Old English: A Linguistic Introduction (Cambridge Introductions to the English Language)
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Old English provides a clear linguistic introduction to English between the 5th century and the Norman invasion in 1066. Tailored to suit the needs of individual course modules, it assumes no prior knowledge of the subject, and presents the basic facts in a straightforward manner, making it the ideal beginners' text. Students are guided step-by-step through the main characteristics and developments of English during that period, aided by concise chapter summaries, suggestions for further reading, and a comprehensive glossary. Each chapter is accompanied by an engaging set of exercises and discussion questions based on authentic Anglo-Saxon texts, encouraging students to consolidate their learning, and providing essential self-study material. The book is accompanied by a companion website, featuring solutions to the exercises and useful additional resources. Providing essential knowledge and skills for those embarking on the study of Old English, it is set to become the leading introduction to the subject.
back vowels, proven by forms such as caru ‘sorrow’, galan ‘sing’. Examples include cirice ‘church’, georn ‘eager’. Velar consonants, however, remained not only before back vowels, but also before their Umlauts, e.g. cū ‘cow’, cyning ‘king’, since the process was completed before the i-mutation which produced the y in OE cyning. (b) Voicing and unvoicing of consonants (mainly fricatives): issues raised here are important for ME studies. As we have seen, OE did not make a phonological distinction
it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether the past participle is a ‘verbal’ adjective or an ‘adjectival’ verb. Thus hīe wurdon gebundene ‘they were bound’ (literally ‘they became bound’), hīe hæfdon hine gebundenne ‘they had bound him’. Although there are counter-examples in the OE corpus, suggesting that the PDE usage whereby have + past participle as the dominant pattern was emerging, OE seems to have distinguished habban + past participle and wesan, weorþan + past participle on
seems to have become home for a community of Germanic settlers, possibly mercenaries employed by the declining Roman Empire. Just outside the 126 Appendix 1: Texts walls of the town is an important Anglo-Saxon cemetery that seems to have been in use for the whole of the pagan period (i.e. from the Adventus Saxonum to the coming of Christianity in the sixth century). Amongst many important finds made by archaeologists in this cemetery was an urn containing a set of between 35 and 38
the king of the Britons, named Ceadwalla, as were two of his successors within two years; and that Ceadwalla slew and humiliated the Northumbrian people after the death of their lord, until Oswald the blessed put an end to his evil-doing. Oswald came to him, and fought with him boldly with a small troop, but his faith strengthened him, and Christ assisted in the slaying of his enemies. Oswald then immediately raised up a cross in honour of God, before he came to the battle, and called to his
the long vowel; thus God precedes gōd. The prefix ge- is ignored; thus gebed appears under b. When two forms are linked by ‘ ’, they represent alternative spellings, e.g. ‘scēop scōp’. The usage ‘scōp: see scieppan’ relates an inflected form to a base form. abbod N m abbot ābīdan V st 1 abide, wait ābīden: see ābīdan ac cj but āc N f oak ācsian V wk ask ādīlga: see ādīlgian ādīlgian V wk erase, destroy ādræfan V wk drive away ādræfdon: see ādræfan ādwæscan V wk put out, quench, blot out ādwæscte: