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Characteristics of Early Modern English

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by

Belén Tolaba

on 3 October 2013

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Transcript of Characteristics of Early Modern English

Characteristics of Early Modern English
Early Modern English
1500

"The Renaissance"
GRAMMAR
LEXIS
The change was radical due to several factors
The discovery of America
The reform of the church
The copernican theory
The cosmopolitan tendency

The importance of the Renaissance ---> 10 or 12 thousands new words

Borrowings from Latin, Greek, French, Spanish
PHONOLOGY
VOWELS

"The Great Vowel Shift"

SYNTAX
Language changes and accomodates

Introduction of the printing press into England by Caxton
Progress of education and literacy
increased communication and means of communication
The growth of specialized knowledge
Self-counsciousness about language
THE NOUN
Two inflections retained
plurality ----->
-s
became generalized
possessive singular --->
his genitive


The group possessive becomes established
The Duke of Gloucester's niece
THE ADJECTIVE
comparative and superlative degrees
Double Superlative and double comparative (Shakeaspeare's times)
Monosyllables take -er and -est
the adjectives with two syllables take "more" and "most"
THE PRONOUN
Three changes were involved
1- The disuse of thou, thy, and thee
OE and ME
Thou, thy, thee ------> singular forms
Ye, you, your
------> plural forms

EModE
replaced the singular ones
2- The introduction of "you" for "ye" as a nominative case
Nominative ---> ye
objective ----> you

Both pronounced alike (j)
3- The introduction of "its" as the possessive of it
he,she, it ------->
nominative and objective case

there was a need for a distinctive form in the possessive case
THE VERB
An increase in the use of the progressive form
Many strong verbs used during the ME period became weak
Differences in inflection are more noticeable
TO BE
"Be" forms alongside the forms used in current modern english
I be/Thou beest/ we, you, they be

The perfect of intransitive verbs of motion, continued to be frequently formed with
to be
rather than with
to have
This carriage is recently arrived

TO DO
In negative and affirmative direct questions
do/did you (not) love?

Negative declaratives or imperatives
I did not love/ do not love

The periphrastic construction in affirmative declarative sentences disappeared in the late 16th century
I do/did love

CONSONANTS
Voiceless palatal fricative disappeared -----> Bright, sight, weigh


Voiceless velar fricative disappeared or changed----> [f] cough, tough

The sequence -mb/ -b disappeared ----> limb

the [l] of the sequence -ol disappeared ----> Holmes, Yolk, folk

Reduction of final -nd .......> laund (ME) > lawn (EModE)
STRESS
Many words were stressed otherwise than they are in current speech
Character
illustrate
concentrate
contemplate
All stressed on their second syllable
Polysyllabic words ending in -able/-ible had initial stress
Inversion of verb and subject
After an adverbial element, a conjunction or an object
And hereof commeth the destruction of the reprobates (James Bell, 1581)
The multiple negative
In OE and ME, it was unexceptional to negate more than one element of a sentence.
He absenteed no himselfe in no place (Phillemon Holland, 1600)

I wyll not meedle with no duplycyte (Stephen Hawes, 1503)
SHAKESPEARE
Latin words
Some words retained their original form:

axis, exterior, appendix
Some others underwent change:
Process of cutting off the latin ending:
conjectural (L conjectural-is), consult (L consult-are)

L ending
-us
in adjectives >
-ous/-al


externus > external
conspicus > conspicuous

L ending
-tas
in nouns >
-ty
brevitas > brevity

L verbs ending in
-ate
were introduced
erradicate, consolidate, create

Rejected words
Some words did not survive because they were not needed.
anacephalize, illecebrous, uncounsellable

effectual, effectuous, , effectful, effectuating, effecting
French words
bizarre, chocolate, comrade, entrance, essay
Greek words
catastrophe, lexicon, thermometer, anonymous
Italian words
balcony, design, violin, stanza
Portuguese and Spanish words
armada, mosquito, tobacco, potato, cannibal, hurricane
THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION!
his genitive
It is a means of forming a genitive construction by linking two nouns with a possessive pronoun such as "his"
My friend his car ---> My friend's car
This has left its trace in the 's, which we still retain as a graphic convenience to mark the possessive
Full transcript