MIDDLE ENGLISH AND NEW ENGLISH TEXTS
Text 1. From the Prologue to the CANTERBURY TALES by G. Chaucer (Lines 1-14), London, late 14th c. Read the text observing the rules of pronunciation and the stresses (see the transcription and translation in § 36l). Point out ME innovations in spelling. Study the models of analysis and the commentary.
Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour...
(continued in § 361)
Model of Grammatical and Etymological Analysis
|Words as used in the text||Analysis, notes||OE or foreign prototype||Corresponding NE word, translation|
|whan that||conj||OE hwænne, pron inter., pæt pron, conj||WHEN, THAT ‘when’|
|Aprille||n prop.||O Fr avrill, L aprilis||APRIL|
|with||prep||OE wip prep||WITH|
|his||pron poss.||OE his pron pers., M., Gen. (or Poss.) c.||HIS|
|shoures||n, Comm. c. pl||OE scūr M.-a, F.-ō||SHOWER|
|soote||adj, pl.||OE swōte/swēte||SWEET|
|the||def. art.||OE sē, sēo, pӕt dem. pron||THE|
|droghte||n, Comm, c, sg||OE drūʒoð||DROUGHT|
|March||n prop.||O Fr mars, dial. march, L martius||MARCH|
|hath perced||Pres. Perf. of percen, 3rd p. sg||OE habban O Fr percier||PIERCE|
|roote||n, Comm. c. sg||O Scand rót||ROOT|
|bathed||Pres. Perf. (hath bathed) of bathen v, w. II||OE baðian v, w. II||BATHE|
|veyne||n, Comm. c. sg||O Fr veine||VEIN|
|swich||pron indef.||OE swilc||SUCH|
|licour||n, Comm. c. sg||O Fr licur, L liquor||LIQUOR ‘moisture’|
|vertu||n, Comm. c. sg||O Fr vertu||VIRTUE ‘force’|
|flour||n, Comm. c. sg||O Fr flour||FLOWER ‘blossoming’|
Model of Phonetic Analysis
(the words are selected from Lines 1-14)
|Words as used in the text||Changes of spelling and sounds|
|æ, p replaced by a, th|
|u, sc replaced by ou/ow, sh|
|ð replaced by th|
|u replaced by o or retained|
|[ix'] > [i:]||>||[aɪ]|
|h replaced by gh, y by i/y|
|c, e replaced by k, ee.|
Notes on Syntax
See § 144.
Notes on Lexis
Etymology. In addition to the loan-words shown in the Model of Grammatical analysis above, the first 14 lines of the poem contain the following borrowings: Zephirus — from Latin; intpiren, tendre, melodye, nature, cours, corage, pilgrimage, palmere, straunge — from Old French.
Word structure. Most words in the extract are simple. Note foreign affixes in derived words: en-ʒendren, cor-aʒe, pilʒrim-aʒe. palm-ere (-er is also a native suffix).
Text 2. From the Prologue to the CANTERBURY TALES by G. Chaucer (Lines 285-304, the Clerk). Read the text and translate it into Mod E using the notes and the Glossary. Reconstruct the history of the italicized words from OE to NE (origin, spelling, pronunciation, grammatical forms, structure). Point out the borrowings.
A Clerk ther was of Oxenford also.
That unto logyk hadde longe y-go.
As leene was his hors as is a rake;
And he has nat right fat, I undertake,
But looked holwe, and therto sobrely.
Ful thredbare was his overeste courtepy;
For he hadde geten hym yet no benefice,
Ne was so worldly for to have office.
For hym was levere1 have at his beddes heed
Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed,
Of Aristotle and his philosophie
Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrie.
But al be that2 he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre;
But al that he myghte of his freendes hente,
On bookes and his lernynge he it spente.
And bisily gan3 for the soules preye
Of hem that yaf hym wherwith to scoleye;
Of studie took he moost cure and moost heede.
Noght o word spak he moore than was neede,
And that was seyd in forme and reverence.
And short, and quyk, and ful of hy sentence;
Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche.
And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche.
