Questions tagged [old-english]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1 vote
1 answer
88 views

History of perfect tenses

I am thinking about the history of the verb "have". Why is the verb "have" used as an auxiliary verb in the perfect tenses? When did it start to be used that way?
user avatar
  • 419
0 votes
1 answer
126 views

What does "An. Ox." mean?

In lexicography, what does "An. Ox. 3778." mean? I found "An." but I don't think that 3778 is a page. This question is not asking about translations of specific texts. It is ...
user avatar
  • 53
0 votes
0 answers
75 views

Why did Old Norse influence English more than Saxon and Jutish?

I read a lot of etymologies but I don't remember reading about words that came from Saxon language or Jutish language, nearly all Germanic words who have non English origins came from Old Norse or ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
110 views

The Pronunciation of G in Old English

I couldn't find an answer to my question because Google Search went downhill these years. Why is g pronounced as y in a lot of Old English words? Is the reason native phonetics changes happen in a lot ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
48 views

Why does Anglian OE "-tene" have unetymological "e" on the end?

Why does Anglian Old English "-tēne" (Proto-Germanic *tehun) have unetymological "e" on the end? Why does English "ten" have no long "ee"?
user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
104 views

How did Old Norse influence Old English to lose genders and cases?

Wikipedia says that "Norse influence is ... considered to have stimulated and accelerated the morphological simplification found in Middle English, such as the loss of grammatical gender and ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
130 views

Middle English: y or ȝ

Lately I've been looking up the Middle English of many Modern English words via Wiktionary. It was my understanding that by this point in the history of English ȝ was in heavy use. Yet these ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
114 views

How did wið shift to denote association rather than opposition?

Millar doesn't expound the semantic shift at all, but Wiktionary tries to. But wið is a functional morpheme, that at large change with less probability. So why did it shift "to denote association ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
105 views

Why does OE endleofan have "e" at the beginning?

Why does OE endleofan "eleven" have "e" at the beginning? (not ā)? What is the name of this OE phonology process? ā > e?
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
459 views

Words in English which elided medial 'g' or 'v' (or initial 'h' before 'l', 'n', or 'r')

What I am looking for is a list of words which in Old English either had a medial 'v' sound (spelt 'f'), which was dropped in Modern English, so words like 'head' from 'heafod' and 'lord' from '...
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
221 views

Why did the Old English 'eo' diphthong disappear?

If I am not mistaken, the 'eo' diphthong was very common in Old English, and occurred in a lot of words, however this diphthong disappeared by the Modern English period, why was that? Notice that in ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

Where could I find a list weak nouns in modern English which were strong in old English?

So I have been doing a thing recently for which I need to find a list of all (or at least most) of weak (regular) modern English nouns (and verbs, if possible) which were strong (irregular) in old ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
79 views

Vowel change OE

My question is: comparing the words for the verb "hear" in Gothic(hausjan) and Old English(hieran), I became curious as to how did the diphthong 'au' came to be 'ie' in OE. I tried ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
69 views

Why does the OE form "byrht" appear?

Why does the OE form "byrht" appear? OE should have beorht (West Saxon) or berht (Anglian). Is it Kentish form or what? also byrc, fyht
user avatar
  • 313
1 vote
1 answer
177 views

Could Old English /ea/ be a derivative from /a/?

"...This includes changes from the split between Old English and Old Frisian (c. AD 475)..." [Wikipedia] The reflex of Proto-Germanic *au is spelled ea in Old English, but spelled a in Old ...
user avatar
  • 313
0 votes
1 answer
47 views

Where can I find Tech. ii. 128, 25?

Where can I find Tech. ii. 128, 25? "Cyninges wífes tácen is þæt þú stréce onbútan heófod (run your hand round your head), and sete syððan þíne hand bufon þín heófod," https://bosworthtoller....
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why are some Old English suffixes marked with a preceding asterisk?

Saw this answer on ELU and it has two Old English suffixes that are written with a preceding asterisk: (from the addition of an *-ian verb- forming suffix in Germanic), as well as strong/ strength ...
user avatar
  • 1,379
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

a-stem genitive singular in NW Germanic languages

This is a classic problem and I'm not sure I expect a good answer to it, but it's worth it anyway. The question is partly about what appears to be some specious reasoning around Verner's Law forms and ...
user avatar
  • 91
1 vote
0 answers
109 views

Did Old English have a similar adverb phrase or interjection like "of course"?

I'm writing a story that heavily uses archaic or unusual English words, with a focus of non-Latin, non-French and non-Anglo-Norman derived words and how English might work without them. I found very ...
user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
2 answers
196 views

alliteration in coda : an Old English example?

