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Encyclopedia > Old English
Old English/Anglo-Saxon
Englisc
Spoken in: parts of what is now England and southern Scotland
Language extinction: developed into Middle English by the 12th century
Language family: Indo-European
 Germanic
  West Germanic
   Anglo-Frisian
    Anglic
     Old English/Anglo-Saxon
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: ang
ISO 639-3: ang

Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Old English: Englisc) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. It is a West Germanic language and therefore is closely related to Old Frisian and Old Saxon. It also experienced heavy influence from Old Norse, a member of the related North Germanic group of languages. It is also closely related to German and Dutch. Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification  -  by Athelstan 967  Area... Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic)1 Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime... An extinct language (also called a dead language) is a language which no longer has any native speakers. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... West Germanic is the largest branch of the Germanic family of languages, including such languages as English, Dutch, and German. ... The Anglo-Frisian languages (also known as Ingvaeonic languages or North Sea Germanic languages) are a group of West Germanic languages consisting of Old English, Old Frisian, and their descendants. ... The Anglic languages (also called Anglian languages) are one of the two branches of Anglo-Frisian languages, itself a branch of West Germanic. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is in process of development as an international standard for language codes. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of the sounds of human speech. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... This chart shows concisely the most common way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is applied to represent the English language. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification  -  by Athelstan 967  Area... Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic)1 Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime... Europe in 450 The 5th century is the period from 401 - 500 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... West Germanic is the largest branch of the Germanic family of languages, including such languages as English, Dutch, and German. ... Old Frisian was the West Germanic language spoken between the 8th and 16th centuries by the people who, from their ancient homes in North Germany and Denmark, had settled in the area between the Rhine and Elbe on the European North Sea coast in the 4th and 5th centuries. ... Old Saxon, also known as Old Low German, is a Germanic language. ... Old Norse is the Germanic language spoken by the inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300. ... The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the East Germanic languages. ...

Contents

Development

Old English was not static, and its usage covered a period of approximately 700 years (see Timeline of the Anglo-Saxon invasion and takeover of Britain) – from the Anglo-Saxon migrations that created England in the fifth century to some time after the Norman invasion of 1066, when the language underwent a major and dramatic transition. During this early period it assimilated some aspects of the languages with which it came in contact, such as the Celtic languages and the two dialects of Old Norse from the invading Vikings, who were occupying and controlling large tracts of land in northern and eastern England, which came to be known as the Danelaw. // Constructing a chronology of the early Anglo-Saxon period is highly complex, and the limitations of our source material place restrictions on just how accurate any chronology can be. ... The famous parade helmet found at Sutton Hoo, probably belonging to King Raedwald of East Anglia circa 625. ... Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest of England was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ... Events January 6 - Harold II is crowned September 20 - Battle of Fulford September 25 - Battle of Stamford Bridge September 29 - William of Normandy lands in England at Pevensey. ... The Celtic languages are the languages descended from Proto-Celtic, or Common Celtic, spoken by ancient and modern Celts alike. ... The term Viking commonly denotes the ship-borne warriors and traders of Norsemen (literally, men from the north) who originated in Scandinavia and raided the coasts of the British Isles and mainland Europe as far east as the Volga River in Russia from the late 8th–11th century. ... Green: Danelaw The Danelaw (from the Old English Dena lagu, Danish: Danelagen ) is an 11th century name for an area of northern and eastern England under the administrative control of the Vikings (or Danes, or Norsemen) from the late 9th century. ...


Germanic origins

The most important force in shaping Old English was its Germanic heritage in its vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar which it shared with its sister languages in continental Europe. Some of these features were specific to the West Germanic language family to which Old English belongs, while some other features were inherited from the Proto-Germanic language from which all Germanic languages are believed to have been derived. Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands and, at times, peninsulas. ... West Germanic is the largest branch of the Germanic family of languages, including such languages as English, Dutch, and German. ... Map of the Pre-Roman Iron Age culture(s) associated with Proto-Germanic, c. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


Like other West Germanic languages of the period, Old English was fully inflected with five grammatical cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental), which had dual plural forms for referring to groups of two objects (but only in the personal pronouns) in addition to the usual singular and plural forms. It also assigned gender to all nouns, including those that describe inanimate objects: for example, sēo sunne (the Sun) was feminine, while se mōna (the Moon) was masculine (cf. modern German die Sonne vs. der Mond). The Germanic languages in Europe are divided into North (blue) and West Germanic (green and orange) Languages  Low Saxon-Low Franconian (Dutch)  High German (standard German, Schwyzerdütsch)  Insular Anglo-Frisian (English, Scots)  Continental Anglo-Frisian (Frisian)  East North Germanic (Danish, BokmÃ¥l Norwegian, Swedish)  West North Germanic (Nynorsk Norwegian... Inflection of the Spanish lexeme for cat, with blue representing the masculine gender, pink representing the feminine gender, grey representing the form used for mixed-gender, and green representing the plural number. ... In grammar, the case of a noun or pronoun is its grammatical function in a greater phrase or clause; such as the role of subject, of direct object, or of possessor. ... Dual forms exist in some languages in addition to singular and plural forms of nouns and pronouns; the latin term is dualis. ... In linguistics, grammatical gender is a morphological category associated with the expression of gender through inflection or agreement. ... Noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... Apparent magnitude: up to -12. ...


