1 GRAM M ATICAL APPENDIX I. ORTHOGRAPHY & SPELLING I.1

1
GRAMMATICAL APPENDIX
I. ORTHOGRAPHY & SPELLING
I.1
Old English orthography
Most surviving Old English manuscripts are written in the
Anglo-Saxon Insular Minuscule orthography derived from
Irish Insular minuscule, which was derived ultimately from
writing-systems employed in the Roman empire. Rustic
capitals provided some of the letter-forms used in A.-S. mss.,
principally for upper-case letters forming titles, headings, and
in some cases initial capitals. in general, though, historically
these letters were not used for the copying of lengthy
manuscripts; instead, the Italian Uncial script was adapted
for rapid copying, developing as the half-uncial script first by
Irish then later by Anglo-Saxon monastic scribes, who
adopted the writing tradition of their Irish predecessors.
Though a variety of sub-types within the half-uncial family
may be distinguished – including “pointed” and “square”
minuscule – the Anglo-Saxon Insular Uncial script is most
frequently encountered in manuscripts in which Old English
was written.
By and large, Anglo-Saxon Insular Uncial letter-form s
are similar to those in m inuscule roman type-fonts of printed
books today, with differences largely confined to forms of the
letters a, d, e, f, g, r, and s, and variant form s of c, o, y.
Three forms of the letter “s” were used, one of which is
practically identical to the form used in modern typography.
All three forms may be found in the manuscript page
appearing as the fronticepiece of this book. For example, the
penultimate letter in the second word in line 2 of the lefthand column, Calcedonense, appears as
. The initial letter
of the first word in line 13 of the left-hand column, se , is
written as majuscule ; in line 12 immediately above, the
initial letter of the second word stede, is written with yet a
third character:
Similarly, the letter
wynn, representing the sound
2
spelled represented by the modern typographic symbol “w,”
has been replaced in standard editions by the modern letterform. The Anglo-Saxon form may be seen in the initial letter
of the first word in line 9, the proper name W yrtgeorn, written
as a (minuscule)
The letters
(edh) and
(thorn) represented the voiced or
voiceless fricatives spelled in NE as”th.” The manuscript
forms of these two letters are illustrated in the frontispiece in
the right-hand column, in final letter of the next-to-last line in
the word wið, and in the first letter of the next-to-last word in
the final line, þâ. Originally, these were used interchangeably
as graphic representations for allophones of the voiceless
interdental fricative phonem e [2] initially and finally and its
voiced allophone [ð] used medially or intervocalically. Later
scribal practice reveals a sporadic but not entirely successful
attem pt to system atize usage, with the letter “þ” in initial and
final position denoting the voiceless allophone and the letter
“ð” in medial position for its voiced counterpart. In this book,
both þ and ð represent both the voiced and the voiceless
interdental fricatives [ð] and [2] heard in NE “then” and
“thin.”
The letter æ,”ash,” which appears in m anuscripts as
, had the value of so-called “short a” vowel heard in NE
“cat.”
I.2.
The Old English Alphabet.
The Old English an alphabet consisted of 23 letters, most of
them close equivalents of their modern written or printed
counterparts: a æ b c d e f g h ý k l m n o p r s t ð þ u D x y
. The letters æ, þ, and ð are used regularly in modern
printed editions of Old English texts, but most modern
editions replace the round voiced labial consonant D (wynn)
with the letter-form “w,” its modern phonetic equivalent. The
following consonants, it should be noted, were pronounced in
roughly the same way during the Old English period as they
are in NE (with minor exceptions noted below): b d l m n
p r t w.
3
A smaller group of letters in the Old English alphabet,
listed below, represent sounds which sometimes--depending
upon their position in a given word--require different
pronunciations from the NE sounds with which we normally
associate them: f, s, c, g, h.
þ, ð
As discussed above, the letters “thorn” and “edh”
represented either [2] or [ð] depending upon position.
The Peterborough scribes use both form s
interchangeably throughout the annals that appear in
this book, but in paradigm s, examples, discussions of
grammar, and vocabularies in the lessons, appendices,
and glossary, þ is used for the voiceless phoneme [2]
as in NE
“thin,” and ð is used for its voiced
counterpart [ð] as in NE “then.”
