of contacts between the English
and the Scandinavians from the nature of Scandinavian loan words?
XIV. Comment on the English-Scandinavian etymological doublets:
skirt shirt; scatter shatter.
XV. Comment on the following fragment from Ivanhoe by W. Scott:
Why, how call you those grunting brutes running about on their four legs? demanded
Swine, fool, swine,
And swine is good Saxon, said the Jester; but how call you the sow when
she is flayed, and drawn, and quartered, and hung up by the heels, like a traitor?
Pork, answered the swine-herd.
I am very glad every fool knows that too, said Wamba, and pork, I think, is
good Norman-French; and so when the brute lives, and is in charge of a Saxon slave,
she goes by her Saxon name; but becomes a Norman and is called pork, when she is
carried to the Castle hall to feast among the nobles; that dost thou think of this,
friend Gurth, ha?
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Discussion points:
1. The noun in Middle English.
What kinds of change in the morphological system did the ME phonetic changes
involve? Describe and account for the loss of inflexions in ME nouns. Point out the
remaining inflexions.
2. The adjective in Middle English.
What kinds of change in the adjective paradigm can be distinguished in ME?
Note the growth of analytical forms of the degrees of comparison.
3. The pronoun in Middle English.
Speak on the lexical and grammatical changes in the personal and possessive
pronouns in ME. What are the two directions of the development of the demonstrative
pronouns? Comment on the simplifying changes in other classes of pronouns (interrogative,
indefinite, relative).
4. The article in Middle English.

Speak on the ME system of determination. What is the origin of the indefinite

article? of the definite article? Comment on the further development of the articles in
5. The adverb in Middle English.
Pont out the new ways of deriving adverbs in ME. Discuss the degrees of comparison
of ME adverbs: suffixation, mutation, suppletive and analytic forms.
Practical assignments:
I. Discuss the grammatical elements of the following words:
childrens; leaves; men; brethrens; ships.
II. Give the ME plural forms of the following nouns and compare them with the OE
plural forms in brackets:
yeer (r), book (bc), nut (hnyt), word (word), cou, cow (c ), moneth (mne),
burg (byr), thing (in).
III. Give the ME singular forms of the following nouns and comment on their declension
dogges, shoon, eyen, stones, feet.
IV. Account for the development of the following nouns and adjectives:
OE lr > ME lore
OE sunne > ME sonne
OE healf > NE half
OE breoht, briht > ME bright
OE dop > ME deep
V. Determine the form and syntactical function of the adjectives:
Nere ther non emptistude ithe heorte to underuongen flesliche leihtern.
, -
VI. Choose the pleonastic forms of the degrees of comparison of the ME adjectives:
more kind, difficulter, most wise, more better, most unkindest, nearer.
VII. Compare the paradigm of the personal pronouns in OE and in ME. Point out the
changes and explain their preconditions.
VIII. Read and translate the text. Point out the pronouns and determine their class,
form and functions:
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I were right now of tales desolate,

Nere that a marchaunt, goon is many a yere,
Me taught a tale, which that ye shal here.
IX. Compare the development of case and number in nouns, adjectives and pronouns.
X. What is the connection between the growth of articles, the history of pronouns and
the decline of adjectival declensions?