Notes to Text 2
1 hym was levere ‘it was more pleasing for him’ — impersonal construction with lewer, Comp. degree of ME leef adj., NE lief
2 al be that, usually al be it, a concessive clause which changed into a conjunction, lit ‘all though it be that...’, NE albeit
3 gan, Past of ME ginnen (OE on-ʒinnan, NE begin) was used with Infinitives of other verbs to emphasise the meaning or to indicate the beginning of an action, here gan ... preye ‘prayed’
Text 3. From the Preface to the ENEYDOS by W. Caxton (late 15th c ). Read the text bearing in mind the state of the sound system in the late 15th c. Render it in Mod E (despite some fluctuations the written forms of the words resemble their modern forms; the words which are difficult to identify are given in the Glossary), Trace the development of the italicized words from OE to NE (spelling, pronunciation, grammatical forms, morphological structure). Point out the borrowings.
After dyverse werkes made, translated, and achieved, havyng noo werke in hande, I, sittyng in my studye where as laye many dyverse paumflettis and bookys, happened that to my hande came a lytyl booke in frenshe, whiche late was translated aute of latyn by some noble clerke of fraunce, whiche booke is named Eneydos... And whan I had advysed me in this sayd boke, I delibered and concluded to translate it into englysshe, and forthwyth toke a penne and ynke, and wrote a leef or tweyne, whyche I oversawe agayn to correcte it. And whan I sawe the fayr and straunge termes therin I doubted that it sholde not please some gentylman whyche late blamed me, sayeing that in my translacyons I had over curyous termes which coude not be understande of comyn peple and desired me to use olde and homely termes in my translacyons. And fayn wolde I satisfye every man, and so to doo toke an olde booke and redde therin, and certaynly the Englysshe was so rude and brood that I coude not well understande it. And also my lorde abbot of Westmynster ded do shewe to me late certayn evydences wryton in olde Englysshe for to reduce it in to our Englysshe now usid. And certaynly, it was wreton in suche wyse that it was more lyke to Dutche than Englysshe; I coude not reduce ne brynge it to be understonden. And certaynly, our language now used varyeth ferre from that which was used and spoken whan I was borne... Certynly it is harde to playse every man by cause of dyversitie and chaunge of langage. For in these dayes every man that is in ony reputacyon in his countre wyll utter his comyncacyon and maters in such maners and termes that fewe men shall understonde theym. And som honest and grete clerkes have ben wyth me and desired me to wryte the moste curyous termes that I coude fynde. And thus bytwene playn, rude, and curyous, I stande abasshed. But in my judgemente the comyn termes that be dayli used ben lyghter to be understonde than the olde and auncyend Englysshe. And for as moche as this present booke is not for a rude uplondyssh man to laboure therein, ne rede it, but onely for a clerke and a noble gentylman, that feleth and understondeth in faytes of armes, in love, and in noble chyvalrye, therefor in a meane bytwene bothe I have reduced and translated this sayd booke in to our Englysshe, not over rude ne curyous, but in such termes as shall be understanden by Goddys grace accordynge to my copye.
Glossary to Texts 2 and 3
The order of words in the Glossary is alphabetical, except that I and Y are treated as one letter, as they are often interchangeable. The forms of personal pronouns and of the verb to be are not included as they can be found in the tables on p. 103, 258. The words included in the Glossary to OE texts are supplied with references to OE prototypes.