þorn
wiþ
âðas
f
[2orn], “thorn”
[w w2], “with”
[ Y:ð Ys], “oaths”
The letter “f” indicates two sounds, depending upon its
position in the word in which it appears: when
appearing initially, finally, or medially in unvoiced
environments, “f” represents [f], the voiceless labiodental fricative heard initially in NE “fox.” When it
appears m edially in a voiced environment,
“f” is
the voiced allophone of its unvoiced equivalent; i.e., it
is pronounced like the [v] in NE “love.” Two forms of
the same OE word and their NE cognates serve to
indicate this difference:
hlâf
[Pl Y:f], cognate with NE “loaf,” is the form of this
word as the singular subject or direct object of a
verb; the terminal f is pronounced [f].
hlâfas [Pl Y:v Ys], cognate with NE “loaves,” is the form of the
word as the plural subject or direct object; the
medial f is pronounced [v].
4
The difference in sound is also heard in the modern English
pair with which the OE words are ancestral cognates loaf :
loaves. When doubled, ff is voiceless. It should be noted that
the voiced value of “f” is not a distinct phoneme in the OE
vowel system: that is, there are no minimal pairs like NE “fat”
vs. “vat” or “leafing” vs. “leaving” in OE. The presence or
absence of voice in the pronunciation of the two values of this
letter does not constitute phonemic difference; [v] does not
appear in the phonemic inventory of OE; [f] and [v] are in OE
allophones of the [f] phoneme.
s This letter also is voiceless except when it appears in a
voiced environment. Initially and finally it is voiceless, but
it is voiced medially; when doubled, even medially, ss is also
voiceless.
sâr
his
[s Y:r], “wound”
[h ws], NE “his” [h wz] pronounced with the terminal
sound [s] in NE “hiss.”
wîse [wiz c], a form of the cognate adjective in NE,
pronounced [z] as in NE “wise.”
The voiced and voiceless sounds [z] and [s] spelled as “s” in
OE are allophones of underlying [s].
c Before a back vowel or a consonant, this letter is
pronounced [k] as in NE. But when it is adjacent to front
vowels or front diphthongs, it represents the affricate [è]
heard at initially and finally in NE “church.”
cald [k Yld], NE “cold”; the initial sound in this word is
identical to the initial [k] in NE “cold”.
‰ir‰e [è wr wè c], NE “church”; the initial and medial sounds
spelled “c” in this OE word are pronounced like the [è]
sounds heard in NE “church”
i‰
[ wè], the first-person pronoun singular “I,” with the
final [è] sound heard in NE “itch”
g This letter represented three sounds in OE: (1) a velar stop,
5
or “hard g” heard in NE “goat” and “good”; (2) the velar
fricative heard in NHG sagen; and (3) the palatal semivowel
[j] spelled “y” and heard in NE “yield” or “yell.” The first of
these values occurs before back vowels and consonants; the
second occurs after back vowels; while the third of these
values is heard when the -g-occurs either before or after
front vowels. Exam ples:
gât
[g Y:t], NE “goat,” and the initial sound is that of the
velar stop [g].
dragan [dr YpYn], NE “draw,” with a medial velar fricative [ p].
This sound was later respelled as “w,” cf. M E
drawen, NE “draw.” Cp. OE lagu, “law.”
sæŸde [sæjd c], NE “said,” with -g- sounded as a palatal
semivowel [j]. Other examples include iellan, “to
yell,” ieldan, “to yield,” and eomrian, “to mourn,
grieve” (cf. NE “yammer”)
h
This consonant had two values, a lighter and a heavier
aspirate. The light aspirate had the glottal sound heard
initially in NE “hot” and “hound,” but when preceding a
consonant, this letter was roughly aspirated as in NHG
ach or Scot. loch.
hât
lçoht
[h Y:t], NE “hot” [h]
[le YPt], [le cPt], NE “light,” with rough aspiration
[P]
r This consonant was m ore highly trilled--with a rapid
fluttering of the tip of the tongue as the consonant is voiced-than in NE. Though modern Scots employs this sound, it is
absent from standard American English. Students who are
able to make this sound are encouraged to do so; otherwise,
the retroflex “r” sound (as in NE “ride,” “hurtle,” and
American P.D.E. “fair”) is an acceptable substitute.
rîdan
faran
s‰îr
[rid Yn], “to ride”
[f Yr Yn], “to go”
[šir], “bright”
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scÿ This digraph represents the voiceless fricative [š] spelled
“sh” in NE “ship,” unless the word in which it appears is a
loan word from Latin, in which it represents the voiceless
affricate [sk].
s‰ip
[š wp], NE “ship” [š]
scola [skol Y], ( L. schola) = NE “school” [sk]
Scotta
[sk ]tt Y], “Scots”
As an aid to pronunciation, throughout this book, except for
passages from the Peterborough Chronicle and Advanced
Translation sentences, [š] is indicated by a superscript dot
–‰– while the undotted form indicates the affricate sound
[sk].
