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Middle English Syntax and Vocabulary. Middle English Syntax: Within Phrases Adjectives usually before nouns an erþely servaunt an earthly servant occasionally.

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Presentation on theme: "Middle English Syntax and Vocabulary. Middle English Syntax: Within Phrases Adjectives usually before nouns an erþely servaunt an earthly servant occasionally."— Presentation transcript:

1 Middle English Syntax and Vocabulary

2 Middle English Syntax: Within Phrases Adjectives usually before nouns an erþely servaunt an earthly servant occasionally after the noun in poetry shoures soote showers sweet

3 Syntax in Phrases (cont’d) With more than one adjective, sometimes one before the noun, the rest after it a gode wyt and a retentyff a good wit and a retentive in possessive, no apostrophe oþer mens prosperite the ‘s sometimes became -is go to þe raven is neste go to the raven’s nest ME: first occurrence of of for possessive aftyr þe lawes of our londe according to the laws of our land

4 ME Possessive Phrases possessive + noun + noun modifiers the Dukes place of Lancastre the Duke of Lancaster’s place double possessive (both of and possessive pronoun) came in with ME the capteyn…toke awey.j. obligacion of myn the captain…took away one obligation of mine

5 Adverbial Modifiers Adverbs & adverb phrases came before the words they modified more often than in MnE ye shul first in alle youre werkes you must first in all your works mekely biseken to the heighe God meekly beseech to the high God the negative ne always came before the main verb, and often contracted with it I nolde fange a ferthynge for seynt Thomas shryne I would not take a farthing for St. Thomas’ shrine as in OE, double negatives very common He nevere yet no vileynye ne sayde / In all his lyf unto no maner wight (Chaucer)

6 Preposition Phrases Prepositions still occasionally followed their objects he seyde him to in relative clauses, prepositions usually came at or near the end of the phrase the place that I of speke the place that I of speak preciouse stanes þat he myght by a kingdom with precious stones that he might buy a kingdom with

7 Verb Phrases Perfect tense (have + past participle) developed in ME þou hauest don oure kunne wo You have done our family woe Progressive tense (be + pres. participle) also developed (sometimes with in or on) For now is gode Gawayn goande ry ʒ t here For now is good Gawain going right here I am yn beldynge of a pore hous I am (in) building of a poor house

8 Verb Phrases (cont’d) ME saw the beginning of shall and will to mark the future tense Quan al mankinde…Sal ben fro dede to live bro ʒ t When all mankind…shall be from dead to living brought and swiche wolle have the kyngdom of helle and such will have the kingdom of hell note that shall still had a degree of obligation (“must”), and will of volition (“want to”)

9 Auxiliary Verbs Developed in ME, began to replace subjunctive þat y mowe riche be that I may rich be but the subjunctive is still more common in ME than MnE: how lawful so it were however lawful it might be why nere I deed! why am I not dead!

10 The ‘do’ explosion 1.Substitute for a previous verb camels may forbere drynk and so may not the hors do camels can forgo drink and thus can not the horse do 2.As a causative (like make or have) al hys halles I wol do peynte with pure gold all his halls I will have painted with pure gold 3.Next to a main verb (emphatic? Not really) unto the mayde that hir doth serve to the maid that her does serve 4.Negative and interrogative clauses began in ME, still not as common as simple verb my maister dyd not graunt it Fader, why do ye wepe?

11 Syntax Within Clauses Trend toward modern word order SVO still the most common SOV occasionally found þat ðu þis weork naht ne forlate that you this work not (not) neglect VSO regular for questions and commands Gaf ye the chyld any thyng? Gave you the child any thing? Bryng ye the hors Bring you the horse

12 Syntax Within Clauses (cont’d) OSV used to emphasize the object This bok I haue mad and wretyn The book I have made and written OVS was still common for the same thing Clothis have they none Clothes have they none

13 Syntax Within Sentences Coordinated (“and/so”) more than subordinated (“when/while”): “run-on” sentences Than sir Launcelot had a condicion that he used of custom to clatir in his slepe and to speke oftyn of hyls lady, quene gwenyver. So sir Launcelot had awayked as long as hit had pleased hym, and so by course of kynde he slepte and dame Elayne bothe. And in his slepe he talked and claterde as a jay of the love that bene betwyxte quene Gwenyver and hym, and so as he talked so lowde the quene harde hym thereas she lay in her chambir. And whan she harde hym so clattir she was wrothe oute of mesure, and for anger and payne wist not what to do, and than she cowghed so lowde that sir Launcelot awaked. (Malory, Morte d’Arthur) used of custom was accustomed toclatir chatter kynde naturewist knew

14 Middle English Vocabulary Beginning of huge English vocabulary, susceptibility to borrowing Layering of vocabulary: colloquial/formal, everyday/technical, general/specialized - English became more cosmopolitan Loss of inflectional system made it easier to borrow (no worries about gender, declension); cf. Russian, Japanese Also, English has many phonemes - not hard to say foreign words