Latin influence

A large percentage of the educated and literate population (monks, clerics, etc.) were competent in Latin, which was the lingua franca of Europe at the time. It is sometimes possible to give approximate dates for the entry of individual Latin words into Old English based on which patterns of linguistic change they have undergone. There were at least three notable periods of Latin influence. The first occurred before the ancestral Saxons left continental Europe for England. The second began when the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity and Latin-speaking priests became widespread. The third and largest single transfer of Latin-based words occurred following the Norman invasion of 1066, after which an enormous number of Norman words entered the language. Most of these Oïl language words were themselves derived ultimately from classical Latin, although a notable stock of Norse words were introduced, or re-introduced in Norman form. The Norman Conquest approximately marks the end of Old English and the advent of Middle English. A Roman Catholic monk A monk is a person who practices monasticism, adopting a strict religious and ascetic lifestyle, usually in community with others following the same path. ... A cleric is a member of the clergy of a religion, especially one that has trained or ordained priests, preachers, or other religious professionals. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest of England was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ... Events January 6 - Harold II is crowned September 20 - Battle of Fulford September 25 - Battle of Stamford Bridge September 29 - William of Normandy lands in England at Pevensey. ... Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. ... The langue doïl language family in linguistics comprises Romance languages originating in territories now occupied by northern France, part of Belgium and the Channel Islands. ... Classical Latin is the language used by the principal exponents of that language in what is usually regarded as classical Latin literature. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the...


The language was further altered by the transition away from the runic alphabet (also known as futhorc or fuþorc) to the Latin alphabet, which was also a significant factor in the developmental pressures brought to bear on the language. Old English words were spelt as they were pronounced; the "silent" letters in many Modern English words, such as the "k" in "knight", were in fact pronounced in Old English. For example, the 'hard-c' sound in cniht, the Old English equivalent of 'knight', was pronounced. Another side-effect of spelling words phonetically was that spelling was extremely variable – the spelling of a word would reflect differences in the phonetics of the writer's regional dialect, and also idiosyncratic spelling choices which varied from author to author, and even from work to work by the same author. Thus, for example, the word "and" could be spelt either and or ond. For other uses, see Rune (disambiguation). ... The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc are a runic alphabet, extended from the Elder Futhark, consisting of 29, and later even 33 characters. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ...


Old English spelling can therefore be regarded as even more jumbled than modern English spelling, although it can at least claim to reflect some existing pronunciation, while modern English in many cases cannot. Most present day students of Old English learn the language using normalised versions and are only introduced to variant spellings after they have mastered the basics of the language. English orthography (or spelling), has relatively complicated rules when compared to other orthographic systems written with alphabetic scripts and contains many inconsistencies between spelling and pronunciation, necessitating rote learning for most people learning to read or write English. ...


Viking influence

The approximate extent of Old Norse and related languages in the early 10th century:       Old West Norse dialect       Old East Norse dialect       Old Gutnish dialect       Crimean Gothic       Other Germanic languages with which Old Norse still retained some mutual intelligibility
The approximate extent of Old Norse and related languages in the early 10th century:       Old West Norse dialect       Old East Norse dialect       Old Gutnish dialect       Crimean Gothic       Other Germanic languages with which Old Norse still retained some mutual intelligibility

