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From Caedmon to Caxton Thomas Honegger

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1 From Caedmon to Caxton Thomas Honegger

2 db-thueringen.de/ content/top/ index.xml History of English www. db-thueringen.de/www. db-thueringen.de/

3 Canterbury Pilgrims

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6 Breaking & Completing the Frame Chaucer not only disregards the ‘social hierarchy‘ in his sequence of tales (the Miller follows after the Knight, though not quite planned), but he also inserts a tale that has its origin in the circumstance that the pilgrims meet a canon and his yeoman. Chaucer not only disregards the ‘social hierarchy‘ in his sequence of tales (the Miller follows after the Knight, though not quite planned), but he also inserts a tale that has its origin in the circumstance that the pilgrims meet a canon and his yeoman. Later authors add their tales to the framework (Tale of Beryn, Lydgate...) Later authors add their tales to the framework (Tale of Beryn, Lydgate...) Video: The Canon‘s Yeoman‘s Tale Video: The Canon‘s Yeoman‘s Tale

7 Chaucer’s Language 1 This carpenter hadde wedded newe a wyf, Which that he lovede moore than his lyf; Of eighteteene yeer she was of age. Jalous he was, and heeld hire narwe in cage, For she way wylde and yong, and he was old. This carpenter hadde wedded newe a wyf, Which that he lovede moore than his lyf; Of eighteteene yeer she was of age. Jalous he was, and heeld hire narwe in cage, For she way wylde and yong, and he was old.

8 Chaucer’s Language 1 This carpenter hadde wedded newe a wyf, Which that he lovede moore than his lyf; Of eighteteene yeer she was of age. Jalous he was, and heeld hire narwe in cage, This carpenter hadde wedded newe a wyf, Which that he lovede moore than his lyf; Of eighteteene yeer she was of age. Jalous he was, and heeld hire narwe in cage, For she way wylde and yong, and he was old. For she way wylde and yong, and he was old.

9 Chaucer’s Language 2 A Knyght ther was, and that a worthy man, That fro the tyme that he first bigan To riden out, he loved chivalrie, Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie. A Knyght ther was, and that a worthy man, That fro the tyme that he first bigan To riden out, he loved chivalrie, Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie. chivalrie = prowess trouthe = fidelity honour = good reputation, honour fredom = generosity of spirit curteisie = refinement of manners & feelings chivalrie = prowess trouthe = fidelity honour = good reputation, honour fredom = generosity of spirit curteisie = refinement of manners & feelings

10 Chaucer’s Language 3 O firste moevyng! Crueel firmament, With thy diurnal sweigh that crowdest ay And hurlest al from est til occident That naturelly wolde holde another way, Thy crowdyng set the hevene in swich array At the bigynnyng of this fiers viage, That crueel Mars hath slayn this mariage. O firste moevyng! Crueel firmament, With thy diurnal sweigh that crowdest ay And hurlest al from est til occident That naturelly wolde holde another way, Thy crowdyng set the hevene in swich array At the bigynnyng of this fiers viage, That crueel Mars hath slayn this mariage. firste moevyng = primum mobile (9th sphere) crowden = to push diurnal sweigh = daily motion (‘sway’) est til occident = from east to west naturelly = by natural order firste moevyng = primum mobile (9th sphere) crowden = to push diurnal sweigh = daily motion (‘sway’) est til occident = from east to west naturelly = by natural order

11 Schedelsche Weltchronik 1493 Terra Luna Mercurius Venus Sol Mars Iupiter Saturnus Firmamentum Primum Mobile

12 Chaucer’s Language 4 This Nicholas anon leet fle a fart As greet as it had been a thonder-dent, That with the strook he was almoost yblent; And he was redy with his iren hoot, And Nicholas amydde the ers he smoot. This Nicholas anon leet fle a fart As greet as it had been a thonder-dent, That with the strook he was almoost yblent; And he was redy with his iren hoot, And Nicholas amydde the ers he smoot.

