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More On Middle English



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  • 1. More on Middle English English 4613 Fall 2008
  • 2. Five Languages Spoken in England after 1200
    • Latin
    • Anglo-Norman
    • Welsh
    • Cornish
    • English
    • The Celtic “Cumbrian” language was virtually extinct
  • 3. Trilingual Vocabulary 1100-
    • “kingly” from OE, “royal” from French (Norman), “regal” from Latin
    • “warden” from French; “guardian” from French but of Germanic origin
    • Anglo-Norman vocabulary takes the primary place in jurisprudence
  • 4. Nouns and the loss of inflection (examples)”Angel” and “Name” Engles Nomen Engle Nome Dative Engle(ne) Nomen Engles Nome Genitive Engles Nomen Engel Nome Nominative/ Accusitive Plural Singluar
  • 5. Verbs
    • First Person singular (present tense) ends in “-e” (ich here)
    • Second person-”est” spekest
    • Third person-” eþ “-he comeþ “
    • In the past tense, weak verbs have an –ed, -t, or –d ending. A system of strong verbs remains.
  • 6. Pronouns
    • Here:
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_English_personal_pronouns
    • Yes, I used Wikipedia. So what?
  • 7. Chancery Standard
    • Much of the variation in Middle English writing before 1400 comes from the preferences of scribes
    • Henry V (reign 1413-1422) wanted a standard system developed
    • By 1430 it was standardized according to London and east Midland dialects although simpler forms from other dialects were included
  • 8. Have you seen this before?
      • Whan þat Aprill with his shoures sote
      • Þe droghte of Marche haþ perced to the rote,
      • And baðed euery veyne in swich licour,
      • Of which vertu engendred is þe flour;
      • Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeþ
      • Inspired haþ in euery holt and heeþ
      • Þe tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
      • Haþ in the Ram his halfe course yronne,
      • And smale fowles maken melodye,
      • That slepen al the niȝt with open ye—
      • So prikeþ hem Nature in hir corages—
      • Þan longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
      • And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
      • To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
      • And specially, from euery shires ende
      • Of Engelond to Caunterbury þey wende,
      • The holy blissful martir for to seke,
      • Þat hem haþ holpen, whan þat þey were seke
  • 9. Timeline
    • William Langland 1332-1386
    • Geoffrey Chaucer 1343-1400
    • John de Mascy of Sale (?-1403)
  • 10.