The second major source of loanwords to Old English were the Scandinavian words introduced during the Viking invasions of the ninth and tenth centuries. In addition to a great many place names, these consist mainly of items of basic vocabulary, and words concerned with particular administrative aspects of the Danelaw (that is, the area of land under Viking control, which included extensive holdings all along the eastern coast of England and Scotland). The Vikings spoke Old Norse, a language related to Old English in that both derived from the same ancestral Proto-Germanic language. It is very common for the intermixing of speakers of different dialects, such as those that occur during times of political unrest, to result in a mixed language, and one theory holds that exactly such a mixture of Old Norse and Old English helped accelerate the decline of case endings in Old English. Apparent confirmation of this is the fact that simplification of the case endings occurred earliest in the North and latest in the Southwest, the area farthest away from Viking influence. Regardless of the truth of this theory, the influence of Old Norse on the English language has been profound: responsible for such basic vocabulary items as sky, leg, and the modern pronoun they, among hundreds of other words. Download high resolution version (1235x909, 75 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Old Norse language User:Wiglaf User:Wiglaf/maps ... Download high resolution version (1235x909, 75 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Old Norse language User:Wiglaf User:Wiglaf/maps ... Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ... Old Gutnish was the dialect of Old Norse that was spoken on the island of Gotland. ... Crimean Gothic was a dialect of Gothic that was spoken by the Crimean Goths in some isolated locations in the Crimea (now Ukraine) perhaps until as late as the 18th century. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... The term Viking commonly denotes the ship-borne warriors and traders of Norsemen (literally, men from the north) who originated in Scandinavia and raided the coasts of the British Isles and mainland Europe as far east as the Volga River in Russia from the late 8th–11th century. ... As a means of recording the passage of time the 9th century was that century that lasted from 801 to 900. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ... A century (From the Latin cent, one hundred) is one hundred consecutive years. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Green: Danelaw The Danelaw (from the Old English Dena lagu, Danish: Danelagen ) is an 11th century name for an area of northern and eastern England under the administrative control of the Vikings (or Danes, or Norsemen) from the late 9th century. ... Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... Map of the Pre-Roman Iron Age culture(s) associated with Proto-Germanic, c. ... A mixed language is a language that arises when two languages are in contact and there is a high degree of bilingualism among speakers. ... In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun phrase. ...


Celtic influence

It has traditionally been maintained that the influence of Celtic on English has been small, citing the small number of Celtic loanwords taken into the language. The number of Celtic loanwords is of a remarkably lower order than either Latin or Scandinavian. A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one language from another with little or no translation. ...


Since the 1980s, a growing number of authors, including Hildegard Tristram, have argued that the effects of Celtic language contact have historically been underplayed.[citation needed] In recent years Celtic etymologies have been proposed for an increasing number of English dialect words. Tristram, Theo Vennemann and others have argued that distinctive Celtic traits are clearly discernible from the post-Old English period in the area of syntax.[2] Theo Vennemann genannt Nierfeld (May 27, 1937 - ) is a German linguist known best for his work on historical linguistics. ...


Dialects

To further complicate matters, Old English had many dialects. The four main dialect forms of Old English were Mercian, Northumbrian (known collectively as Anglian), Kentish, and West Saxon.[3] Each of these dialects was associated with an independent kingdom on the island. Of these, all of Northumbria and most of Mercia were overrun by the Vikings during the 9th century. The portion of Mercia and all of Kent that were successfully defended were then integrated into Wessex. A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ... Mercian was spoken in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. ... Northumbrian was a dialect spoken in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. ... Anglian is a cover term used to refer to two dialects of Old English, namely the Northumbrian and Mercian dialects. ... Kentish was spoken in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Kent. ... Late West Saxon or West Saxon was one of four distinct dialects of Old English. ... Section from Shepherds map of the British Isles about 802 AD showing the kingdom of Northumbria Northumbria is primarily the name of a petty kingdom of Angles which was formed in Great Britain at the beginning of the 7th century, from two smaller kingdoms of Bernicia and Diera, and... The Kingdom of Mercia at its greatest extent (7th to 9th centuries) is shown in green, with the original core area (6th century) given a darker tint. ... The Kingdom of Kent was a kingdom of Jutes in southeast England, one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the so-called Anglo-Saxon heptarchy. ... Map of the British Isles circa 802 Wessex was one of the seven major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (the Heptarchy) that preceded the Kingdom of England. ...


After the process of unification of the diverse Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in 878 by Alfred the Great, there is a marked decline in the importance of regional dialects. This is not because they stopped existing; regional dialects continued even after that time to this day, as evidenced both by the existence of middle and modern English dialects later on, and by common sense – people do not spontaneously develop new accents when there is a sudden change of political power. Events The Danes force king Alfred the Great of Wessex to retreat to a fort in Athelney, Somerset. ... Alfred (also Ælfred from the Old English: ÆlfrÄ“d) (c. ...


However, the bulk of the surviving documents from the Anglo-Saxon period are written in the dialect of Wessex, Alfred's kingdom. It seems likely that with consolidation of power, it became necessary to standardise the language of government to reduce the difficulty of administering the more remote areas of the kingdom. As a result, paperwork was written in the West Saxon dialect. Not only this, but Alfred was passionate about the spread of the vernacular and brought many scribes to his region from Mercia in order that previously unwritten texts be recorded. The Church was likewise affected, especially since Alfred initiated an ambitious programme to translate religious materials into English. In order to retain his patronage and ensure the widest circulation of the translated materials, the monks and priests engaged in the programme worked in his dialect. Alfred himself seems to have translated books out of Latin and into English, notably Pope Gregory I's treatise on administration, "Pastoral Care". Look up Vernacular in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... As a Christian ecclesiastical term, Catholic - from the Greek adjective , meaning general or universal[1] - is described in the Oxford English Dictionary as follows: ~Church, (originally) whole body of Christians; ~, belonging to or in accord with (a) this, (b) the church before separation into Greek or Eastern and Latin or... Saint Gregory redirects here. ... Pastoral care is the ministry of care and counseling provided by pastors, chaplains and other religious leaders to members of their group (church, congregation, etc). ...


