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- e -he come
  • In the past tense, weak verbs have an ed, -t, or d ending. A system of strong verbs remains.

6. Pronouns

  • Here:
  • 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 at Aprill with his shoures sote
    • e droghte of Marche ha perced to the rote,
    • And baed euery veyne in swich licour,
    • Of which vertu engendred is e flour;
    • Whan Zephirus eek with his swete bree
    • Inspired ha in euery holt and hee
    • e tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
    • Ha in the Ram his halfe course yronne,
    • And smale fowles maken melodye,
    • That slepen al the nit with open ye
    • So prike hem Nature in hir corages
    • an 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 ey wende,
    • The holy blissful martir for to seke,
    • at hem ha holpen, whan at ey were seke

9. Timeline

  • William Langland 1332-1386
  • Geoffrey Chaucer 1343-1400
  • John de Mascy of Sale (?-1403)



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