17. Linguistic Consequences of the Scandinavian Invasion
the Scandinavian Invasion introduced many words during the 9th and 10th centuries (many place names, items of basic vocabulary, words concerned with particular administrative aspects of the Danelaw)
The Vikings spoke Old Norse, a language related to Old
a mixed language
theory holds that exactly such a mixture of Old Norse and Old English helped accelerate the decline of case endings in Old English
simplification of the case endings occurred earliest in the north and latest in the southwest, the area farthest away from Viking influence
. Linguistic Consequences of the Norman Conquest
Battle at Hastings
the top levels of society of English-speaking political and ecclesiastical hierarchies were removed
Their replacements spoke Norman French and used Latin for administrative purposes
Norman French came into use as a language of polite discourse and literature, and this fundamentally altered the role of OE in education and administration.
18. Changes in Orthography in ME
During the written period of OE language the pronunciation of sounds has undergone different changes, while the spelling has not kept pace with the changes
Therefore there arose a great divorcement of a written language from spoken (inconsistency)
Modern English orthography has remained almost unchanged since the ME Period and reflects traditional features
OE orthography existed till about the 12th century
In ME the system was modified because it reflected different changes and was influenced by foreign languages. The number of letters is 24
Went out of use: æ, ƀ, ð, d, ʒ, thorn
Introduced: ou, j, g, k, v, w, q, z
O with the value of u came to be used before the letters of vertical strokes
eg. OE munuk – ME monk;
Y and w at the word ending instead of i and u were used for the purpose of ornamentation;
ʒ is replaced by y at the beginning of the word
eg. OE ʒear – year;
v appeared in the 13th century
k began to be used before i, e, n, l; c before back vowels; ck after a short vowel;
qu instead of cw.
17. ME changes within the Consonant and Vowel systems.
The consonant system has undergone a series of changes:
Assibilation k’ ic, cinn /tʃ/ ich, chin
cʒ’ brycʒe /dʒ/ bridge
sk’ fisc /ʃ/ fish
Shortening of long consonants fillen – fil
Vocalisation of consonants:
In final position ȝ>u aȝ /ou/ owe
ȝ’>i dæȝ /dei/ deyIn the suffix iȝ>y mistiȝ /misti/ misty
After r,l ȝ>u morȝen /moruen/ morwenVocalization of f hlafdiȝe /ladi/ lady
Loss of initial h before sonorants
hr>r hrinȝ /ring/ ring
hl>l hlud /lud/ loud
hn>n hnute /nut/ nutGradual loss of –n in inflexions sittan – sit; sceacan – shake
Formation of new diphthongs
Rise of diphthongs in –i:
palatal consonant ȝ /j/ yields diphthongs in –iæȝ > (æi) ai, ay dæȝ > dai, day;
ǣȝ > (æi) ai, ay, ei grǣȝ > grei, gray;
eȝ > (ei) ei, ay weȝ > wei, wayRise of diphthongs in –w: velar ȝ /ɣ/ yields diphthongs in –w
aȝ > aw laȝu> lawu;
āȝ>aw āȝen > owen;
oȝ>ow boȝa > bowe;
ōȝ>ow plōȝas > plowes;
Before /x/ a glide appeared:
a + ȝ /x/ > a(w)x > aux tahte > tauchte;
o +ȝ /x/ > o(w)x > u dohter > doughteroi – was borrowed
At the same time all OE diphthongs disappeared,
they monophthongised:
OE ea > ME a heard > hard;
OE ēā > ME e (open) east >est;
OE eo > ME ö (SW dialect), e heorte >hörte, herte;
OE ēō > ME ē (closed) deop > dep;
OE ēā +ld > ME ā (N), ō(Mid), ē(S) eald > āld, ōld, ēld;
OE eah > ME ie, i (SW), e eaht > mieht, meht;
OE iē > ME i(y) > ī, ē ciese >chiese, cheese;
OE ie > ME i(y) > i, e scield >shild, sheldappeared in stressed positions.