Because of the centralisation of power and the Viking invasions, there is little or no written evidence for the development of non-Wessex dialects after Alfred's unification.

The first page of the Beowulf manuscript
The first page of the Beowulf manuscript

Image File history File links Beowulf. ... Image File history File links Beowulf. ... The first page of Beowulf This article is about the epic poem. ...

Literature

Old English literature, though more abundant than literature of the continent before A.D. 1000, is nonetheless scanty. In his supplementary article to the 1935 posthumous edition of Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader, Dr. James Hulbert writes: Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... ALSO REFER TO SYDNEY DEATH METAL BAND ANNO DOMINI - REFER TO [www. ...

In such historical conditions, an incalculable amount of the writings of the Anglo-Saxon period perished. What they contained, how important they were for an understanding of literature before the Conquest, we have no means of knowing: the scant catalogs of monastic libraries do not help us, and there are no references in extant works to other compositions....How incomplete our materials are can be illustrated by the well-known fact that, with few and relatively unimportant exceptions, all extant Anglo-Saxon poetry is preserved in four manuscripts.

Old English was one of the first vernacular languages to be written down. Some of the most important surviving works of Old English literature are Beowulf, an epic poem; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a record of early English history; and Caedmon's Hymn, a Christian religious poem. There are also a number of extant prose works, such as sermons and saints' lives, biblical translations, and translated Latin works of the early Church Fathers, legal documents, such as laws and wills, and practical works on grammar, medicine, and geography. Still, poetry is considered to be the heart of Old English literature. Nearly all Anglo-Saxon authors are anonymous, with a few exceptions, such as Bede and Caedmon. Look up Vernacular in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The first page of Beowulf This article is about the epic poem. ... The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals narrating the history of the Anglo-Saxons and their settlement in Great Britain. ... Depiction of Cædmon carved on a stone memorial cross on the grounds of St Marys Church in Whitby. ... Bede (IPA: ) (also Saint Bede, the Venerable Bede, or (from Latin) Beda (IPA: )), (ca. ... Cædmon is one of only two Anglo-Saxon poets whose names are known (the other being Cynewulf). ...


Phonology

Main article: Old English phonology

The inventory of Old English surface phones, as usually reconstructed, is as follows. The phonology of Old English is necessarily somewhat speculative, since it is preserved purely as a written language. ... Look up phone in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

  Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop p  b     t  d     k  g  
Affricate         tʃ  (dʒ)      
Nasal m     n     (ŋ)  
Fricative   f  (v) θ  (ð) s  (z) ʃ (ç) (x)  (ɣ) h
Approximant       r   j w  
Lateral approximant       l        

The sounds marked in parentheses in the chart above are allophones: In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. ... In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lips and the upper teeth, or viceversa. ... Dentals are consonants such as t, d, n, and l articulated with either the lower or the upper teeth, or both, rather than with the gum ridge as in English. ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... Postalveolar (or palato-alveolar) consonants are consonants articulated with the tip of the tongue between the alveolar ridge (the place of articulation for alveolar consonants) and the palate (the place of articulation for palatal consonants). ... Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... Glottal consonants are consonants articulated with the glottis. ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Affricate consonants begin as stops (most often an alveolar, such as or ) but release as a fricative (such as or or, in a couple of languages, into a fricative trill) rather than directly into the following vowel. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... Fricatives (or spirants) are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ... In rhetoric, a parenthesis (plural: parentheses; from the Greek word παρενθεσις) is (according to the Oxford English Dictionary) An explanatory or qualifying word, clause, or sentence inserted into a passage with which it has not necessarily any grammatical connexion, and from which it is usually marked off by round or square... In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ...

