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Fifth Lecture 1- ME Pronunciation. 2- ME Grammar. 3- The Rise of Standard English.

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Presentation on theme: "Fifth Lecture 1- ME Pronunciation. 2- ME Grammar. 3- The Rise of Standard English."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fifth Lecture 1- ME Pronunciation. 2- ME Grammar. 3- The Rise of Standard English.

2 ME Pronunciation Throughout the history of English, the consonants have remained relatively stable when compared with the notable vowel changes that have occurred. A- Consonants: 1- The Old English sequences hl, hn, & hr were simplified to l, n, & r,respectively. 2- The OE voiced velar fricative g after L or R became W. 3- W,between a consonant(particularly S or T) & a back vowel, was lost(e.g. two, answer..etc). 4- The OE prefix ge became i.

3 5- The voiced fricatives [v, z, ð] achieved phonemic status. A- Many words were borrowed from Old French beginning with[v] and later with[z](e.g. visit, zeal …etc). B-Initial [θ]in words usually unstressed was voiced to[ð](e.g. this, the..etc). C-With the eventual loss of final-e, [v],[z], [ð] came to occur also in final positions(e.g give, lose..etc).

4 B-Vowels: 1- In the Northern & East Midland areas, OE long and short y were unrounded to long and short i. 3- OE long æ became ME long ε. 4- OE short æ fell together with short a and came to be written like it in ME.

5 C-Diphthongs: 1- The OE long diphthongs underwent smoothing(monophthongization). 2-Two new diphthongs ending in the off glide[i]- [ai] &[ei] developed from OE sources. 3- Four new diphthongs ending in the off glide[u]- [au],[ɔu],[iu]&[εu] also developed from OE sources. 4- Two diphthongs,[ɔi]&[ui],were of French origin.

6 ME Grammar A- The Loss of Grammatical Gender: In OE, gender was distinguishable in most nouns ; masculine plurals ended in an inflection different from those of feminine, on the one hand, and those of neuter, on the other. In ME, however, most of the nouns acquired the same plural ending(-es). B-The reduction of Inflections: 1- Adjectives: A- The loss of all inflections for gener,case, and number. B- The loss of distinctions between strong and weak, except for monosyllabic adjectives which end in a consonant. Nevertheless, the five singular and plural forms of the OE weak adjective declension were reduced to a single form ending in-e, with gender as well as number distinctions completely eliminated.

7 B- Nouns: 1-All nouns were reduced to two forms: one without –s, used as a general non-genitive singular form; and one with-s, used as a genitive singular and general plural form. 2- English also lost all traces of any case distinctions except for the genitive. It had come to depend on particles ( particularly prepositions & conjunctions ) and word order to express grammatical relations. C- Personal pronouns: The dual number of the personal pronouns disappeared. D- Verbs: The strong verb patterns continued in ME, and they retained inflections to indicate tense, mood, number, & person. Nevertheless, there were more weak verbs than strong ones. Hence, the weak -ed ending for the preterit and past participle came to be used with many originally strong verbs.

8 The Rise of a London Standard 1- Out of the variety of ME local dialects there emerged a written language that won general recognition and has become the recognized standard in both speech and writing. 2- The part of England that contributed most to the formation of this standard was the East Midland district, and it was the East Midland type of English that became its basis(particularly London).

9 3- The causes that contributed to the attainment of this result: A- The English of this region occupied a middle position between the extreme divergences of the north and south ( it was less conservative than the Southern dialect, & less radical than the Northern ). In its sounds & inflections, it shared some of the characteristics of both neighbors. B- Its district was the largest & most populous of the major dialect areas. C-The presence of the universities, Oxford & Cambridge, in this region.

10 Next Week Mid-term Exam: All the lectures discussed so far are included. Good Luck

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