Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more ➡
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Add note
Save to My Library
Sync to mobile
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
×
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Old English Grammar

Old English Grammar

Ratings: (0)|Views: 318|Likes:
Published by Cristina I

More info:

Published by: Cristina I on Jan 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See More
See less

06/07/2013

pdf

text

original

 
Text Commentary Book – OE grammar -
From Old English to Standard English
3
rd
edition
1
Chapter 4 - Old English grammar
Noun and demonstrative pronoun inflections for gender, number and case
Nouns in OE were marked for
number
-
singular (sg)
or
 plural (pl)
and
case
-
nominative (n), accusative (a), genitive (g), dative (d)
or
instrumental (i)
, and each noun had a grammatical
gender
 
masculine,(masc), feminine 
 
(fem)
or
neuter (neut).
In theory, we might expect ten different inflections for eachcombination of number and case categories -
n sg, n pl, a sg, a pl, g sg, g pl, d sg, d pl, i sg, i pl 
. Andbecause pronouns and adjectives agreed with nouns for gender as well as number and case, then they  would need thirty inflections in all, if each set of categories were to have its own distinct inflection -
nom sg masc, nom sg fem, nom sg neut, acc sg masc 
etc.In fact, this was not so. Some inflections served for more than one category, and not all nouns usedthe same inflections to mark the categories.There is no need to learn all the different inflections of the nouns before beginning to translate OE,provided that you know how to refer to an OE dictionary and grammar. OE nouns divide into sets, or
declensions
. Each declension contains those nouns which have the same inflections for the samefunctions. There are two important sets which grammarians called the
strong 
and
 weak 
declensions,or alternatively the
general
and
-AN
declensions. Each divides into sub-categories according togender, with some differences of inflection. There also nouns which do not easily fit into either theregular strong or weak declensions, so these are called
irregular
.One example of each declension is set out below in full to show all its inflections. The set of strong nouns has the demonstrative pronoun which in MnE is translated as either the definite article
the 
orthe demonstrative pronoun
that/those 
, whichever is appropriate. The weak nouns have thedemonstrative pronoun from which MnE
this/these 
has derived.
1 - General, or strong masculine nouns
Example: se cyning,
the king/kings 
or
that king/those kings 
sgpln
secynin
acyningas
onecynin
acyningas
æscyninges
aracyning
d
æmcyninge
æmcyningum
i
 ycyninge(
æm
was often written
 
am) You will see that the nominative and accusative forms are the same for both singular <cyning> andplural <cyningas> in this declension, so you cannot distinguish subject from object by inflection forcase on the noun.
 
Text Commentary Book – OE grammar -
From Old English to Standard English
3
rd
edition
2The word
cyning 
occurs several time in the OE texts in a variety of spellings:
se 
cing 
breohtric 
cining 
nor 
 †
hymbra
cyning 
ƒ 
es 
cinigestune
æ 
 †
elstan
cyning 
 Ælfred 
cyning 
 Ælfred 
kyning 
 †
am
cyninge
heora
cyng 
hiera
kyning 
huna
ciningæ
eaduuard 
king 
Cyning 
had been reduced to the one-syllable
cing/king 
(for some speakers at least) by the time theChronicle was written down. The spelling <cyning> was conservative and probably no longer reflectedpronunciation. Once spelling begins to become standardised, it does not change with pronunciation, which is always slowly changing.Other strong masculine nouns in the OE texts:
Text wordbase formMn
as
oath
æ
elingæ
eling 
= prince, noble 
æ
elingasæ
eling dældæl
deal, part 
eorleorl
earl 
eorlaeorleorlaseorlfultomesfultum
= help
garumgar
= spear 
gislasgisel
= hostage 
herehere
= army, host 
hrofehro
roof 
munucummunuc
monk
scildscild
shield 
smi
assmi
smith
tunetun
 yard, building 
 wudumwudu
wood 
 2 - General/strong feminine nouns
Example: seo ecg,
the edge 
,
that edge/those edges 
sgpln
seoec
aecg
aecge
aecg
æreecge
araecg
d/i
æreecge
æmecgumOther strong feminine nouns in the OE texts:
Text wordbase formMn
arar
= honour 
cistumcist
= company
cystacyst
= goodness 
ecgumec
edge 
eei
= island 
hergunghergun
= devastatioo
mihtemiht
might 
nahtscipenahtscip
= cowardice 
sæccesæcc
= conflict 
stowesto
= place 
eodum
eod
= people 
 
Text Commentary Book – OE grammar -
From Old English to Standard English
3
rd
edition
3
3 - General/strong neuter nouns
Example:
æt word,
the word, that word/those words 
sgpln
ætword
aword
ætword
aword
æswordes
araword
d/i
æm/
 yworde
æmwordumExample:
æt scip,
the ship, that ship/those ships 
sgpln
ætscip
ascipu
ætscip
ascipu
æsscipes
arascip
d/i
æm/
 yscipe
æmscipum(nb some neuter nouns had no inflection for n & a plural)Other strong neuter nouns in the OE texts:
Text wordbase formMn
bearnumbearn
bairn, child 
folcesfolc
 folk, people 
fulwihtefulwiht
= baptism
gearesgear
 year 
londalond/land
land 
reaflacreaflac
= plunder 
ricerice
= kingdom
ing 
ing 
thing 
 wifewi
wife, woman
 wigeswi
= battle 
 wordword
word 
The set of 
 weak 
nouns is sometimes called the
-AN declension
because the suffix <-an> functions as a marker for several cases. Most of the masculines have <-a>, and feminines <- e>, to mark the n sg case.There are only two neuter weak declension nouns. The following examples show the otherdemonstrative pronoun, meaning 
this 
, as determiner in the NP.
 4 - -AN/weak masculine nouns
Example:
es guma,
this man/these men
sgpln
esgum
asguman
isneguman
asguman
issesguman
issagumen
d
issumguman
issumgumum
i
 ysguman
issumgumumSix out of the ten inflected forms have <-an>, and the case and number can only be identified by theform of the determiner pronoun. Some of the nouns of this declension in the OE texts include:

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->