Discussion points:
1. Strong verbs.
What kinds of change in the system of the verb did the ME leveling of endings
involve? Comment on the growth of homonymy and the simplifying changes in the
conjugation of the ME verb. Describe the re-arrangement of the OE division into
classes of weak and strong verbs. Account for the degeneration of the classification
of the OE strong verbs with their regular system of form-building.
2. Weak verbs.
Speak on the tendency of the weak verbs towards greater regularity. Cite your
examples. What accounts for the greater productivity of the weak verbs in ME?
Comment on the proportion of strong and weak verbs in ME.
3. Preterite-present verbs.
Describe the ME phonetic and analogical changes which affected the forms of
the preterite-present verbs, and semantic changes which affected their functions.
4. Suppletive verbs.
What grammatical distinctions lost in other verbs did the suppletive verbs preserve?
Give the paradigms of the ME suppletive verbs.
5. Growth of analytical forms and new grammatical categories.
What is the second (after simplification) trend of the morphological development
of the ME verb? Enumerate the new grammatical forms and categories of the
verb and point out their sources. Were the developments in the verb system confined
to ME? Cite examples to prove your point. What is the connection between the
growth of analytical forms and the changes at the syntactic level?
Practical assignments:
I. Describe the development of the principal forms of the following verbs:
OE wv. 1 fdan, sv. 7 wpan, wv. 2 scian, sv. 3 sincan, sv. 3 windan.
II. Compare the OE and ME forms of the following verbs and comment on the
scan irr. wv.1 shte sht seken soghte, sought sought
t can irr. wv.1 thte tht techen taughte taught, taght
cnwan sv.7 cnow cnowon cnwen knowen knew knewen knowen
wesan sv.5 ws w ron weren was weren
h ran, hran wv.1 hrde hrd heren herde herd
n irr.v. ode e-n goon wente y-goon
III. Give two examples of strong verbs which have acquired the weak-type conjugation
and two examples of weak verbs which have acquired the strong-type conjugation.
IV. Account for the present and past tense forms of the principal auxiliary verbs.
V. Write the ME forms of the following preterite-present verbs:
OE sceal scolde; OE m - mihte; OE cann ce; OE mt mste; OE
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dearr dorste; OE an hte.

VI. Mention some verbs that, being originally preterites, have come to be used as presents,
and account for their usage.
VII. Read the sentences, point out the verbs and comment on their form:
And Arcite is exiled upon hes heed
For ever-mo as out of that contree,
Ne never-mo he shal his lady see. .
At naght was come into that hostelrye
Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignie. .
He shal tellen othere two tales,
Of adventures that whilom han bifalle. ,
VIII. Read the sentences, point out the preterite-present verbs and comment on their
Thei mei techen sum lutel meiden to daunce.
I grant thee lyf, if thou kanst tellen me
What thing is it that women moost desiren.

, ,
IX. Use the following quotations to describe the history of the Continuous forms:
It was not for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on Black Monday. (Shakespeare)
The clock struck ten while the trunks were carrying down (J. Austen)
X. Read the following sentences and point out the Perfect form. Comment on the use
of the auxiliary ben:
But of o thing I warne thee ful right, But of one thing I warn you straight;
Be wel avysed, on that ilke night be very careful on that very night
That we ben entered in-to shippes bord that we enter the ship
That noon of us ne speke nat a word. that none of us should speak a word.
(G. Chaucer)
XI. Read the following sentences, point out the Future form and comment on its use:
Thou shalt na-more, thurgh thy flaterye,
Do me to singe and winke with min ye. (G. Chaucer)
You will no more make me sing and wink my eye with your flattery.
XII. In his theory of progress O. Jespersen asserted that English, being an analytical
language, was more advanced than other languages. Consider and criticize some
of his arguments:
(1) The forms are generally shorter, thus involving less muscular exertion and
requiring less time for enunciation.
(2) There are not so many of them to burden the memory.
(3) Their formation is much more regular.
(4) Their syntactic use also presents fewer irregularities.
(5) The clumsy repetitions known under the name of concord have become superfluous.
(6) A clear and unambiguous understanding is secured through a regular word



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Discussion points:
1. What new spelling devices appeared in Middle English?
2. What environment allowed a stressed vowel to preserve its Old English quantity?
3. What were the sources for the appearance of new categorical forms? Give examples
from the nominal and verbal paradigm.
4. Speak on the principal sources of enriching the vocabulary in Middle English.
Practical assignments:
1. Study the model of the phonetic, grammar and vocabulary analysis of the ME text.
Make analysis of the extract from Canterbury Tales (The Prologue). Read and translate