  • [dʒ] is an allophone of /j/ occurring after /n/ and when geminated
  • [ŋ] is an allophone of /n/ occurring before /k/ and /g/
  • [v, ð, z] are allophones of /f, θ, s/ respectively, occurring between vowels or voiced consonants.
  • [ç, x] are allophones of /h/ occurring in coda position after front and back vowels respectively
  • [ɣ] is an allophone of /g/ occurring after a vowel
Monophthongs Short Long
Front Back Front Back
Close i  y u iː  yː
Mid e  (ø) o eː  (øː)
Open æ ɑ æː ɑː

The front mid rounded vowels /ø(ː)/ occur in some dialects of Old English, but not in the best attested Late West Saxon dialect. Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-07-20, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... A voiced consonant is a sound made as the vocal cords vibrate, as opposed to a voiceless consonant, where the vocal cords are relaxed. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... A monophthong (in Greek μονόφθογγος = single note) is a pure vowel sound, one whose articulation at both beginning and end is relatively fixed, and which does not glide up or down towards a new position of articulation; compare diphthong. ... In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... A back vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... A close vowel is a type of vowel sound used in many spoken languages. ... A mid vowel is a vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... An open vowel is a vowel sound of a type used in most spoken languages. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... A mid vowel is a vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... Exolabial and endolabial [ʏ] in Swedish. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ... Late West Saxon or West Saxon was one of four distinct dialects of Old English. ...

Diphthongs Short (monomoraic) Long (bimoraic)
First element is close iy[4] iːy
Both elements are mid eo eːo
Both elements are open æɑ æːɑ

In phonetics, a diphthong (also gliding vowel) (Greek δίφθογγος, diphthongos, literally with two sounds, or with two tones) is a monosyllabic vowel combination involving a quick but smooth movement from one vowel to another, often interpreted by listeners as a single vowel sound or phoneme. ... Mora (plural moras or morae) is a unit of sound used in phonology that determines syllable weight (which in turn determines stress) in some languages. ...

Standardised orthography

The runic alphabet used to write Old English before the introduction of the Latin alphabet.
The runic alphabet used to write Old English before the introduction of the Latin alphabet.

Old English was at first written in runes (futhorc), but shifted to the Latin alphabet, with some additions, after the Anglo-Saxons' conversion to Christianity. The letter yogh, for example, was adopted from Irish; the letter eth was an alteration of Latin "d", and the runic letters thorn and wynn are borrowings from futhorc. Also used was a symbol for the conjunction 'and', a character similar to the number seven (, called a Tironian note), and a symbol for the relative pronoun 'þæt', a thorn with a crossbar through the ascender (' '). Also used occasionally were macrons over vowels, abbreviations for following 'm's or 'n's. All of the sound descriptions below are given using IPA symbols. Image created by me. ... Image created by me. ... For other uses, see Rune (disambiguation). ... The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc are a runic alphabet, extended from the Elder Futhark, consisting of 29, and later even 33 characters. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... The letter yogh (Èœ ȝ; Middle English: ogh) was used in Middle English and Middle Scots, representing y (IPA: ) and various velar phonemes. ... Ð (capital Ð, lower-case ð) (or eth, eð or edh, Faroese: edd) is a letter used in Old English (Anglo-Saxon) and present-day Icelandic and Faroese. ... Þþ Thorn, or þorn (Þ, þ), is a letter in the Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic alphabets. ... Capital wynn (left), lowercase wynn (right) Wynn () (also spelled Wen or en) is a letter of the Old English alphabet. ... Tironian notes (notae Tironianae) is a system of shorthand invented by Ciceros scribe Marcus Tullius Tiro. ... A relative pronoun is a pronoun that marks a relative clause within a larger sentence. ... Old English þæt symbol. ... A macron, from Greek (makros) meaning large, is a diacritic ¯ placed over a vowel originally to indicate that the vowel is long. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ...