Short vowels a, e, o
became long in open syllables of disyllabic words: OE mete> ME mēte;
became long before combinations of homorganic clusters (nd, mb, ld, rd, ng): OE cild> ME cīld;
remained short in closed syllables: OE winter > ME winter;
Long vowels
remained long or became long in open syllables: OE wīd> ME wīd, talu> tāle;
became short before the combinations other than homorganic clusters or before the combinations of more than two consonants: OE sōft> ME sǒft.
Long were not shortened before st: blāst > blāstVowels were shortened in functional words.
The main direction of changes remained reduction. But if in OE there were 5 short vowels in unstressed position (a, o, u, e, i). In ME their number reduced to two (e,i). Thus, for example the infinitive ending –an was reduced to –en the nominative plural ending –as became –es.
Eg. tima>time, sunu>sune, medo>mede, helpan>helpen18. ME changes within the Noun, Adjective and Pronoun systems. The rise of the Article.Changes within the Noun System in ME
GENDER is a purely lexical category
CASE four-case system turned into two. A distinct form of the Dative (e) can still be found in the texts of 11th-12th centuries. Soon it fell together with the Nominative and Accusative into which is generally called Common Case.
Only the Genetive Case was kept separate. It was not restricted yet to nouns of certain meanings.
Genetive Singular m/n -s , f -a(e); Genetive Plural -a(e).
NUMBER In 13th century ending –s spreads to feminine and neuter nouns. In the Northern dialect this process was very intensive. Later penetrated the London dialect and became the norm. By the 15th century only some nouns of weak declension had the ending –en. Thus there were 2 groups: Plural m –es (and only some -en), f –en, n –es.
Changes within the Adjective System in ME
OE adjective was declined, had 5 cases, gender, number
In the 12th century the adjective had 4 forms (see table)
As many ME adjectives had the ending –e, it could not show the difference between the types of declensions, that’s why these endings were lost.
Case and gender endings disappeared up to the 12th century, number and the difference between weak and strong - up to the end of the ME period.
In OE degrees of comparison were formed by ra/ost/est, sometimes alternation of root vowel.
In ME ra>er/ost>est.
the sound alternation became less frequent.
parallel forms with or without alternation. E.g. old-elder-oldest/eldest.
The new system of comparison with ‘more’ appeared. These forms are preferable with mono or disyllabic words. E.g.(Chaucer): ‘…more sweter, better worthy….’
Several adjectives preserve suppletive degrees.
OE Personal pronouns had 3 persons, 4 cases and 3 numbers. In ME the system of the Personal Pronouns changed
OE pronoun heo(he) is replaced by gradually by ME sho(she) - first recorded in the North-Eastern regions - The origin of ‘she’ is not clear: either from the Scandinavian or from the masculine pronoun ‘seo’ which was demonstrative
The Objective Case ‘hir’ is the result of the coalescence of the Accusative and Dative form.
The second change OE hie > ME they came from Scandinavian. The Objective Case forms of it are: OE hem > them (Scandinavian).
the pronoun ‘ye’ was occasionally used already in addressing 1 person but ‘thou’ is still used.
dual is disused
The system of cases is changed. Already in OE the forms of Dat.and Acc. were sometimes mixed up. In ME they fell together into 1 case, which was used as Object; that’s why it is called Objective.
The Gen. Case splits from others forming a special group possessive.
‘Its’ is formed by analogy with other possessive pronouns, replacing the former neuter pronoun ‘His’ (which was homonymous with masculine)
On the basis of the oblique (Acc.+Dat.) case forms there appeared 1 more class: reflexive
Rise of the Article system in ME
In ME demonstrative pronouns began to lose number distinction, bearing no stress in the sentence, the form weakened into ƀeThe indefinite article developed from the numeral ‘ān’. In ME it had the form ōn. But it was left for the numeral and ān was for the article.