13 Chaucer’s Language 5 Aleyn spak first: “Al hayl, Symond, y-fayth! Hou fares thy faire doghter and thy wyf?’ Aleyn spak first: “Al hayl, Symond, y-fayth! Hou fares thy faire doghter and thy wyf?’ “Symond,” quod John, “by God, nede has na peer. Hym boes serve hymself that has na swayn, Or elles he is a fool, as clerkes sayn. Oure manciple, I hope he wil be deed, Swa werkes ay the wanges in his heed; And forthy is I come, and eek Alayn, To grynde oure corn and carie it ham agayn;” “Symond,” quod John, “by God, nede has na peer. Hym boes serve hymself that has na swayn, Or elles he is a fool, as clerkes sayn. Oure manciple, I hope he wil be deed, Swa werkes ay the wanges in his heed; And forthy is I come, and eek Alayn, To grynde oure corn and carie it ham agayn;” italics = Northern dialect forms italics = Northern dialect forms

14 Geoffrey Chaucer: A Life appointed Clerk of the King’s Works. Summoned for debt six times appointed Clerk of the King’s Works. Summoned for debt six times robbed three times in September robbed three times in September. 1389/90 resigns annuities and thus avoids persecution by the parliament => Chaucer shows political instinct 1389/90 resigns annuities and thus avoids persecution by the parliament => Chaucer shows political instinct 1391 resigns as Clerk of the King’s Works; writes Treatise on the Astrolabe resigns as Clerk of the King’s Works; writes Treatise on the Astrolabe granted royal annuity of £ granted royal annuity of £ travels through England on King’s ‘arduous and urgent business’ 1398 travels through England on King’s ‘arduous and urgent business’

15 Geoffrey Chaucer: A Life death of John of Gaunt; deposition of Richard II in September; accession of Henry IV; Chaucer returns to London death of John of Gaunt; deposition of Richard II in September; accession of Henry IV; Chaucer returns to London.

16 Henry IV Bolingbroke (son of John of Gaunt)

17 Geoffrey Chaucer: A Life Chaucer’s Complaint to His Purse (addressed to Henry IV): To you, my purse, you whom I will not slight For any other, you my lady dear, Bitterly I complain. You are so light That certainly you give me heavy cheer. I had as lief be laid upon my bier, And hoping for your mercy, thus I cry: Be heavy again, for if not I shall die Chaucer’s Complaint to His Purse (addressed to Henry IV): To you, my purse, you whom I will not slight For any other, you my lady dear, Bitterly I complain. You are so light That certainly you give me heavy cheer. I had as lief be laid upon my bier, And hoping for your mercy, thus I cry: Be heavy again, for if not I shall die.

18 Geoffrey Chaucer: A Life October 1400 (date based on inscription on his tomb): death of Geoffrey Chaucer; buried in Westminster Abbey; moved in 1556 to ‘Poet’s Corner’. 25 October 1400 (date based on inscription on his tomb): death of Geoffrey Chaucer; buried in Westminster Abbey; moved in 1556 to ‘Poet’s Corner’.

19 Chaucer’ Tomb (erected 1556) at Westminster Abbey

20 From Middle English to Early Modern English The Great Vowel Shift

21 The Great Vowel Shift 1 MEearly ModEModEngl foul [u:] =====> foul [´U] ====>foul [aU] mood [o:] ====> mood [u:] ====>mood [u:] boot [O:] =====> boat [o:] ====>boat [´U]

22 The Great Vowel Shift 2 MEearly ModEModEngl fife [i:] =====> five [´I] ======>five [aI] feet [e:] =====> feet [i:] ======> feet [i:] clene [E:] ===> clean [e:] =====>clean [i:] name [a:] > [æ:] > name [E:] > [e:] > name [ei]

23 Great Vowel Shift 3 but not: but not: break /breik/ break /breik/ */bri:k/ */bri:k/ great /greit/ great /greit/ */gri:t/ */gri:t/ steak /steik/ steak /steik/ */sti:k/ */sti:k/

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26 Great Vowel Shift affects only long vowels => affects only long vowels => short vowels retain their ME pronunciation short vowels retain their ME pronunciation five /faif/ < ME fi-fe /fi:f´/ < OE fife /fi:f´/ five /faif/ < ME fi-fe /fi:f´/ < OE fife /fi:f´/ vs. fifteen /fifti:n/ < ME fif-teene /fifte:n´/ < OE fiftene /fi:fte:n´/ vs. fifteen /fifti:n/ < ME fif-teene /fifte:n´/ < OE fiftene /fi:fte:n´/

27 Henry IV ( , reigned )

28 Henry V ( , reigned )

29 A New Standard Rising City of Westminster centre of government administration since c City of Westminster centre of government administration since c Court of the Lord Chancellor > chancelery > The Chancery Court of the Lord Chancellor > chancelery > The Chancery Use of English in administrative documents re-established about 1430 Use of English in administrative documents re-established about 1430 English used in the Chancery spread all over Britain by means of trained scribes English used in the Chancery spread all over Britain by means of trained scribes

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32 Gothic Bookhand (13th c.) vs. Cursiva Anglicana (14th c.)

