I'm working on a musical setting of Cædmon's Hymn, and I'd like to have the primary setting be in the Northumbrian dialect of its earliest written example (the 737 "Moore" Bede manuscript). I'm pretty familiar with West Saxon's pronunciation rules, but there are far fewer primers on Northumbrian's (especially that early).
I've read that the lack of velarization kept words like "ece" pronounced like "/e ke/" in Northumbrian (rather than "/e tʃe/" as in West Saxon). Similarly, the sources I've been able to find say that Northumbrian didn't velarize "\g\" into a "/dʒ/" sound. However, some sources suggest that this is due more to the Scandinavian influences. Would a text from 737 have the paletalized ċ and ġ letters (the Sack of Lindesfarne didn't occur until 793, so there wouldn't be the Danelaw influence at this time).
However, I can't find any information on when the shift from "\g\" > "\j\" occured in the Old English dialects in the prefix "ge" or "gi" (as some of the Northumbrian words have it) and in the suffix "-g" (which became the Modern English "-y" ending, something that Scots seems to have in common).
- In 8th century Northumbrian, is the participle "gi-" prefix pronounced as /gi/ or /ji/
- In 8th century Northumbrian, is the suffix "-ig" / "-eg" pronounced with a hard /g/ or a velarized /j/
- If that sound shift was universal across the Anglo-Saxon dialects, is there any linguistic evidence as to when that occurred? Do I need to worry about hard /g/ in early West Saxon literature (if there is any)?
- Would a Northumbrian text from 737 have paletalized or unpaletalized c and g?
- Does anyone happen to have a good IPA guide to the early Northumbrian pronunciation of the hymn?
Examples from the text. Northumbrian, followed by (West Saxon with approximate IPA pronunciation).
gihwaes (gehwæs - /je hwæs/)
modgidanc (modgeþanc - /mod je þank/)
hāleg (halig - /ha lij/)
allmectig (ælmihtig - /æl mix tij/)
Moore Manuscript (737), Northumbrian Dialect:
Nū scylun hergan hefaenrīcaes Uard,
metudæs maecti end his mōdgidanc,
uerc Uuldurfadur, suē hē uundra gihwaes,
ēci dryctin ōr āstelidæ
hē ǣrist scōp aelda barnum
heben til hrōfe, hāleg scepen.
Thā middungeard moncynnæs Uard,
eci Dryctin, æfter tīadæ
firum foldu, Frēa allmectig.
Tanner MS 10 (10th century), West Saxon Dialect
Nū sculon herigean heofonrīces Weard
Meotedes meahte ond his mōdgeþanc
weorc Wuldorfæder, swā he wundra gihwæs
ēce Drihten, ōr onstealde.
Hē ǣrest sceōp eorðan bearnum
heofon tō hrōfe, hālig Scyppend.
Þā middangeard moncynnes Weard,
ēce Drihten, æfter tēode
firum foldan, Frēa ælmihtig.