armes n pl ARMS ‘weapons’ (from O Fr arme)
auncyend adj ANCIENT (from O Fr ancien)
bisily adv BUSILY (OE bysiʒ adj, -lice adv. suffix)
borne, form of beren v str. 4 (OE beran)
comyn adj COMMON (from O Fr comun, L commūnis)
comyncacyon/comunycacioun COMMUNICATION (from L communicātio)
coude/couthe, forms of can CAN, COULD, see forms of OE cunnan, p. 123)
courtepy n ‘short coat’ (from Dutch korte pie)
cure n CURE (from O Fr cure) ME also ‘care’
ded, do, forms of doon, anom. v DO (OE dōn, dyde, ʒe-dōn)
deliberen v w.II DELIBERATE (from L deliberare)
fayr/fair adj FAIR (OE fӕʒer)
fayt/feet n FEAT (from O Fr fet)
felan v w.I FEEL (OE fēlan w.I)
ferre comp. of fer adv, adj FAR (OE feor)
gentylman n GENTLEMAN (from O Fr gentil, OE mann)
geten v str. 5, GET (from OE ʒytan and O Scand geta)
y-go/goon Part.II of goon v anom. GO (OE ʒān, ēode, ʒe-ʒān)
happenen v w. HAPPEN (from O Scand happ)
haven, havyng, see OE habban
henten v w.I HINT (OE hentan v. w.I.) ‘get’
hy/high/heigh adj HIGH (OE hēah)
I and Y
yaf, form of yeven/given (from OE ʒyfan and O Scand gefa)
laye, form of lyen v str. 5, LIE (OE licʒan v)
leef n LEAF (OE lēaf N. -a)
leene adj LEAN (OE hlǣne)
matere n MATTER (from O Fr matiere)
myght/mighte, see OE maʒan
moore, moost, see OE micel
nas, form of ben, ne + was
nat/not/noght, neg. particle NOT (OE nā-wiht)
overest(e) superl, of over adj, ado OVER (OE ofer)
rake n RAKE (OE raca n, M. -n)
reden v w.I READ (OE rǣdan v, str. 7, w.I)
robe n ROBE (from O Fr robe, from G)
shall, sholde, see OE sculan (p. 123)
short adj SHORT (OE sceort)
some pron indef. SOME (OE sum)
soul(e) n SOUL (OE sāwol n, F. -ō)
sownen/sounden v, w.II, SOUND (from O Fr soner)
spech(e) n SPEECH (OE sprǣc/spǣc n, F. -ō)
speken v, str. 4 SPEAK (OE sprecan v, str. 5)
techen v w.I, TEACH (OE tǣcan)
terme/tearm n TERM (from O Fr terme)
toke/took, Past of taken v, str. 6, TAKE (from 0 Scand taka)
translacyon n TRANSLATION (from O Fr translation, L translātio, Acc. translationem)
translaten v w. TRANSLATE (from O Fr translater, L translatio)
tweyne num TWAIN, TWO (OE twā, tweʒen, F.)
uplondyssh adj (OE up-lend-isc) ‘rural’
wherwith ‘with which’ (OE hwǣr, wið)
wyll, wolde forms of willen, see OE willan
Text 4. W. Shakespeare, Sonnet 2.
Supply a historical explanation for the underlined words: probable origin, spelling, pronunciation, grammatical forms and their meanings. Point out the ditferences from Mod E.
When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth’s proud livery, so gaz’d on now.
Will be a tatter’d weed, of small worth held.
Then being ask’d where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise
How much more praise deserv’d thy beauty's use,
If thou couldst answer ‘This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,’
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.
Text 5. From INCOGNITA: LOVE AND DUTY RECONCIL’D by W. Congreve (late 17th c.). Pick out words and Forms for historical commentary and account for all the features which can be explained by resorting to history. Note the differences from Mod E.