The system of articles came to a new level.
In ME the new opposition appeared: definiteness/indefiniteness.
19. ME changes within the system of strong and weak verbs. The development of analytical forms
In CG there were 75 strong verbs, in OE – 300, in ME their number greatly reduced, only 67 are preserved
Went out of use: OE ʒewitan (go), liðan (go), hatan (call), beodan (order)
About 70 strong verbs passed into the group of weak
7 classes of strong verbs underwent multiple changes: Phonetic (qualitative, quantitative), which led to almost complete destruction of ablaut. The borders between classes became indistinct and more often confused and influenced by analogy.
In ME the endings of the Infinitive, Past Plural, PII were reduced to –en. That is why in a few classes the Infinitive fell together with PII.
The strong verbs in OE had 4 forms (Inf, Past Pl, Past SG, PII). Many forms coincided, that is why the 4 forms changed into 3 (Inf, Past, PII).
Weak verbs
show a strong tendency to regularity
In OE there were 3 classes of Weak verbs. In ME the 3rd class ceased to exist altogether. The verbs of this class either joined other classes of Weak verbs (libban – liven 1cl.w.v.) or became irregular.
Class I Inf kepen Class II hopen;
Past kepte hapede;
PII kept hoped.
The number of Weak verbs greatly increased in ME, because
practically all the borrowed verbs and new verbs built their forms like weak;
a great many strong verbs passed into weak.
There are, however, a few borrowed words which build their basic forms as strong. E.g. take – took - taken, strive – strove - striven. The reverse process is very rare.
The Development of Analytical forms in ME
Future tense - descriptive phrases . The verbs shylle and wylle began to lose their lexical meaning, they became auxiliary later and bared ONLY grammatical meaning.
The perfect tense - when Participle lost its case, gender and number there appeared the possibility to change the word-order and new forms appeared. The Present Perfect and Past Perfect were used indiscriminately. Perfect forms could be built with the help of habban and beon.
Passive Voice developed from a Compound Nominal Predicate (eg. він був вбитий). The forms were rudimentary, however, combinations of finite forms with ‘beon’ ‘wesan’ (suppletive) or ‘weorƀan’ (ставати, робитися) were followed by PII; at the beginning of ME the PII lost its agreement with the subject and the construction meant the action directed towards the subject.
Continuous forms - combination beon +PI was sometimes used in OE to denote a quality or an action qualifying the subject. The origin of the continuous forms can be better understood if we consider it together with the development of PI, the Gerund and the Verbal noun. The forms on –inde and –inge, when e was lost began to be mixed up, the resulting form was preserved: -ing. Thus, in ME there were three –ing forms:
The Verbal Noun (which existed formerly);
The Gerund (new verbal forms);
Participle I
Participle I began to be used in the new analytical form Present (Past) Continuous.
20. General characteristics of the NE period.
a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the introduction of
the printing press into England by William Caxton
in late 1470s.
The language of England as used after this time, up to 1650, is known as Early Modern English.
Elizabethian Age
Since 1558
Defeated Spanish Armada
Britain became a super
economic power
Colonies, Age of Explorations
21. Phonology of NE. Great Vowel Shift
Loss of unstressed –e
Eg. sune >sun; louwen >louve; lokode > lokode,o – narrowed;
i:, u:, a: - diphthongized;
e: >i: see;
e: >i: sea;
o: >u: do, moon;
i: >ai child;
u: >au house;
o: >ou stone;
a: >ei take, name;
!!! These changes were not reflected in spelling because the spelling system had been already fixed.
Did not take place before d, t, ϴ, v in nouns. Eg. friend;
The changes e: >i: is sometimes arrested by the preceding –r. eg. great;
In some words e: >i:, but then > ai. Eg. choir (OE cwer);
Long vowels in words borrowed later remained unchanged. Eg. police, machine;
Before labial consonants u: remained unchanged. Eg. room, droop.