15 Scandinavian Influence Scandinavian/Norse Some borrowed in OE, written in ME (North & East Midlands), then spread : anger, bag, band, bloom, both, bound (going to), bull, cake, call, carp (complain), cast, clip (cut), club, die, egg, fellow, flit, gad gape, gear, get hit, husband, ill, kid, kindle, loan, loft, loose, low, meek, muck, raise, ransack, rid, root, rotten, sale, same scab, scale, scare, scathe, score (20), seat, seem skill, skin, sky sly, snare, swain, take, thrall, thrive, thrust, thwart, trust, ugly, wand, want wassail, window, wing : awe, bait, ball, bark (of tree), bat (the animal), birth, blend, bole, bracken, brad, brunt, crawl, dirt, dregs, droop, flat, flaw, geld, gift, girth, glitter, leg, lift, likely, midden, mire, mistake, odd, race, rag, rive, rugged, skate (the fish), slaughter, sleight, slight, snub, stack, stagger, stem, teem, weak, whirl : awkward, bask, bawl, bulk, down (feathers), eddy, firth, flag, freckle, froth, gap, gasp, keel, keg, leak, link, raft, reef (sail), reindeer, scant, scrap, steak, tatter, tether, tyke

16 Scandinavian (cont’d) Why borrow both, call, take? (common words) Norse loans replaced English words hātan > call bā > both niman/fōn > take partial replacement hēofon > sky Norse crawl, English creep cognate doublets: Norse raise, skin, skirt English rear, shin, shirt -son in personal names (Nelson, Anderson) - extended to English names (Edwardson, Edmundson) and French names (Jackson, Richardson)

17 French Influence By far the most important Slow until why? i.several bilingual generations to get comfortable with French words ii.Very few English texts before 1200 French loans in all fields cf. Italian (music, architecture, painting, not much else) cuisine: bake, sauté, serve, plate, casserole, fork, stir, mince, roast, fry (lasagne, spaghetti, pizza, pesto)

18 French loans (sample of 1000 words) <

19 French Loans by Semantic Field Relationships and Ranks Parentage, ancestor, aunt, uncle, cousin, gentle(man), noble, peer, peasant, servant, villein, page, courtier, squire, madam, sir, princess, duke, count, marquis, baron The House And Its Furnishings Porch, cellar, pantry, closet, parlor, chimney, arch, (window)pane, wardrobe, chair, table, lamp, couch, cushion, mirror, curtain, quilt, counterpane, towel, blanket Food and Eating Dinner, supper, taste, broil, fry, plate, goblet, serve, beverage, sauce, salad, gravy, fruit, grape, beef, pork, mutton, salmon, sugar, onion, cloves, mustard Fashion Fashion, dress, garment, coat, cloak, pantaloons, bonnet, boots, serge, cotton, satin, fur, button, ribbon, baste, embroider, pleat, gusset, jewel, pearl, bracelet

20 French Loans by Semantic Field (cont’d) Sports and Entertainment Joust, tournament, kennel, scent, terrier, falcon, stallion, park, dance, chess, checkers, minstrel, fool, prize, tennis, racket, disport, audience, entertain, amusement, recreation Arts, Music, Literature Art, painting, sculpture, portrait, color, music, melody, lute, tabor, hautboy, carol, poet, story, rime, chapter, title, romance, lay, tragedy, rondel, ballad Education Study, science, reason, university, college, dean, form, train, grammar, noun, subject, test, indite, pupil, copy, pen, pencil, paper, page, chapter, tome, lectern, dais Medicine Medicine, surgeon, pain, disease, remedy, cure, contagious, plague, humor, pulses, fracture, ague, gout, distemper, drug, balm, herb, powder, sulfur, bandage, ointment, poison

21 French Loans by Semantic Field (cont’d) Government Government, state, country, city, village, office, rule, reign, public, crown, court, police, tyranny, subsidy, tax, counselor, treasurer, exchequer, register, mayor, citizen Law Judge, jury, appeal, evidence, inquest, accuse, proof, convict, pardon, attorney, heir, state, broker, fine, punish, prison, crime, felony, arson, innocent, just The Church Chapel, choir, cloister, crucifix, religion, clergy, chaplain, parson, sermon, matins, confession, penance, pray, anoint, absolve, trinity, faith, miracle, temptation, heresy, divine, salvation The Military Enemy, battle, defense, peace, force, advance, capture, siege, attack, retreat, army, navy, soldier, guard, sergeant, captain, spy, moat, order, march, trophy

22 French Loans: “Little” Words Seem native Age, blame, catch, chance, change, close, cry, dally, enter, face, fail, fine, flower, fresh, grease, grouch, hello, hurt, join, kerchief, large, letter, line, mischief, move, offer, part, pay, people, piece, place, please, poor, pure, rock, roll, save, search, sign, square, stuff, strange, sure, touch, try, turn, use