Being come to the House, they carried him to his Bed, and having sent for Surgeons Aurelian rewarded and dismissed the Guard. He stay'd the dressing of Claudio's Wounds, which were many, though they hop’d none Mortal: and leaving him to his Rest, went to give Hippolito an Account of what had happened, whom he found with a Table before him, leaning upon both his Elbows, his Face covered with his Hands, and so motionless, that Aurelian concluded he was asleep; seeing several Papers lie before him, half written and blotted out again, he thought to steal softly to the Table, and discover whathe had been employed about. Just as he reach'd forth his Hand to take up one of the Papers, Hippolito started up so on the suddain, as surpriz'd Aurelian and made him leap back; Hippolito, on the other hand, not supposing that any Body had been near him, was so disordered with the Appearance of a Man at his Elbow, (whom his Amazement did not permit him to distinguish) that he leap’d hastily to his Sword, and in turning him about, overthrew the Stand and Candies. Here were they both left in the Dark, Hippolito groping about with his Sword and thrusting at every Chair that he felt oppose him. Aurelian was scarce come to himself, when thinking to step back toward the Door that he might inform his Friend of his Mistake, without exposing himself to his blind Fury; Hippolito heard him stir, and made a full thrust with such Violence, that the Hill of the Sword meeting with Aurelian's Breast beat him down, and Hippolito a top of him, as a Servant alarm’d with the noise, came into the Chamber with a Light. The Fellow trembled, and thought they were both Dead, till Hippolito raising himself, to see whom he had got under him, swoon’d away upon the discovery of his Friend. But such was the extraordinary Care of Providence in directing the Sword, that it only past under his Arm giving no Wound to Aurelian, but a little Bruise between his Shoulder and Breast with the Hilt.
 Old English (OE) is the name given to the English language between c. 450 and 1100 A.D
 The sign > means 'became, developed into'.
 Both names correspond to R ‘германцы’, ‘древние германцы’ (to be distinguished from Germans 'немцы').
 The Celts of Modern France and Spain had been subjected to strong Roman influence — "Romanised", they spoke local varieties of Latin which gave rise to modem Romance languages.
 As shown in § 54 IE [a:] became [o:]; the new [a:] developed from short [a] before nasals and also from the open [e:] in West and North Cermanic.
 It is assumed that PIE contained sets of aspirated plosives opposed to pure non-aspirated plosives: [bh, dh, gh] vs [b, d, g] as well as [ph, th, kh] vs [p, t, k]. The voiceless [ph, th, kh] are not included in the shift, since they behaved like the corresponding pure plosives [p, t, k]and probably were not distinguished in West IE.
 Consonant interchanges were also possible but rare. They appeared in PG due to voicing of fricatives under Verner's Law but were soon levelled out (see § 58).
 The dialect of OE poetry is uncertain. Most of the poems are Anglian by origin (Northumbrian or Mercian) but were preserved in 10th c. West Saxon copies.
 The symbol ' means 'soft, palatal'.
 A front labialised vowel like the vowel in Fr plume or G Bücher.
 The vowel in Gt is [i:], though the spelling resembles the PG [ei].
 In OE the diphthongs [eo:] and [io:] occur as dialectal variants.
 Perhaps in the prewritten period the noun had five cases, since cases of adjectives depend on the cases of nouns; this supposition is confirmed by several instances of specific Instrumental noun-endings in the earliest texts.
 Vocalic stems are also called the "strong" declension; one of the consonantal stems — the n-stems — are termed the "weak" declension.
 The tables contain the main noun paradigms in OE. For fuller lists see B. Ilyish. HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, L. 1973 or J, Wright. AN ELEMENTARY OLD ENGLISH GRAMMAR, Oxford, 1935.
 Long-stemmed Masc, i-stems decline like ja-stems.
 Blind is a long-stemmed adjective; short-stemmed adjectives had the same forms except Nom. sg Fem., which took -u or -o, e. g. blacu, ʒladu.
 Some verbs had a narrowed vowel in the 2nd and 3rd p. sg Pres. Tense Ind. Mood due to PG mutations (see § 55).
 The 2nd stem is called "Past sg" though it is the form of the 1st and 3rd p. Ind. only; "Past pl" is the stem used to build the 2nd p. sg Ind., the pl forms of the Ind. and all the forms of the Subj.
 Participle II is often marked by the prefix -ʒe, e. g. ʒe-writen, ʒe-coren.
 The appearance of vowels before sonorants in the zero-grade (stems III and IV) is explained by the need to form syllable when the sonorants had lost their syllabic nature.
 Part. II of weak verbs, like that of strong verbs, was often marked by the prefix ʒe-. In the table the farms of Part. II are given without the prefix.
 These verbs had no Participle 1; some preterite-presents built Participle I from the Present Tense stem, e. g. OE maʒan, mæʒ, Participle I — maʒende (NE may).
