PIE PG NON-GERMANIC GERMANIC
P f > v Lat. caput Gt haubiÞ Sw huvud G Haupt
O.Icel haufoÞ NE head
OE heafod [v]
t θ > ð,d Sanscr. Satam Gt hund, O Icel hundarð, G hundert, Sw
R cто OE hund hundrate
L pater Gt fadar [ð],
OLD ENGLISH GRAMMAR. THE NOMINAL SYSTEM
List of principal questions
1. General survey of the nominal system
2. The noun
2.4. Homonymity of forms in Old English and its influence on the further development of noun forms
3. The pronoun
3.1. Personal pronouns
3.2. Other pronouns
4. The adjective
4.1. Declension of adjectives
4.2. Degrees of comparison of adjectives
1. R.V. Reznik, T.C. Sorokina, I.V. Reznik A History of the English language. M., 2003.
2. T.A. Rastorguyeva History of English. M., 1983.
3. А.И. Смирницкий Лекции по истории английского языка. М., 2000.
4. К. Бруннер История английского языка. Т.1 М., 2001.
5. И. Чахоян, Л. Иванова, Т. Беляева. История английского языка. СПб., 1998.
6. А.И. Смирницкий Древнеанглийский язык. М., 1955.
1. Old English grammar
The Old English language was a synthetic language which means that all the principal grammatical notions were expressed by a change of the form of the world in the narrow meaning of the term.
The grammatical means that the English language used were primarily
b) vowel gradation
c) suppletive forms.
Old English was a highly inflected language. The abundance of inflections resulted from the fact that the paradigm of declension and the paradigm of conjunction were formed by many grammatical categories and there was more than one declension in the system of declension and more than one conjugation in the system of conjugation due to the splitting of the once uniform paradigm in accordance with the original structure of the word.
General survey of the nominal system
There were five declinable parts of speech in Old English (among the non-finite forms of the verb the infinitive was also declined): the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the numeral, the participle. The nominal paradigm in Old English was characterized by the following grammatical categories.
As we can see, the paradigms of different parts of speech had the same number of grammatical categories but theses parts of speech were different in the number of categorical forms composing a given grammatical category. Hence the system of forms of each part of speech requires special consideration.
Grammatical categories of declinable parts of speech
|Categories Parts of speech||Gender||Number||Case|
|Noun Pronoun Adjective Numeral||+ + + +||+ + + +||+ + + +|
The Old English noun paradigm was composed by the following grammatical categories: gender, number, case.
The category of gender was formed by the opposition of three gender-forms: masculine, feminine and neuter. All nouns, no matter whether they denote living beings, inanimate things or abstract notions belonged to one of the three genders.
The subdivision of Old English nouns in accordance with their grammatical gender is traditional, the correspondence between the meaning of the word and its grammatical gender being hard to trace.
Some nouns denoting animals were also treated as neuter, such as cicen (chicken), hors (horse), etc.
The grammatical gender did not always coincide with the natural gender of the person and sometimes even contradicted it (thus, for instance, the noun wifman(woman) was declined as masculine).
Compare stān (stone, masculine), bān(bone, neuter), cwen (queen, feminine) which belong to different genders but have similar forms.
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