33 Chancery English (letter by Henry V, 1418) Right trusty and welbeloued / brother / We grete yow wel / And as we suppose / It is not out of youre Rememberance in what wise and how we ofte haue charged yow by oure lres / πat good and hasty repacon and retitucon were ordeined and maade at altymes of suche atemptates as hapned to be made by oure suggettes / ayenst πe trewes taken betwix vs and oure brother πe duc of Bretaigne. Right trusty and welbeloued / brother / We grete yow wel / And as we suppose / It is not out of youre Rememberance in what wise and how we ofte haue charged yow by oure lres / πat good and hasty repacon and retitucon were ordeined and maade at altymes of suche atemptates as hapned to be made by oure suggettes / ayenst πe trewes taken betwix vs and oure brother πe duc of Bretaigne.

34 William Caxton ( )

35 William Caxton born between 1415 and 1425 to a Kentish family born between 1415 and 1425 to a Kentish family apprentice to the Mercers’ Company 1438 apprentice to the Mercers’ Company 1438 lived outside England, 1463 Governor of the English merchants at Bruges => contact to the Burgundian court => translates Raul Lefevre’s Recuyell des histories de Troie into English in lived outside England, 1463 Governor of the English merchants at Bruges => contact to the Burgundian court => translates Raul Lefevre’s Recuyell des histories de Troie into English in 1469.

36 William Caxton 1472 participates in the publication of Bartholomaeus Anglicus’ De Proprietatibus Rerum => becomes interested in the ‘art of printing’ 1472 participates in the publication of Bartholomaeus Anglicus’ De Proprietatibus Rerum => becomes interested in the ‘art of printing’ 1473 in Bruges sets up his own printing press 1473 in Bruges sets up his own printing press

37 Caxton Style Press (1476)

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39 Caxton‘s First Book printed in England (1477)

40 Some of Caxton’s Books 1474 Recuyell of the Historie of Troye, The Game of Chess (both at Bruges) => first book in English not printed in England! 1474 Recuyell of the Historie of Troye, The Game of Chess (both at Bruges) => first book in English not printed in England! 1477 first book printed in England: The Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres 1477 first book printed in England: The Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres 1478 The Canterbury Tales, Parliament of Fowls, Consolatio Philosophiae 1478 The Canterbury Tales, Parliament of Fowls, Consolatio Philosophiae 1479 The Book of Courtesy 1479 The Book of Courtesy

41 Some of Caxton’s Books 1482 Trevisa’s translation of Higden’s Polychronicon; Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde 1482 Trevisa’s translation of Higden’s Polychronicon; Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde 1483 The Golden Legend (Caxton’s translation of Jacobus de Voraigne’s Legenda Aurea) 1483 The Golden Legend (Caxton’s translation of Jacobus de Voraigne’s Legenda Aurea) 1485 Malory’s Morte Darthur 1485 Malory’s Morte Darthur

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45 Pages from Caxton‘s Printing of Trevisa‘s Polychronicon

46 Caxton’s revision of the Polychronicon I William Caxton a symple persone have endeuoyred me to wryte fyrst overall the sayd book of Proloconycon and somwhat have chaunged the rude and old Englyssh, that is to wete certayn wordes which in these dayes be neither vsyd ne vnderstanden. I William Caxton a symple persone have endeuoyred me to wryte fyrst overall the sayd book of Proloconycon and somwhat have chaunged the rude and old Englyssh, that is to wete certayn wordes which in these dayes be neither vsyd ne vnderstanden.

47 Polychronicon (Trevisa 1385 vs. Caxton 1482) As it is i-knowe how meny manere peple beeπ in πis ilond πere beeπ also so many dyuers longages and tonges; As it is i-knowe how meny manere peple beeπ in πis ilond πere beeπ also so many dyuers longages and tonges; As it is knowen how many maner peple been in this Ilond ther ben also many langages and tonges.