Discussion points:
1. The Southern dialects.
What varieties represent the Southern dialects? What peculiarities of spelling
and phonetics distinguish them from other ME dialects? Enumerate their morphological
2. The Central (Midland) dialects.
By what varieties were the Central dialects represented? Point out their principal
distinguishing features in spelling, phonetics and morphology.
3. The Northern dialect.
What are the peculiarities of the Northern dialect (spelling, phonetics, morphology)?
4. Spread of London dialect in the 15th century.
What predominant features did the London dialect exhibit? What made it the
source and the basis of the literary standard? Speak on the Early ME records. Note
the importance of the introduction of printing. Speak on the role of Chaucer and his
contemporaries in the spread of London English.
5. The Scottish language.
Describe the sources and conditions of forming the Scottish language. What are
the characteristic peculiarities of Scots?
6. The formation of the national literary language;
Discuss the following problems:
(i) national language as a historical category;
(ii) literary language and its historical relation with regional dialects;
(iii) unified language standard and the period of normalization.
7. The peculiar features of Modern English.
Describe the characteristic features of MnE in the spheres of phonetics and
morphology. Characterize the vocabulary of MnE. Point out the new ways of wordformation.
Characterize the distinguishing features of the MnE syntax.
8. Expansion of English.
Speak on the spread of English since the 17th century with the growth of colonial
expansion (North America, India and Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand, Malaysia,
Singapore, South Africa). Characterize the present-day English as the global lingua

Practical assignments:
I. Explain the divergence between the spelling and the pronunciation of the following
feet, foot, road, soup, nose, by, brought, clerk, heart, some, house, way, draw,
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cough, mind, debt, wag, was, know, the, thorn, solemn.

II. Read and translate the text. Point out the words having undergone the shift.
Whence is that knocking? How ist with me, when euery noyse appals me? What
hands are here? Hah: they pluck out mine eyes. Will all great Neptune Ocean wash
this blood cleane from my hand? No; this hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine,
making the Green one, Red. (W. Shakespeare)
III. Read and translate the text. Pick out the legal terms and comment on their etymology.
Compare the spelling of dettes with the modern variant. What is the origin of
the word lawe? Explain the use of the verb doe in the affirmative sentence. Comment
on the spelling of the name in the title and in the signature.
Shakespears Will (1616)
I gyve unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture. I gyve and bequeath
to my said daughter Judith my broad silver gilt hole. All the rest of my
goodes, chattel, leases, plate, jewels and household stuffe whatsoever, after my dettes
and legacies paid, and my funeral expences discharged, I give, devise, and bequeath
to my sonne in lawe, John Hall gent., and my daughter Susanna, his wife, whom I ordaine
and make executours of this my last will and testament. And I do intreat and
appoint the said Thomas Russel esquire and Frauncis Collins gent. To be overseers
hereof, and doe revoke all former wills, and publishe this to be my last will and testament
By me William Shakspeare.
IV. Study the model of the phonetic, grammar and vocabulary analysis of the MnE
text. Make analysis of the extract from Shakespeare The Tragedie of Macbeth (Actus
Secundus, Scena Prima). Read and translate it.


, .


1. .., .., .. . -
. . . ., 2000. 512 .
2. .. . ., 2003. 248 .
3. .., .., .. A History of the English Language.
. ., 2003. 496 .