At the end of the XVII century:
æ+r – arm /a:/; æ+l+labial – calf /a:/;
æ+voiceless fricative – after /a:/;
æ+voiceless sibilant – glass /a:/;
a+r (in French borrowings) – car /a:/.
In the XVI-XVII centuries:
o:+r – floor /o:/;
au+l –all /o:/;
au+x and au+ɣ - taught /o:/;
u+r – court /o:/;
o+voiceless sibilant – law /o:/;
ou+x – bought /o:/;
w+ar –warm /o:/.
In the XVII century:
u+r – burden /ɜ:/;
e+r – earnest /ɜ:/;
i+r –first /ɜ:/; w+o+r – word /ɜ:/.
22. . Grammar
. The Noun
In NE the –en ending in Pl began to disappear. It practically disappears and the Northern trait –s for Plural began to be used with many new nouns and even some old nouns by analogy.
But sheep-sheep which go back to a-stem declension, neuter gender and the nouns of the type foot-feet, mouse-mice which go back to the root-stem declension. There are also some remnants of the weak declension. Eg. children, oxen.
In the XVII-XVIII centuries a new graphic marker of the Genitive Case appears, though it is used only in writing; in speech the forms are homonymous. Plural –s and Genitive ‘s underwent voicing of fricatives and loss of unstressed vowels in final syllable: ME bookes /bokes/ - NE books /buks/.
In the XVII century ‘s becomes to be used only with active nouns.
The Pronoun
In the XVII-XVIII centuries ‘ye, you, your’ are generally applied to individuals. Thou becomes obsolete in standard English though it is still found in poetry, religious discourse and some dialects.
You and ye fall together in Nominative and Objective cases, these are syncratic forms.
new possessive pronoun ‘its’ in 1598 on the analogy with the Genitive case of nouns.
The forms ‘his’ and ‘others’, ‘ours’ and ‘yours’ appeared.
In the XVII-XVIII centuries the two variants of possessive pronouns arose ‘mine and my’. They split into 2 distinct forms which different syntactic functions: conjoined (usually used with a noun) and absolute (functioning independently).
appearance of the reflexive pronouns. They appeared from the corresponding free word combinations, and have an emphatic function.
The Adjective
the adjective becomes an entirely uninflected part of speech and looses all the forms of agreement with the noun.
. The Verb
tendency of strong verbs to pass into the class of weak
Weak verbs – standard or regular: ‘seize’, ‘bow’, ‘look’, ‘climb’, ‘help’, ‘swallow’, ‘wash’, ‘fare’.
The reverse process was rare, in NE 3 verbs: ‘wear’, ‘dig’, ‘stick’ became strong or irregular, among them also some borrowings: ‘take’ (Scand), ‘strive’ (Fr), ‘thrive’ (Scand).
mixed verbs appeared which can have weak and strong forms
Preterite-Present are named not according to their historical tradition but according to their meanings. Modal – they express ‘mood’ state of the person, the attitude of the speaker to some action
In the age of Shakespeare, the phrases with shall/will occurred in free variation. They can express ‘pure’ futurity and different shades of modal meanings. Phrases with shall/will outnumbered all other ways of indicating future. In the 17th century ‘will’ was used in the shortened form ‘ll but it can stand for ‘shall’ as well. In 1653 John Wallace for the first time formulated the rule about the regularity of using shall/will
Passive voice forms continued to grow and its different tense forms develop. The wide use of passive constructions in the 18th-19th centuries testifies to the high productivity of the passive voice constructions.
not until the 18th century that the continuous forms acquired their specific meaning (incomplete process of limited duration). Only at this stage the continuous made up a new grammatical category of aspect.
New forms of subjunctive mood appeared. In the course of the 18th-19th centuries ‘should’ became the dominant auxiliary for the first singular and plural and ‘would’ for the third person. Subjunctive mood remained fairly common.
Past Perfect and Past Simple were used in free variation. Later they began to be discriminated by the category of time co-relation.

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