48 Polychronicon (Trevisa 1385 vs. Caxton 1482) As it is i-knowe how meny manere peple beeπ in πis ilond πere beeπ also so many dyuers longages and tonges; As it is i-knowe how meny manere peple beeπ in πis ilond πere beeπ also so many dyuers longages and tonges; As it is knowen how many maner peple been in this Ilond ther ben also many langages and tonges.

49 Polychronicon 2 (Trevisa 1385 vs. Caxton 1482) walsche men and scottes πat beeπ nought i-medled wiπ oπer naciouns holdeπ wel nyh hir firste longage and speche. walsche men and scottes πat beeπ nought i-medled wiπ oπer naciouns holdeπ wel nyh hir firste longage and speche. walshmen and scottes that ben not medled with other nacions kepe neygh yet theyr first langage and speche.

50 Polychronicon 2 (Trevisa 1385 vs. Caxton 1482) walsche men and scottes πat beeπ nought i-medled wiπ oπer naciouns holdeπ wel nyh hir firste longage and speche. walsche men and scottes πat beeπ nought i-medled wiπ oπer naciouns holdeπ wel nyh hir firste longage and speche. walshmen and scottes that ben not medled with other nacions kepe neygh yet theyr first langage and speche.

51 Caxton on the Diversity of English from OE œZ, aig, ey(e); pl. œZru, eyren, eyron from OE œZ, aig, ey(e); pl. œZru, eyren, eyron from ON eg, egg, ege; pl. egges from ON eg, egg, ege; pl. egges Loo, what sholde a man in thyse dayes now wryte, egges or eyren / certaynly it is harde to playse euery man / by cause of dyuersite & chaunge of langage. Loo, what sholde a man in thyse dayes now wryte, egges or eyren / certaynly it is harde to playse euery man / by cause of dyuersite & chaunge of langage.

52 The Rise of the New Standard Type I: based on the spoken dialects of the Central Midlands, especially the counties of Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire and Bedfordshire. Type I: based on the spoken dialects of the Central Midlands, especially the counties of Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire and Bedfordshire. Type II: found in a group of 14th cent. manuscripts which are probably all from the Greater London area. Type II: found in a group of 14th cent. manuscripts which are probably all from the Greater London area. Type III: also a London-based standard (in particular associated with the best manuscripts of Chaucer and Hoccleve) Type III: also a London-based standard (in particular associated with the best manuscripts of Chaucer and Hoccleve)

53 The Rise of the New Standard Type IV: closely associated with the numerous documents issuing from the Chancery from c onwards Type IV: closely associated with the numerous documents issuing from the Chancery from c onwards Caxton used predominantly Type IV for his publications => spreading of the new standard (‘standardisation’ affects mostly choice of vocabulary, not spelling!) Caxton used predominantly Type IV for his publications => spreading of the new standard (‘standardisation’ affects mostly choice of vocabulary, not spelling!)

54 Why is English so hard? We’ll begin with box, and the plural is boxes But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes. We’ll begin with box, and the plural is boxes But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes. OE oxa m., pl. oxan => old plural ‘oxen’ OE oxa m., pl. oxan => old plural ‘oxen’ Then 1 fowl is goose, but 2 are called geese Yet the plural of moose is never meese. Then 1 fowl is goose, but 2 are called geese Yet the plural of moose is never meese. OE gos, pl. (i-mutated) ges OE gos, pl. (i-mutated) ges

55 Why is English so hard? We speak of brother, and also of brethren Though we say mother, we never say methren. We speak of brother, and also of brethren Though we say mother, we never say methren. OE broDar, pl. broDru => dialectal variant with weak plural -an => broDran > brethren OE broDar, pl. broDru => dialectal variant with weak plural -an => broDran > brethren The masculine pronouns are he, his and him But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim! The masculine pronouns are he, his and him But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim! OE heo, hire, hire; ME northern dialect sho/she => she, her, her OE heo, hire, hire; ME northern dialect sho/she => she, her, her

56 Why is English so hard? So our English, I think you will agree, Is the trickiest language you ever did see. So our English, I think you will agree, Is the trickiest language you ever did see.

57 Thank you for your attention Have a nice summer-break!


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