4. .. . .: , 1985. 256 .
5. .. . .: ,
2007. 288 .
6. .. . .: , 2006. 199 .
7. . : . .:
, 2003. 720 .
8. .., .., .. -
. .: , -, 2005. 192 .
9. .. . . .: -
, 2008. 63 .
10. .. (
). .: , 2000. 238 .
11. .. .
.: , 2004. 288 .
2 13.09. 2012
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1 . -
2 .-
3 .-
4 -
5 -
6 -
7 -
8 .
9 .-
10 . -
11 -
12 : -
13 -
14 -
15 -

. .
, ,
, . -
. . ,
. -
( IV ).
. .
( .). .
. -
. . ,
V . -
. -
. . IX . -
. -
(Danelag). .
. -
1042 .
: , . -
(.). , ,
. : . -
. -
. :
, . : -
, . : ,
2 13.09. 2012
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, , . : , . -
. -
. . .
[a] . -
. .
. -
. , , . -
. .
. .
. -
. -
. [ae] > [ea] [e] > [eo] -
[r] [l] [h] [h] . -
. [h]
. -
. nd, ld, md.
. . -
[k], [g], [sk] .
[sk] . . .
. .
. .
. .
f, s .
. . -
: , , .
: . -
: , ,
. .
- . -
. :
, ; ,
; . -. -
. .
. -
. -
. -
2 13.09. 2012
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: , , . : -
, -
. . -
. . -
( ).
( ). . -
. :
, , , . , -
. -
. -
: , , .
. .
: , , , . . -
. . , -
, . -
: , , -, .
. . .
. .
. . -
. -
. : ,
, , . .
. -
. . -
. .
. . -
. -
. . -
. .
__ .
I : . -
1066 . .
. . -
. .
[a], [], [y] [a:], [:], [y:]. .
. -
2 13.09. 2012
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. [r] . -
[h] [r] , [l] , [n] . [g]
[w] [r] [l].
. .
. . -
. -
. Danelag. -
. -
. . -
. I-XII .
. - -
. .
. , -
. .
: . -
: -er, -ing, -ness. , : -age, -
ance, -ence, -ard, -ee, -ess, -et, -ty, -ity, -tion, -ation, -ment. ,
: -ism, -ist. : de-, dis-, en-, em-, in-,
im-, non-, re- . .
. -
. .

, , . -
. .
. . -
, -
. .
. .
: ; ; -
. . : -
. :
. : . -
: . -
whos. . -
. . -
. ,
should would. -
2 13.09. 2012
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. .
. . .
. -
, : millioun second.
. .
, , -
. .
. . . -
: -
. : , -
. : ,
. : [f], , -
. , .
. . .
. . -
. VI 1471 . III -
. VII . -

VII. -
. -
: .
, , .
. I . -
. .
. .
-r. . [er] [ar].
. -
[e:]. [a] []. [o:]. [al] [aul]. -
[i:] [r]. [a] [w].
[u]. .
. [x] [f] .
[x] [f]. [l] [d] [f] [v] [k]
[m]. [w] . -
[w] .
. . [d]
[t] . [j] . -
[g] [k] [n] . [hw] [w] [h]. -
[h] .
: . -
2 13.09. 2012
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. .
. -
. .
. .
, thou. -
. -
. to be. -
art wert. .
. to do -
, .
. -
: ; (, );
; (, , , , ,
, , .).
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. XV-XX .
26. .
27. .
28. .
2 13.09. 2012
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29. - .
30. .

out, night, house, knight, ship, child/children, listen, lord, king, one, nature, sea, write,
light, stone, sheep, nut, speak, shake, angel, climb
1. The Old English Version of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
2. Geoffrey Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales. The Prologue.
3. William Shakespeare. The Tragedie of Macbeth. Act II. Scene I.


I. :
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)
) 1 . .. b) 7 . .. c) d) 5 . e) f) 2 . ..
II. :
7) 8) 9)
) 6-10 . b) 12-15 . c) 7-11 . d) 16-17 . e)16 . - .
III. :
10) 11) 12)
) b) c)
d) e) f)
IV. :
13) 14) 15) 16) -

) efan > iefan b) man > men c) slahan > slean d) lan > lenra e) hldan >
heoldan f) sterra > steorra g) domjan > deman h) sehan > seon
V. co:
17) 18) 19) 20)

a) . .. for b) . finf .. fif c) .okto . ahtau d) .
. Scwager e) . Ausis .. are f) . Saljan .. sellan g) . ..
21) 22) + 23)
a) sceort-scyrtra-scyrtest
b) long-lengra-longest
c) micel-mara-m st
d) earm-earmra-earmost
e) yfel-wiersa-wierest