The alphabet

  • a: /ɑ/ (spelling variations like land/lond "land" suggest it may have had a rounded allophone [ɒ] before [n] in some cases)
  • ā: /ɑː/
  • æ: /æ/
  • ǣ: /æː/
  • b: /b/
  • c (except in the digraphs sc and cg): either /tʃ/ or /k/. The /tʃ/ pronunciation is sometimes written with a diacritic by modern editors: most commonly ċ, sometimes č or ç. Before a consonant letter the pronunciation is always /k/; word-finally after i it is always /tʃ/. Otherwise a knowledge of the historical linguistics of the word in question is needed to predict which pronunciation is needed. (See The distribution of velars and palatals in Old English for details.)
  • cg: [ddʒ] (the surface pronunciation of geminate /jj/); occasionally also for /gg/
  • d: /d/
  • ð/þ: /θ/ and its allophone [ð]. Both symbols were used more or less interchangeably (to the extent that if there was a rule, it was to avoid using ð word-initially, but this was by no means universally followed). Many modern editions preserve the use of these two symbols as found in the original manuscripts, but some attempt to regularise them in some fashion, for example using only the þ. See also Pronunciation of English th.
  • e: /e/
  • ē: /eː/
  • ea: /æɑ/; after ċ and ġ, sometimes /æ/ or /ɑ/
  • ēa: /æːɑ/; after ċ and ġ, sometimes /æː/
  • eo: /eo/; after ċ and ġ, sometimes /o/
  • ēo: /eːo/
  • f: /f/ and its allophone [v]
  • g: /g/ and its allophone [ɣ]; /j/ and its allophone [dʒ] (when after n). The /j/ and [dʒ] pronunciations are sometimes written ġ or ȝ by modern editors. Before a consonant letter the pronunciation is always [g] (word-initially) or [ɣ] (after a vowel). Word-finally after i it is always /j/. Otherwise a knowledge of the historical linguistics of the word in question is needed to predict which pronunciation is needed. (See The distribution of velars and palatals in Old English for details.)
  • h: /h/ and its allophones [ç, x]. In the combinations hl, hr, hn and hw, the second consonant was certainly voiceless.
  • i: /i/
  • ī: /iː/
  • ie: /iy/; after ċ and ġ, sometimes /e/
  • īe: /iːy/; after ċ and ġ, sometimes /eː/
  • k: /k/ (rarely used)
  • l: /l/; probably velarised (as in Modern English) when in coda position.
  • m: /m/
  • n: /n/ and its allophone [ŋ]
  • o: /o/
  • ō: /oː/
  • oe: /ø/ (in dialects with this sound)
  • ōe: /øː/ (in dialects with this sound)
  • p: /p/
  • q: /k/ – Used before u representing the consonant /w/, but rarely used, being rather a feature of Middle English. Old English preferred cƿ or in modern print cw.
  • r: /r/; the exact nature of r is not known. It may have been an alveolar approximant [ɹ], as in most Modern English accents, an alveolar flap [ɾ], or an alveolar trill [r].
  • s: /s/ and its allophone [z]
  • sc: /ʃ/ or occasionally /sk/
  • t: /t/
  • u: /u/
  • ū: /uː/
  • ƿ (wynn): /w/, replaced in modern print by w to prevent confusion with p.
  • x: /ks/ (but according to some authors, [xs ~ çs])
  • y: /y/
  • ȳ: /yː/
  • z: /ts/. Rarely used as ts was usually used instead, for example bezt vs betst "best", pronounced /betst/.

Doubled consonants are geminated; the geminate fricatives ðð/þþ, ff and ss cannot be voiced. In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... A diacritical mark or diacritic, also called an accent mark, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation or to distinguish between similar words. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... The phonology of Old English is necessarily somewhat speculative, since it is preserved purely as a written language. ... In phonetics, gemination is when a spoken consonant is doubled, so that it is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a single consonant. ... Ð (capital Ð, lower-case ð) (or eth, eð or edh, Faroese: edd) is a letter used in Old English (Anglo-Saxon) and present-day Icelandic and Faroese. ... Þþ Thorn, or þorn (Þ, þ), is a letter in the Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic alphabets. ... In English, the digraph 〈th〉 represents in most cases one of two different phonemes: the voiced dental fricative (as in this) and the voiceless dental fricative (thing). ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... The phonology of Old English is necessarily somewhat speculative, since it is preserved purely as a written language. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... The alveolar approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... The alveolar tap/flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The alveolar trill is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages (such as Russian, Spanish, Armenian, and Polish). ... Capital wynn (left), lowercase wynn (right) Wynn () (also spelled Wen or en) is a letter of the Old English alphabet. ... In phonetics, consonant length is when a spoken consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short consonant. ...


Morphology

Unlike modern English, Old English is a language rich with morphological diversity and is spelled essentially as it is pronounced. It maintains several distinct cases: the nominative, accusative, genitive, dative and (vestigially) instrumental, remnants of which survive only in a few pronouns in modern English. The morphology of the Old English language is quite different from that of Modern English, predominantly by being much more highly inflected. ... For other uses, see Morphology. ... The nominative case is a grammatical case for a noun, which generally marks the subject of a verb, as opposed to its object or other verb arguments. ... The accusative case (abbreviated ACC) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... The dative case is a grammatical case generally used to indicate the noun to whom something is given. ... In linguistics, the instrumental case (also called the eighth case) indicates that a noun is the instrument or means by which the subject achieves or accomplishes an action. ...


Misconceptions

Old English is often erroneously used to refer to any form of English other than Modern English. The term Old English does not refer to varieties of Early Modern English such as are found in Shakespeare or the King James Bible, nor does it refer to Middle English, the language of Chaucer and his contemporaries. The following timeline helps place the history of the English language in context. The dates used are approximate dates. It is inaccurate to state that everyone stopped speaking Old English in 1099, and woke up on New Year's Day of 1100 speaking Middle English. Language change is gradual, and cannot be as easily demarcated as are historical or political events. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Shakespeares writings are universally associated with Early Modern English Early Modern English refers to the stage of the English language used from about the end of the Middle English period (the latter half of the 1400s) to 1650. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic settlers and auxiliary troops under Roman tutelage from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Northern Netherlands. ... Language change is the manner in which the phonetic, morphological, semantic, syntactic, and other features of a language are modified over time. ...


