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The structure of old English

Pronounciation of OE. Old English had achieved it’s own alphabet which grown out of the Latin by the 7 cent. 23-24 leters in it…

A, d, b, c, d, l, f, g, h, I, e, m, w, o,p ,r, s, t, p (thorn), (eth) , u, uu, x, y.

(a,I, o, e,u au)

L he 7th -> [a] ash

[sk] – ascian, tusc g [z] + yogh

Could represent 2 difer phonems [g] – god, ges, dogga

[j]- appear at the beginning or in the end ot between two nowels.[j]- position between vowels or undoubled

Fugol, lagu [dj]: brydeg secgan

n-k-g- [n] nring [ng] h [h] h%t [x] dohtor [c] niht

r- powerfully articulated sound vibrated in the position not found today. Bearn Weter

In general, every symbol must be pronounced.

Like h-nint k- cneo e-cwene

Old English Morphology

Old English carried out some simplyfication of the Proto Germanic system & had the folowing gramm category:

1) Category of number

2) Category of place

3) Category of gender

OE nours have only four cases:

1) Nominative

2) Genetive

3) Dative

4) Acusative

The number of Declantions is reduced to three of four. A few dinstinctive andings remained. All nouns have the ending um for dative plurel & a for genetive plurel. Many musculine nouns have endings es for genetive singular & as – Nom. Acc. Pl

In many nouns other distinctions are obliterated. Giefu has one from giefe for its Acc, & dative sing Nom Acc – plural

The musculine noun ‘guma’ had one form guman. OE infact relied a good deal on the adjectives & the definite article – se which still had a large numbers of forms for different cases & genders. The adjectives had the same gram categories as old Eng nouns, shich were most distinctive later on Adj-s agreed with nouns in gram categories in form, gender case.

Two-fold declantion – weak –strong. No posessove ones.

One big different afrom VE in the system of demonstrations today we have the this –these –5 forms.

In OE : 2 demonstrative p-s:

Se(the), yes (this)

On the other hand the temporary modern syst compies adj:

3 gendess

5 cases

2 numbers

Subj Mood

Helpe helpen Imp. Mood Help helpa

Past T-s


Is, he ,heo, hi--- healp hulpon


Past subjunctive forms

Hulpe hulpen

Past partisiple form


Present Part form


At the end of the old english period there began to apper a new tense system using auxiliaries and it began with the development of forms for the perfect & the passive.

Analytic tense forms of old English The perfect tenses of transitive verbs were formed by the use of the auxiliary habban + part2.

Originally this part2 agreed with the form of the pronoun-n an object.

The perfect tenses of intransitive verbs were formed with auxiliary verbs; Beon, wesan, weopan.

This much multitude into the fortress flad.

The passive forms were fond with verbs beon/wesan.

Passive forms could be used only with transitive verbs which took an object in the Accusative case. Many old English verbs tok an object in the Dative case and sometimes in the genitive case.

The verb helpan usually had a Dative object so in old English it took place.

Old English syntax

Because of inflexional system old English agreed the freedom than nowadays & had a grate word- ardey.

However there were cartain rules & pretepences about word-order

OE favored 3 particular types of word- order

Subject- verb- Object

!) s-v-o

!) v-s-o


The order V-T-O was normal in questions

The negation is achieved by cesed of particle ne.

Multiple negation wasn;t very frequent. In the noun phrase adjectives followed the nouns and titles of renge usually followed the name: Elfered cuning.

Date: 2015-12-17; view: 1107

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