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Middle English Syntax and Lexicon

for English 420, Dr. Gilchrist
by

Emily Misak

on 31 March 2013

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Transcript of Middle English Syntax and Lexicon

The Lexicon of
Middle English Origins of Middle English Vocabulary Inherited from
Old English Derived Borrowed Compounding

Affixation 3 reasons for hospitality
towards loanwords: Large-scale contact between English-speakers and users of other languages

Latin renaissance of the twelfth century led to widespread use of Latin for documentary purposes

ME is a less inflected language--easier to adapt words from foreign languages The Syntax of Middle English Latin/French Influence Why did it change? A Period Characterized
by Variation Weakening of Stresses Loss of Inflection Viking Age raids, settlements, conquests, and political take-overs The Ormulum

Well over a hundred words of either certain or likely Scandinavian origin to anger, to bait, bloom, boon, booth, bull, to die, to flit, ill, law, low, meek, to raise, root, to scare, skill, skin, to take, though, to thrive, wand, to want, wing, wrong. The number of words borrowed from French and/or Latin outstrips the number of words surviving from Old English by quite a margin Welcome to the World of Middle English Conclusion Works Cited We can often tell that a word has come from French rather than Latin.

Ex: peace from French pais, not from Latin pac-

Much more difficult to be certain that a ME word is solely from Latin

Why? ...because French borrowed extensively from Latin Words which have no cognate in the other Indo-European languages

OR

Whose cognates have not survived in other languages

Ex: drincan DRINK / French 'boire' The majority of later Old English
texts are...

written in a fairly uniform type of literary language

based on the West Saxon dialect What Happened?? The political and cultural upheavals of the Norman Conquest completely changed this situation Need for improvisation Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English records around 500 different spellings for THROUGH. Scandinavian Influence Chronological Boundaries: 1150-1500

In terms of external history...

Beginning with the after-effects of the Norman conquest of 1066

Ending with the arrival in Britain of printing in 1476 Word Order Roseborough, Margaret M. An Outline of Middle English Grammar. 1938. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1970. Print. Brinton, Laurel J. and Leslie K Arnovick. The English Language: A Linguistic History. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford Press, 2011. Print. Handke, Jurgen. "History of English - ME Syntax." YouTube. YouTube, 16 Jan. 2013. Web. 28 Mar. 2013. Weakening of Stress Loss of Inflection Periphrasis Periphrasis Horobin, Simon, and Jeremy Smith. An Introduction to Middle English. New York: Oxford UP, 2002. Print. Horobin, Simon, and Jeremy Smith. An Introduction to Middle English. New York: Oxford UP, 2002. Print. Horobin, Simon, and Jeremy Smith. An Introduction to Middle English. New York: Oxford UP, 2002. Print. Horobin, Simon, and Jeremy Smith. An Introduction to Middle English. New York: Oxford UP, 2002. Print.
Forrþrihht anan se time comm
þatt ure Drihhtin wollde
ben borenn i þiss middellærd
forr all mannkinne nede
he chæs himm sone kinnessmenn
all swillke summ he wollde
& whær he wollde borenn ben
he chæs all att hiss wille. As soon as the time came
that our Lord wanted
to be born in this middle-earth
for the sake of all mankind,
at once he chose kinsmen for himself,
all just as he wanted,
and he decided that he would be born
exactly where he wished. Source: Viking Raids. 2003. Photograph. Valhs.org. Hurstwic. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Viking Raids. 2003. Photograph. Valhs.org. Hurstwic. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Horobin, Simon, and Jeremy Smith. An Introduction to Middle English. New York: Oxford UP, 2002. Print. Source: The Ormulum. N.d. Photograph. Orme.ws. The Orme Website. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. The Ormulum. N.d. Photograph. Orme.ws. The Orme Website. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Durkin, Philip. "Middle English An Overview." OED.com. Oxford English Dictionary, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Durkin, Philip. "Middle English An Overview." OED.com. Oxford English Dictionary, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Durkin, Philip. "Middle English An Overview." OED.com. Oxford English Dictionary, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Source: Public Perception of Having Multiple Passports. Photograph. Globalwealthprotection.com. Global Wealth Protection. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Public Perception of Having Multiple Passports. Photograph. Globalwealthprotection.com. Global Wealth Protection. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Source: A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English. Photograph. Paperbackswap.com. Paper Back Swap. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English. Photograph. Paperbackswap.com. Paper Back Swap. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Source: History of the Norman Conquest. Photograph. Essentialnormanconquest.com. Essential Norman Conquest. Web. 28 Mar. 2013. History of the Norman Conquest. Photograph. Essentialnormanconquest.com. Essential Norman Conquest. Web. 28 Mar. 2013. Horobin, Simon, and Jeremy Smith. An Introduction to Middle English. New York: Oxford UP, 2002. Print. General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales.

Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed euery veynein swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the our;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in euery holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halue cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes … Many of the Old English suffixes and prefixes gradually lost their productivity because of the huge influx of French words and word-building elements.

Many suffixes became absolutely unproductive, others like -dom, -hood, -ness, -ship gave a number of new derivations like:
dukedom, hardship, braveness Word Order "A construction employing function words in place of inflectional endings to express grammatical meaning, as in the use of the of-genitive (of the dog) instead of the 's genitive (the dog's)" (Brinton 575). Nouns Prepositions Verbs Auxiliaries Examples [b]e fadir seide to hise seruauntis delit of synne Ther is no thing hid, that schal not be maad opyn lest perauenture it wole passe the termes to se the Lord And he was rooth, and wolde not come in to-dative case: of-genitive case: Passive tense: Future Tense: Progressive Tense: (Brinton 300-301) Unstressed vowels a, o, u were reduced to the [e] sound in most words. The e sound was lost at the end of words, as well as its weakening in the middle of words. whanne > whan, [b]anne > than Quiz Time!!!

http://www.quizrevolution.com/ch/a99175/go/middle_english_history m[ae]gester > maister "An affix expressing the grammatical categories of a word, such as case (nouns) or tense (verbs)" (Brinton 571) (Brinton 283) Only 2 endings left for noun case, -s and -es Adjective and articles reduced so much as to lose gender differentiation Verbs Verb Inflection th > s ending change loss of infinitive endings Split in present participle endings North: -and
Southwest: -inde
Middle: -ande/-ende
Northeast: -inge (Roseborough 59) (Roseborough 58) "Despite the impoverishment of inflection, word order is still very flexible, and gives more options than present day" (Handke). SVO Patterns were most popular, and became more rigidly used towards the end of the period (late 15th century) (Handke) VSO pattern was the rule for ME Interrogative clauses: Why make ye yourself for to the lyk a fool? (Brinton 304) Also used OSV, VOS and OVS (but these became increasingly rare) *Fun Fact: VS patterns were popular in poetry to help with rhyming (Hendke) Adverbs such as "Thanne" would invert the sentence to VSO Thanne bigan dame Prudence (Brinton 303) Noun-Adjective and Adjective-Noun still commonly used. "Middle-English History on QuizRevolution." Quizrevolution.com. Quiz Revolution, n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2013. BIG PICTURE Highly Inflected Language Analytic Language
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