Get Old English: A Linguistic Introduction (Cambridge PDF

By Jeremy J. Smith

ISBN-10: 0521685699

ISBN-13: 9780521685696

Previous English offers a transparent linguistic creation to English among the fifth century and the Norman invasion in 1066. adapted to fit the wishes of person path modules, it assumes no earlier wisdom of the topic, and provides the fundamental evidence in an easy demeanour, making it the right beginners' textual content. scholars are guided step by step throughout the major features and advancements of English in the course of that interval, aided by way of concise bankruptcy summaries, feedback for extra interpreting, and a accomplished word list. every one bankruptcy is observed through an interesting set of routines and dialogue questions in line with actual Anglo-Saxon texts, encouraging scholars to consolidate their studying, and supplying crucial self-study fabric. The booklet is followed via a better half web site, that includes strategies to the routines and valuable extra assets. delivering crucial wisdom and abilities for these embarking at the research of previous English, it truly is set to develop into the major creation to the topic.

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Additional info for Old English: A Linguistic Introduction (Cambridge Introductions to the English Language)

Sample text

Mitchell and Robinson (1992: 171–2) give a long list of ‘made-up’ sentences where changes between OE and PDE have been minimal, including Harold is swift. His hand is strong and his word grim. Late in līfe hē went tō his wīfe in Rōme. And though many other words appear a little unusual they can be understood once a few rules about pronunciation are grasped. For instance, take the following sentence (Mitchell and Robinson 1992: 171): Se fisc swam under þæt scip and ofer þone sciellfisc. ’ OE seems to have been pronounced [ʃ]; we have already met <þ>, which was pronounced as a dental fricative ([θ] or [ð], depending on context); <æ> was pronounced as a low front vowel (somewhat like [a], though this pronunciation will be discussed further in chapter 4, section 3).

The set of words found in a particular language makes up its vocabulary or lexicon. Words are traditionally classified into parts of speech. Parts of speech fall into two classes: open and closed. ). Open-class words can be joined readily by new coinages, for example scooter (noun), jive (verb), hip (adjective), groovily (adverb), or by borrowings from other languages. Closed-class words are: determiners (for example the, a, this, that, some, any, all) pronouns (for example I, me, she, you, they) prepositions (for example in, by, with, from, to, for) conjunctions (for example and, but, if, when, because, although) auxiliary verbs (for example can, may, will, shall, be, have) numerals (for example one, two, first, second).

Thus, in vocabulary, there are few loanwords in OE in comparison with ME, when large numbers of words enter English from French, and when Norse loanwords brought over by the Viking settlers start to be recorded in written texts. In grammar, OE had, in comparison with ME and ModE, a large number of inflexional markers 26 The Structure of Old English flagging categories such as case, number and gender, allowing a greater degree of flexibility in word-order than was possible at later stages of the language.

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Old English: A Linguistic Introduction (Cambridge Introductions to the English Language) by Jeremy J. Smith

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