450–1100 Old English (Anglo-Saxon) – The language of Beowulf. The first page of Beowulf This article is about the epic poem. ...


1100–1500 Middle English – The language of Chaucer. Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


1500–1650 Early Modern English (or Renaissance English) – The language of Shakespeare. Shakespeares writings are universally associated with Early Modern English Early Modern English refers to the stage of the English language used from about the end of the Middle English period (the latter half of the 1400s) to 1650. ... The Renaissance (French for rebirth, or Rinascimento in Italian), was a cultural movement in Italy (and in Europe in general) that began in the late Middle Ages, and spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


1650–present Modern English (or Present-Day English) – The language as spoken today. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


Examples

Beowulf

The first example is taken from the epic poem Beowulf. The translation is quite literal and represents the original poetic word order. As such, it is not typical of Old English prose. The modern cognates of original words have been used whenever practical to give a close approximation of the feel of the original poem. The words in [] are implied in the Old English by noun case and the bold words in () are explanations of words which have slightly different meanings in a modern context. Notice how "what" was used by the poet where a word like "lo" or "behold" would be expected. The first page of Beowulf This article is about the epic poem. ...

Line Original Translation
[1] Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum, What! We [of] Gar-Danes(lit. spear-danes) in yore-days,
[2] þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon, [of] people-kings, trim(glory) apried(have learned of by asking or "prying"),
[3] hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon. how those athelings(princes) arm-strong feats framed(made).
[4] Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum, Oft Scyld Scefing, [from] scathers(enemies) [in] threats(armed bands),
[5] monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah, [from] many mights(clans, powers), mead-settles took,
[6] egsode eorl. Syððan ærest wearð awed earls(leaders of men). Since erest(first) [he] worth(came to be)
[7] feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad, few-sheaved(helpless, destitute) founden, he thence(from then onward) in loving care abode(lived),
[8] weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah, wex(waxed) under welkin(the clouds), mind's-worth(honor) got,
[9] oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra orthat(until that) him each [of] those umbe-sitting("sitting" or dwelling roundabout)
[10] ofer hronrade hyran scolde, over whale-road(kenning for sea) hear(obedience) should(owed),
[11] gomban gyldan. Þæt wæs god cyning! gifts [to] yield. That was [a] good king!

In literature, a kenning is a compound poetic phrase, a figure of speech, substituted for the usual name of a person or thing. ...

The Lord's Prayer

This text of The Lord's Prayer is presented in the standardised West Saxon literary dialect: The Lords Prayer (sometimes known by its first two Latin words as the Pater Noster, in Greek as the , or the English equivalent Our Father) is probably the best-known prayer in Christianity. ...

Line Original Translation
[1] Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum, Father ours, thou that art in heaven,
[2] Si þin nama gehalgod. Be thy name hallowed.
[3] To becume þin rice, Come thy rich(kingdom),
[4] gewurþe ðin willa, on eorðan swa swa on heofonum. Worth(manifest) thy will, on earth also as in heaven.
[5] Urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg, Our daily loaf sell(give) us today,
[6] and forgyf us ure gyltas, swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum. and forgive us our guilts as also we forgive our guilty(lit. guiltants).
[7] And ne gelæd þu us on costnunge, ac alys us of yfele. Soþlice. And 'ne lead'(lead not) thou us in temptation, ac(but) loose(release) us of evil. Soothly.

Charter of Cnut

This is a proclamation from King Cnut to his earl Þyrcel and the English people written in 1020 A.D. Unlike the previous two examples, this text is prose rather than poetry.