(1) Can the coda, the final part of a syllable, be part of an alliteration? Do we have any example in the literature? (2) in Beowulf.25 ("in mǣ́ġþa ġehwǣ́re | mán ġeþéo͡n.", stressed syllables with ...
user avatar
  • 1,961
7 votes
0 answers
147 views

Northumbrian pronunciation of ge-/gi- prefix and -g suffix

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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
66 views

What was the role of "compound" verbs in Middle English?

I was just reading a book where it is said that when perfect started to acquire modern meanings, "compound" verbs appeared. Here are some examples (I`m assuming with "compound" verbs on the right): ...
user avatar
  • 79
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Problems with the adoption of the Latin script in English?

How did the Middle English adapted itself to the Latin script? As I read it, Latin script didn't really suit the sounds in this language. Was the adaptation authoritative, ruled by a central ...
user avatar
  • 604
1 vote
1 answer
212 views

How do you translate academic runic encodings to runes (ᚠᚢᚦᚨᚱᚲ)?

I have not been able to find a single resource online that has (unicode encoded) Runic inscriptions like a full text of ᚠᚢᚦᚨᚱᚲ, or even a dictionary. This site lists some resources, most of which are ...
user avatar
  • 3,397
78 votes
3 answers
10k views

Why did Old English lose both thorn and eth?

My understanding is that Old English had two letters, thorn and eth, which were used interchangeably to represent the sound th as in thin or father. Intuitively, one might think that one of these ...
user avatar
  • 942
1 vote
0 answers
70 views

Is there an Old English word meaning RAPIDS or RIFFLE (a rocky shoal causing a rapid)? [closed]

I would like to find an old (Old English) word meaning "a place in a river where the water overflows a natural stone or rocky obstacle situated across the entire watercourse". See the picture below. ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
57 views

Are there any historical runic transcriptions that utilize two runes to represent a sound change? (particularly in the Anglo Saxon rune sets)

Anglo Saxon did not distinguish by voicing usually, particularly with the sounds /s~f~z~v/. After the adoptions of the Latin Alphabet letters "f" and "s" were doubled when representing a voiceless ...
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
109 views

Kaluza's law and Beowulf.64b

in short : (1) how shall I scan Beowulf.64b "herespēd ġyfen" ? (2) How shall I understand Seiichi Suzuki's remark about 64b : "[a verse whose] second lift fails to be occupied by a sequence of a ...
user avatar
  • 1,961
3 votes
1 answer
588 views

Old English forms of address

I am doing some research on Anglo-Saxon England and wondering if there are any particular forms of address in Old English that are a) roughly equivalent to Mr. Mrs. Ms., etc. in terms of formality, b) ...
user avatar
  • 131
7 votes
2 answers
711 views

Why does "begin" have /g/ instead of /j/ if it's from PG *ginnan?

My understanding is that the reflexes of Proto-Germanic velar consonants before front vowels were usually palatal consonants in Old English, which in turn generally yield palatal or palato-alveolar ...
user avatar
  • 16.6k
0 votes
2 answers
911 views

"Only" in Old English?

I'm looking for a word that means 'only' or 'but,' but only in a specific context. The sample sentence that I'm wanting to translate is "I am only human" in the sense that they are nothing more than ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why were words for the four cardinal directions in Romance languages borrowed from Old English?

Why were words for the four cardinal directions (east, west, north, south) in Romance languages borrowed from Old English? They could have used their own words derived from Latin because these words ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Middle and Old English Corpora Distributable Under Open Source License

I'm working on an open source computational linguistics project, and I need Old and Middle English corpora that I can distribute along with the software. Most of the corpora that I've been able to ...
user avatar
  • 111
3 votes
1 answer
411 views

declining numerals in Old English

Disclaimer : this thread is perhaps off-topic. I thank you for your indulgence since I couldn't ask such a question on https://english.stackexchange.com/ . I read in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in the ...
user avatar
  • 1,961
-4 votes
2 answers
201 views

What is the underlying meaning of the English 'of'? [closed]

TL;DR: What is the semantic field or the big picture behind the English 'of'? I seek an explanation like this which exposes the underlying semantic field of ‘tally’. Addendum: of (as a ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
272 views

English & Competing Borrowings: How many "pre-Norman" loanwords are known to have been replaced by "post-Hastings" ones?

What I am looking for: As my question suggests, I'm interested in words English has adopted from other languages. More specifically, I'm interested in old Celtic or Scandinavian (or other) loanwords ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
177 views

Translation of "Beowulf"

In the brief span of time I have studied this ancient poem, particularly verses 1829-30, I have read several translations. While observing each individual rendering of the text, it was evident to me ...
user avatar