VII. , -
24) 25) 26)
a) toe-toen b) scp-scp c) ae-aan d) hnut-hnyt e) bur-byr f) earm-earmas
27) 28) 29) - 30)
a) wat-wiste b) helpan-healp c) libban-lifde d) eode-an e) macian-macode f)
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faran-for g) deman-demde h) dear-dorste i) frinan-fr n

IX. , :
31) 32) 33)
a) brid b) lican c) wicu - d) heorte e) findan
f) clipian g) standan h) bleo
X. :
34) 35) 36) 37) -

a) cradol b) sycre c) avon d) butere e) lau
f) weal g) tacan h) biscop
XI. :
38) 39) 40)
On y ylcan ere worhte se foresprecena here eweorc On that very year the
before mentioned army built a fortress
a) worhte here b) worhte eweorc c) worhte on y ere d) on y ylcan ere

1) 2) 3)
a) b) c) d) e) f) -
II. :
4) - 5) - 6) - 7) -
a) b) c) d)
e) f) g)
III. ,
9) 10)
a) climban b) kepte c) hope d) children e) name f) east
IV. -
11) 12)
13) u o 14) -
a) laugh b) aboven c) foot d) meat e) what f) meetan g) receiven h) hous i) chief
16) (-es) 17)
(-en) 18) -
a) eye b) yer c) name d) tooth e) thing f) cealf g) too () h) book
VI. ,
20) 21) -

a) more kind b) lenger c) more better d) more paynfull
VII. :
22) 23) 24) -

a) punishen b) wanten c) sleepen d) gripen e) percent f) creepen g) walken h) callen
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25) 26)
a) taken b) striven c) dwellen d) flingen e) cacchen
IX. :
27) 28) 29) -
a) be b) hood c) man d) mis e) er f) ly g) ship h) the i) un
X. :
31) 32)
a) brotherhood b) punishment c) readable d) helpful
XI. :
33) 34) 35) 36) -

a) afternoon b) comb c) beknavan d) deer e) holiday f) lord g) call h) already i)

weikness j) welthe
XII., :
37) 38)
a) sky b) dog c) chamber d) die e) court f) river g) peace h) egg i) pencil j) joy
39) 40)
a) languages-tongues b) love-affection c) chase-catch d) shirt-skirt e) wish-desire f)

1) 2)
a) b) c)
d) - - e) -

3) 4) -
a) house b) name c) horses d) goose e) stone f) wanted g) bone
III. ,
7) er > ar 8) er > ar -
a) heart b) star c) clerk d) war e) hearth f) sergeant
IV. -

10) 11) 12) -

13) 14)
a) foot b) soup c) Greenwich d) isle e) solemn f) nose g) take h) whistle i) knife j) subtle
V. -
, :
15) 16) 17)
a) feet b) oxen c) mice d) swine e) geese f) deer
VI. -
2 13.09. 2012
042-14.5.07. 34 /03 - 2012 1 30.09.2012 . 41 36

18) 19) 30) - 21) 22) -

a) hide b) must c) bite d) cut e) do f) go g) shoot

23) 24) 25) 26) 27) -
28) 29)
a) greatcoat b) astrakhan c) stocking d) talk e) distemper f) cab g) fog h) flue i) to up
j) magalog
30) 31) 32)

a) speech discourse b) town urban c) harm injury d) moon lunar e) mayor

major f) cattle - chattels
IX. , :
33) 34) 35) 36) 37) -
38) 39) 40)
a) police b) analysis c) violin d) yacht e) annual f) sputnik g) arrogant h) toboggan i)__ epoch j)
magazine k) cargo l) umbrella m) easel n) irritate