23 Areas less affected by French Shipping and seafaring (German/Dutch) Farming, agriculture (farm Fr., agriculture Lat.), but: Acre, loam, field, hedge, furrow, sow, till, reap, harvest, plough, sickle, scythe, shovel, spade, rake, seed, what, barley, corn, beans, oats, grass, hay, fodder, ox, horse, cow, swine, sheep, hen, goose, duck, sty, pen, barn, fold (all English) No place-name elements (no all-French settlements)

24 Parts of Speech Almost all nouns, verbs, adjectives No change to grammar (cf. they etc. < ON) Prepositions/conjunctions: in spite of, because, during, regarding, in case borrowed as nouns/verbs, then made into function words when naturalized: cause (early 13th c.) by cause of (mid-14th c.) because (late 14th c.)

25 Norman vs. Parisian French earlier loans from Norman French, by 14th c. from Parisian French Sometimes hard to tell which, but: Germanic loans into French: /gw/ became /w/ in Norman, /g/ in Parisian Wile/guile, warranty/guarantee, war/garrison, wage/gauge In Norman, /k/ before /a/ remained, in Parisian changed to /č/ Canal/channel, cattle/chattels, catch/chase, car/chariot Quite a few French loans were originally Germanic loans into French - more doublets: Equip/ship, soup/sop, grape/grapple (OF grape = hook)

26 Latin influence Tended to be learned Religious Apocalypse, dirge, limbo, purgatory, remit Legal Testament, confederate Misc. Admit, divide, comprehend, lunatic, lapidary, temporal real flood in Early Modern period

27 Celtic Influence Not many Bard, clan, crag, glen, loch maybe: Bald, bray, bug, gull, hog, loop through French: Car, change, garter, mutton, socket, vassal

28 Dutch & Low German Influence Later ME, lots of trade (wool) Several dozen loans Seafaring Halibut, pump, shore, skipper, whiting Containers Bundle, bung, cork, dowel, firkin, tub Trade: trade, huckster Wool Trade: nap, selvage Misc Clock, damp, grime, luck, offal, scour, speckle, splinter, tallow, wriggle

29 Other Languages Greek through French: squirrel, diaper, cinnamon Greek through Latin: philosophy, paradigm, phlegm, synod, physic Arabic (all through French or Latin) Azimuth, ream, saffron, cipher, alkali Persian (through other languages) Borax, mummy, musk, spinach, taffeta, lemon Hebrew (French/Latin): jubilee, leviathan, cider Slavic sable, Hungarian coach (French) Unknown Bicker, big, boy, clasp, junk, kidney, las, noose, puzzle, roam, slender, throb, wallet

30 Formation of New Words: Compounding Mostly nouns and adjectives Nouns: Noun + noun cheesecake, toadstool, bagpipe, nightmare Adjective + noun sweetheart, wildfire, quicksand Adverb + noun insight, afternoon, upland Noun + verb (new to ME) sunshine, nosebleed Verb + noun (also new) hangman, pastime, whirlwind Verb + adverb (new) runabout, lean-to Adverb + verb (new) outcome, outcast, upset French and Latin compounds (noun + adj) knight-errant, heir-apparent, sum total

31 Compounds (cont’d) Adjectives Noun + adjective threadbare, bloodred, headstrong Adjective + noun (rare) everyday Verbs Adverb + verb outline, uphold, overturn, underwrite Noun + verb (new) manhandle ‘Invisible’ Compounds Cockney (cock + egg), gossamer (goose + summer) Compounds treated as single words Dismal (Lat. Dies mali ‘evil days’) Porcupine (Fr. Porc espin ‘spiny pig’)

32 Affixing Lost OE affixes Ed- (again) replaced by re- With- (against) replaced by counter- El- (foreign), ymb- (around), to- (motion toward), -end (agent nouns) survival in preexisting words: withstand, forsake, motherhood

33 New Affixes From French Prefixes Counter-, de-, in- (‘not’), inter-, mal-, re- Suffixes -able, -age, -al, -ery, -ess, -ify, -ist, -ity, -ment still used, but not likely for native roots (discernment, containment, but not understandment, knowment)

34 Minor Sources of New Words Clipping (removing syllables) Fray/affray, squire/esquire, stress/distress, peal/appeal, mend/amend Back Formation (coining a word by mistakenly assuming that an existing word is derived from it) Latin aspis (sing.) > asp ON foggy >fog OE dawning > dawn

35 Minor Sources (cont’d) Blends (Portmanteau Words) deliberate in MnE (smog) unconscious in ME: Scroll (escrow + roll) Scrawl (sprout + crawl) Quaver (quake + waver) From Names Jay (Lat. Gaius) Jacket (Fr. Jacques) Magnet (Magnesia) Scallion (Ascalo) Damson (Damascus)


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