1.
2.
3.
4.
Chronological Divisions in the History of
English
The brief characteristics of the periods in the
development of the EL
The British Isles before the Anglo-Saxon
invasion
The Anglo-Saxon invasion
Old
English
Early OE (Prewritten OE)
c. 450 - c. 700
OE (Written
OE)
c. 700 - c.1066


Germanic invasion in the fifth
century A. D.
Latin, Old Norse (the language of
the Viking invaders), especially the
Anglo-Norman French of the
dominant class after the Norman
Conquest in 1066
1.
2.
3.
4.
Henry Sweet: “full endings”
Spelling was phonetic
Þ (thorn), ð (eth) and æ (ash); the
Anglo-Saxons didn’t use v and j.
There were long and short vowels
and long and short consonants
(geminates)
5. OE was an inflected language
….
9. No article, its function was
performed by the demonstrative
pronoun seō (that)





Beowulf , a mythological poem
the floating legends of those times in one
epic whole.
Grendel
Grendel’s mother (a water-troll)
Dragon.



The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, starting in
787.
Orosius, Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis
Anglorum, Cura Pastoralis
The Exeter Book, also known as the Codex
Exoniensis, a tenth century book of
Anglo-Saxon poetry.
Early ME
1066 – c. 1350
ME
(Classical ME)
c. 1350 - 1475
Middle
English
and
Early New Early NE
English
1476-c.1660


Early ME starts with the Norman Conquest
Classical ME was the time of the restoration of
English to the position of the state and literary
language.
1.
2.
3.
This period is often referred to as
‘the period of leveled endings’.
…
New vowels and consonants
appeared :
[ʧ,ʃ,ʤ]
4. Spelling was changed via the
traditions of French scribes:
sc  sh,
c[k’]  ch,
Þ, ð  th.
5. The
noun had only two cases – the
common case and the possessive
case. The adjective lost its casesystem altogether.
6. There appeared some new analytical
verb forms: Perfect, Continuous and
Future.
7. The non-finite form of the Gerund
appeared.
G. Chaucer : Canterbury Tales
 John Wyclif

New
English
(Modern
English )
Normalization period
(Age of Correctness,
c. 1660 –
Neo-Classical
c. 1800
period)
Late NE or Mod E
(including Presentday English)
c. 1800……
since 1945…
1.
2.
3.
A lot of borrowed words from
Latin, French, Italian in the
Renaissance period.
….
“the period of lost endings” - a
further tendency to unify different
forms of flexions:



the plural of nouns is generally formed by
adding –es
the third person singular of the verbs in the
Present rather takes –es than –eth,
more and more strong verbs take the endings
–ed in the Past Indefinite and Past Participle,
etc.
the categories of noun and verb take their
modern shape
4. The neutral vowel of unstressed endings
was lost:

sorwe –sorw – sorrow.
5. As the result of the Great Vowel Shift
modern long vowels and diphthongs
appeared
e.g. bite
 Chaucer’s pronunciation: [bi:t],
 Shakespeare’s pronunciation [beit],
 Present-day pronunciation [bait].
take
 MidE pronunciation [‘ta:ke], ModE [teik]
6. Spelling and pronunciation


W. Shakespeare
Among the most famous of his plays are
tragedies of
Romeo and Juliet,
Julius Caesar,
Othello,
King Lear,
Macbeth
Hamlet,

the comedies of
A Midsummer Night’s Dream,
The Merchant of Venice,
the Twelfth Night,



and historical plays
Richard III,
and Henry V.



Works of Milton (1608–1674)
Allegory The Pilgrim’s progress by John Bunyan.
Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary (1755).
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
What did the type of declension in
Germanic languages depend on?
What groups of Germanic nouns belonged
to strong declension?
What group of Germanic nouns belonged to
week declension?
What are the root-stem nouns?
How was the case system of the Germanic
noun different from the IE one?
There existed two types of declension of
adjectives in Germanic: … …
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
What is rhotacism?
What are the three groups of Germanic
consonants that were changed, according
to Grimm’s Law? (give their phonetic
classification)
When does the Old English period start?
When does the Old English period end?
According to K. Verner, what were the
reasons for the “exceptions” in Grimm’s
Law?
What are the characteristics of a synthetic
language?
Geoffrey Chaucer
William Caxton
Iberians
Mediterranean
Claudius
Gaelic:
Irish
Scotch-Gaelic
Bretonic:
Wales
Brittany
Hadrian’s Wall







Manchester
Lancaster
Rochester
Leicester
Derby
Grimsby
Whitby
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Lecture 4 The beginning of the English language