Line Original Translation
¶Cnut cyning gret his arcebiscopas and his leod-biscopas and Þurcyl eorl and ealle his eorlas and ealne his þeodscype, twelfhynde and twyhynde, gehadode and læwede, on Englalande freondlice. ¶Cnut, king, greets his archbishops and his folk-bishops and Þyrchel, earl, and all his earls and all his peoplescape, greater and lesser, hooded(ordained to priesthood) and lewd(lay), in England friendly.
And ic cyðe eow, þæt ic wylle beon hold hlaford and unswicende to godes gerihtum and to rihtre woroldlage. And I couth(make known to) you, that I will be [a] hold(civilized) lord and unswiking(uncheating) to God's rights(laws) and to [the] rights(laws) worldly.
¶Ic nam me to gemynde þa gewritu and þa word, þe se arcebiscop Lyfing me fram þam papan brohte of Rome, þæt ic scolde æghwær godes lof upp aræran and unriht alecgan and full frið wyrcean be ðære mihte, þe me god syllan wolde. ¶I nam(took) me to mind the writs and the word that the Archbishop Lyfing me from the Pope brought of Rome, that I should ayewhere(everywhere) God's love(praise) uprear(promote), and unright(outlaw) lies, and full frith(peace) work(bring about) by the might that me God would(wished) [to] sell'(give).
¶Nu ne wandode ic na minum sceattum, þa while þe eow unfrið on handa stod: nu ic mid godes fultume þæt totwæmde mid minum scattum. ¶Now, ne wended(withdrew/changed) I not my shot(financial support) the while that you stood(endured) unfrith(turmoil) on-hand(local): now I, mid(with) God's support, that [unfrith] to-twemed(sepperated/dispelled) mid(with) my schot(financial support).
Þa cydde man me, þæt us mara hearm to fundode, þonne us wel licode: and þa for ic me sylf mid þam mannum þe me mid foron into Denmearcon, þe eow mæst hearm of com: and þæt hæbbe mid godes fultume forene forfangen, þæt eow næfre heonon forð þanon nan unfrið to ne cymð, þa hwile þe ge me rihtlice healdað and min lif byð. Tho(then) [a] man couth(made known to) me that us more harm had found(come upon) than us well liked: and tho(then) fore(traveled) I, meself, mid(with) those men that mid(with) me fore(traveled) into Denmark that you most harm came of: and that

References

  • Baker, Peter S. (2003). Introduction to Old English. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-23454-3. 
  • Earle, John (2005). A Book for the Beginner in Anglo-Saxon. Bristol, PA: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-69-8. 
  • Lass, Roger (1994). Old English: A historical linguistic companion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43087-9. 
  • Millward, Celia (1996). A Biography of the English Language. Harcourt Brace. ISBN 0-15-501645-8. 
  • Mitchell, Bruce, and Robinson, Fred C. (2001). A Guide to Old English, 6th edition, Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-22636-2. 
  • Robinson, Orrin W. (1992). Old English and Its Closest Relatives. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-2221-8. 

Blackwell Publishing was formed in 2001 from two Oxford-based academic publishing companies, Blackwell Science and Blackwell Publishers and is the worlds leading society publisher, partnering with 665 academic and professional societies. ... Bristol is a borough located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. ... Geography Status City (1951) Region East of England Admin. ... The headquarters of the Cambridge University Press, in Trumpington Street, Cambridge. ... Harcourt Trade Publishers is a U.S. publishing firm, and one of the worlds largest publishers of textbooks. ... This article cites very few or no references or sources. ... The Stanford University Press is a publishing house, a division of Stanford University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ...

Notes

  1. ^ The term Anglo-Saxon came to refer to all things of the early English period by the 16th century, including language, culture, and people. While this is still the preferred term for the latter two aspects, the language starting from the 19th century began to be called Old English. This is because the language itself began to be studied in detail, and scholars recognized the continued development of the English language from the Anglo-Saxon period to Middle English and through to the present day. However many authors still use the term Anglo-Saxon to refer to the language.
    Crystal, David (2003). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521530334. 
  2. ^ http://www.rotary-munich.de/2005-2006/theo-vennemann.pdfPDF (441 KiB)
  3. ^ Campbell, A. (1959). Old English Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 4. ISBN 0-19-811943-7. 
  4. ^ It is uncertain whether the diphthongs spelt ie/īe were pronounced [i(ː)y] or [i(ː)e]. The fact that this diphthong was merged with /y(ː)/ in many dialects suggests the former.

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for desktop publishing use. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to... This article cites very few or no references or sources. ... Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ...

See also

In historical linguistics, the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law (also called the Anglo-Frisian or North Sea Germanic nasal spirant law) is a description of a philological development in some dialects of West Germanic, which is attested in Old English, Old Frisian, and Old Saxon. ... The initial page of the Peterborough Chronicle, likely scribed around 1150, is one of the major sources of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. ... The first page of Beowulf This article is about the epic poem. ... The English language once had an extensive declension system similar to modern German or Icelandic. ... The Exeter Book, also known as the Codex Exoniensis, is a tenth century book (or, as some prefer, a codex) of Anglo-Saxon poetry. ... Look up go in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic settlers and auxiliary troops under Roman tutelage from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Northern Netherlands. ... The history of the Scots language goes back at least six and a half centuries, to when Lowland Scots (then called Inglis) began to appear in literary form. ... I-mutation is what umlaut is called when it applies to English. ... This list contains Germanic elements of the English language which have a close corresponding Latinate form. ... Old English personal pronouns. ...

External links

Wikipedia
Old English edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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