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Old English Phonetics) Historical Phonetics

OEis no far removed from ME that one may take it for an entirely different language, this is largely due to the peculiarities of its pronunciation.

The survey of OE phonetics deals with word accention the systems of voweks and consonants and their origins. The OE sound system developed from the PG system. It underwent changes in the pre-written periods of history, especially in Early OE. The diachronic description of phonetics in those early perods will show the specifically English tendencies of development and the immediate source of the sounds in the age of writing.

The system of word accentuation inherited from PG underwent no changes in Early OE.

In OE a syllable was made pronominent by an increase in the force of articulation, in other words, a dynamic or a force stress was employed. In Disyllabic and polysyllabicwords the accent fell on the root – morpheme or on the first syllable. Word stress was fixed, it remained on the same syllable in defferent grammatical forms of the word and, as a rule,did not shift in word-building either.

Polysyllabic words, espacially compounds, may have had two stresses, chief and secondary, the chief stress being fixed on the first root- morpheme e, g, the compound noun Norðmonna fromsame extract, received the chief stress upon its first component and the secondary stress on the second component , the grammatical ending –a was unaccented. In words with prefixes the position of the stress varied^ verb prefixes were unaccented, while in nouns and adjectives the stress was commonly thrown on to the prefix

risan (NE arise )

to-weard ( NE toward)

If the words were deived from the same roor, word stress, together with other means, served tj distinguish the noun from verb

Forwyrd n – for-weor€an v ( destruction,perish)


37. OE pronouns.

OE pronouns fell roughly under the same main classes as modern pronouns: personal, demonstrative, interrogative, definite\indefinite.

Personal:OE pers. Pronouns had 3 persons, 3 numbers in the 1st & 2nd persons, 3 genders in the 3rd p. The pronouns of the 1st and 2nd p. had suppletive forms, the pronouns of the 3rd p. had many affinities with the demonstrative pronouns. E.g. ic, wē, wit.

Demonstrative: There were 2 demonstr.pronouns in OE: the prototype of NE “That” which destinguished 3 genders in the sing. & ahd 1 form for all the genders in the plural & the prototype of “This” with the same subdivisions: es(masc.), ēos( fem.), is(neutr.), & ās(plural). They were declined like adjectives accordimg to a 5-case system. Also, they were very important, as they were frequently used as a noun determiners & through agreement with the noun, indicated its number, gender & case: e.g. on æm lande(on that land), tō ære heorde (to that herd)-(to define the forms of the nouns).

Interrogative: hwā(masc, fem.) & hwæt(neutr) had a 4-case

Paradigm(NE who, what). The Instrumental case of hwæt was used as a separate interrogative word hwỹ(NE why). Some interr. Pronouns were used as adjective pronouns, e.g. hwelc, hwæer.

Indefinite pronouns were a numerous class embracing several simple pronouns & a large number of compounds: ān & its derivative æniz(NE one, any); nān made up of ān & the negative particle ne(NE none); nāninz, made up of the preceding & the noun ing(NE nothing); nāwiht\nōwiht\nōht(NE not); hwæt-hwuzu(something) etc.


Date: 2015-12-17; view: 740

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