Simon Horobin's An Introduction to Middle English PDF

By Simon Horobin

ISBN-10: 0195219503

ISBN-13: 9780195219500

This authoritative survey deals a concise description of center English, the language of Chaucer, throughout the interval from 1100 to 1500. center English is mentioned on the subject of either past and later levels within the background of English and in regard to different languages with which it got here into touch. The booklet covers the central positive aspects of heart English spelling, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary and in addition introduces heart English textual experiences.

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50–64 is for the more advanced student, and can safely be left aside by the beginner. 3 Middle English sounds and spellings: an outline history In PDE, there are many sound-systems (accents) currently in use, for 02 pages 001-184 29/1/03 16:27 Page 45 SPELLINGS AND SOUNDS 45 example Northern English, London English, Irish English, American English and so on. Similarly, there were many accents of OE and ME, albeit geographically restricted to parts of the British Isles. However, in PDE, some of these accents have become ‘prestigious’, that is they are habitually used by speakers of high status in their societies.

Normative writing-systems are taught in schools, and failure to use them correlates with social failure. That there are a few rather trivial differences between British/Canadian and US/Australian usage, such as favour/favor, does not invalidate the general point. The history of writing-systems during the OE and ME periods is much more complex, and was discussed briefly in Chapter 3; the discussion in this chapter builds upon that foundation. For much of the OE period, writing seems to have been an art confined to a few people, and rather little evidence remains.

However, there are some purely graphological matters which should be dealt with at the outset: 1. 2 Old English figura potestas Middle English figura [ ] < > [j] < g> [x] [z] to reflect dental fricatives (both voiced and voiceless), but it tends to be replaced by

as the ME period progresses. It is found rarely in the Ellesmere text, and there largely only in some determiners (such as 2e, 2at THE, THAT). 2. OE scribes used as the figura for /j, x, /. Modern editors tend to replace it with .

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An Introduction to Middle English by Simon Horobin


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