 It means 'Comubian Welsh'; the name Wealhas (Wales, Welsh) was a common noun, meaning 'strangers'; it was given by the newcomers to the unfamiliar Celtic tribes.
 At the pre-written stage both words — the noun and the verb —had stem-suffixes: talu was an ō-stem, mōt- an a-stem, etc.
 Some philologists believe that -ere in OE is a borrowed suffix, which was adopted in Latin loan-words.
 See Ярцева В.Н.Развитие национальноголитературного английского языка. M., 1969., p. 48 ff.
 The "national" language embraces all the varieties of the language used by the nation including dialects; the "national literary language" applies only to recognized standard forms of the language, both written and spoken; for earlier periods of history the term "literary language" may indicate the language of writing in a wider sense, including chronicles, legal documents, religious texts, etc. A mature national literary language is characterised by codified norms or rules of usage and functional stylistic differentiation.
 Thomas More wrote in the early 16th c. in his famous UTOPIA that sheep had "become so great devourers and so wilde that they eat up, and swallow downs the very men themselves".
 Lenin V.I. The Right of Nations to Self-determination. — In: Lenin V.I. Collected works. M., 1977. vol. 20, p. 396.
 An impersonal construction (lit. 'as me seems'), which was later replaced by personal, e.g. as I suppose (here as men supposed).
 For a detailed description of stylistic differentiation of English see Galperin I.R. STYLISTICS, M., 1977.
 In the sixties of the 20th c. the number of people speaking Irish in Ireland was about 750,000 (the total population of Eire and Northern Ireland reaching 6 million). Celtic languages are also spoken in Wales, Scotland and the Isle of Manx (over 1,200,000 people).
 Cf. Modern Fr poule or NE soup, group where ou stands for [u:].
 For the development of ME long vowels in NE see the Great Vowel Shift (§ 383 ff.).
 The infinitives of these verbs retained a long vowel in the root since it was followed by a single consonant: OE mētan, fēdan, ME meten, feden [e:].
 For the change of OE long and short [y] see § 375.
 This and the following maps showing ME dialectal variation are reproduced from F. Mosse. A Handbook of Middle English, Baltimore, 1952.
 For the change of [i:] to [ai] in NE see the Great Vowel Shift (§ 383 ff.).
 The short [a] in this word was lengthened in Late OE before the consonant group ld. OE ald is an Anglian (not a Wessex) form, as the latter would contain a diphthong due to Early OE breaking: eald.
 ME also made a distinction between a close and open [e:], [ɛ:], going back respectively to OE [e:] and [æ:]. It is believed that OE [æ:] had grown somewhat narrower in ME (e.g. OE stræt > ME street [ɛ:]) (NE street). ME spelling for [ɛ:] were e, ee, later ea; the close long [e:] was spelt as e, ee, ie.
 It is probable that OE [o] in ME became [ɔ] in line with the tendency of short vowels to greater openness. Even in OE it was often spelt o.
 The development of OE [æ] to ME [a] is viewed with suspicion by some scholars, because the history of this sound includes several reversals, which is hardly probable: PG [a] > OE [æ] > ME [a] > NE [æ]. Perhaps, it was a graphic replacement and the ME letter a stood for two allophones, [æ] and [a].
 OE diphthongs are placed close to monophthongs so as to show their further development. The columns of ME and NE vowels do not contain complete lists; they include only those vowels which took part in the qualitative changes in the intervening period.
 See V.A. Vassityeo, ENGLISH PHONETICS, L., 1962, p. 98.
 The phonetic conditions of the Early NE voicing of fricatives and sibilants resemble those of Verner's Law in PG; that is why O. Jespersen called this voicing "Verner's Law in Early New English" (see § 57 for Verner's Law).
 Cf. the adverb off with [f], which is normally stressed.
 Cf. anxious and luxury with [kʃ] which have a different distribution of stresses.
 The interchange of voiced and voiceless fricatives [s ~ z, f ~ v] and [θ ~ ð] arose as allophonic variation in Early OE, but later became phonemic and was preserved in some Mod F words (see § 139).
 A voiced fricative or sibilant in the pl sometimes corresponded to a voiceless consonant in the sg, e. g. ME wyf, NE wife — wives (see Note to the Table in § 429, for the voicing of final -s see § 406).
 ME personal pronouns displayed considerable dialectal diversity. The table includes the main variants of the forms in ME and Early NE.
 Fluctuation of who and whom continued in the period of "normalisation" and is quite common in English today.
 In the lists of variants the London form comes first.
 By the end of the 15th c. the two stems of the Past tense of strong verbs fell together: fand and founde(n) was replaced by found, see strong verbs, §478.
 The changes in the meaning and use of tenses and moods are described below, in the paragraphs dealing with the development of analytical forms.
 By that time the weak verbs had lost all distinctions between the forms of the Past tense and Participle II — small as these distinctions were. The model of the weak verbs, with two basic forms, may have influenced the strong verbs.
 Shall and should were often used with a weakened lexical meaning in verb phrases indicating future and problematic actions; for their development into auxiliaries of the Future tense and Subj. mood see § 497-507.
 Traces of the old use of must as a Past tense form can be found in reported speech where must occurs with the Past tense of the verb-predicate in the main clause: He said that he must go
 In many modern grammars the former Pres. and Past Tense of the Subj. Mood are treated as two distinct oblique moods (A. I. Smirnitsky, L. S. Barchudarov). The analytical forms are also divided into two moods — with an interchange of should/would as a formal marker of one mood (often called "Conditional") and with should as the sole auxiliary ("Suppositional" or "Analytical Conjunctive"). The latter distinction cannot be applied to Early NE as there was no regular interchange of should and would In the Subj. Mood.
 Traces of Mediopassive in this verb are found even in Late ME:
This mayden, which that Mayus highte. (Chaucer)
(‘This maid who was called Mayus.’)
 The modem phrase to be gone goes back to the perfect forms with be; the modern predicative construction with have descends from the prototype of perfect forms and retains the old word order, e. g. He hod his watch repaired.
 Most modern grammars distinguish several oblique moods; therefore the number of moods in the category of Mood ranges from 3 to 6.
 The distinction between who and which recommended by 18th c. grammarians has been established as a standard of “good”, educated English; the recommendations concerning whose and whom have not been fully observed: whose is still used instead of of which and who interchanges with whom when used as an object.
 A modern interpretation of these ideas in the light of the information theory can be found in the article by Л. C. Бархударов. К проблеме развития аналитического строя в английском языке in Иностранные языки в высшей школе, M., 1962. вып. I, c. 47.
 The exponents of this theory are H. Bradley, S. Robinson and others. For a critical review of the theory of mixture of languages see the article by B. M. Жирмунский in Ученые записки ЛГУ, серия филологических наук, 1947, № 5.
 O. Jespersen. Progress in Language with Special Reference to English. London, New York, 1894.
 See R. S. Ginzburg, S. S. Khidekei, G. Y. Knyazeva, A. A Sankin. A Course in Modern English Lexicology, M., 1966, pp. 213, 215 and others.
 Some words with [sk] come from other foreign languages: Latin and Greek school, scheme; sketch comes from Netherlandish.
 Taken together French and Latin borrowings are often defined as the “Romance element” in the English vocabulary, while Latin and Greek borrowings constitute its “classical element”.
 Jespersen O. Growth and structure of the English Language, Oxford, 1927. p. 105-106.
 None of these criteria can prove that the loan-word came directly from Latin; the word could have come from French, being a Latin loan-word in the French language, see § 576 above.
 The adjective suffix -ly is a homonym of -ly, the suffix of adverbs (for its origin from OE -lice see § 267); as an adverb suffix -ly became far more productive than as an adjective suffix (NE nominallyr shortly, surprisingly, etc.).
 The figures are reproduced from I. M. Williams ORIGINS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, Ln. 1975, p. 67. The following six thousands show a slight but steady decrease of native words, an increase of Latin loan-words and fluctuations in the other columns.
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