cÿ g
This digraph – indicated in this book with initial dotted
‰– expresses the value of the voiced affricate [9j ] heard
in OE e‰g, “blade,” and its NE cognate “edge.”
bri‰g
x
[br w9j ], “bridge”
This letter represented a voiceless cluster [ks] as in the
final sound of NE “sticks,” is interchangeable with -cs-, as
in rixian/ricsian, both pronounced [r wksiYn].
axian
[ YksiYn], “to seek, ask for”
Doubled consonants are pronounced separately and m ay be
considered “long”: as with the vowels, this term has to do
primarily with duration in enunciation time. Thus, for
example, medial ‘ll’ in sellan, “to give,” is about twice as long
as the ‘l’ in sele, “hall.” The difference between the
pronunciations of ‘l’ in these two OE words – [l] vs [l:] – is
similar to the difference between ‘ll’ NE “cellar,” [s el· cr] which
has a short [l], and NE “sail late,” [sel· let], which contains a
long [l:]. Similarly, the ‘dd’ in OE læddon, “led” (pl.), is of the
same length as the [d] in NE “red dog.”
I.3 Table of Equivalents for Old English Spelling
7
OE manuscripts exhibit considerable variations in spelling
even for some of the most common OE words. However, the
apparent chaos presented by the language is to some extent a
superficial matter: the Peterborough m anuscript of the AngloSaxon Chronicle is actually considerably more orderly in its
spelling conventions than it might at first seem to be. Setting
aside the allophones of þ, f, and s discussed above, and the
different sounds represented by the letters g, h, and c, most
variations in spelling are confined to interchange between
vowels, and most of those are restricted to vowels in
unstressed syllables, particularly in syllables ending in a
nasal consonant n or m .
a=o
a=æ
æ=e
e= æ
e=y
e = eo
eo = i
eo = ie
i=y
and/ond
þam/þæm
þæt/þet
wes/wæs
þe/þý
werod/weored
heom/him
feord/fierd
cining/cyning
ie = y
i = ie
io = eo
i=i
o=e
o=a
y=i
y = ie
hie/hy
iland/ieland
hio/heo
hi/hi
werod/weored
on/and
m yÿc el/m iÿc el
esyne/esiene
II. PRONUNCIATION
II.1 Consonants
Voiceless stops
as in NE
in OE
[t]
[p]
[k]
[k]
“tip”
“pig”
“keep”
“call”
trçow
pund
cyning
côm
[treow]
[pnd]
[k¢n wng]
[kom]
“pledge”
“pound”
“king”
“came”
dæ Ÿ
bât
gôs
[dæj]
[bY:t]
[gos]
“day”
“boat
“goose”
dental
labial
palatal
velar
[twp]
[p wg],
[kip]
[k]l]
Voiced Stops
[d] dental
[b] labial
[g] velar
“dog” [d ]g]
“bog” [b ]g]
“goose” [gus]
8
Voiceless fricatives
[f]
[2]
[s]
[š]
[h]
[P]
labiodental
interdental
alveolar
alveolar
glottal
glottal
“fox”
“thin”
“sing”
“ship”
“hat”
“loch”
[fYks]
[2wn]
[swõ]
[šwp]
[hæt]
[l]P]
faran
þû
sâr
scÿ ip
hîe
hlâf
[fYrYn]
[2u]
[sY:r]
[šwp]
[hic]
[PlY:f]
“to go”
“thou, you”
“wound”
“ship”
“they”
“bread”
Voiced fricatives
[v]
[ð]
[z]
[p]
labiodental “love” [lcv]
hlâfas [PlYvYs] “loaves”
interdental “then” [ðen]
âðas
[Y:ðYs]
“oaths”
alveolar
“lazy” [lezi]
rîsan [riz Yn]
“to rise”
velar
“sagen”(G.)[zYpcn] dragan [drYpYn] “to draw”
Affricates
[è] alveolar
[9j ] alveolar
“chuck” [è ck],
“bridge” [br w9j ]
‰ild
e‰g
[èwld]
[e9j ]
“land”
“risk”
“m an”
“nam e”
“linger”
[lænd]
[rwsk]
[mæ:n]
[nem]
[lwõgcr]
land
rûn
m ûþ
nam a
singan
[lYnd] “land”
[run] “letter”
[m u2] “mouth”
[nYmY] “nam e”
[swõg Yn] “to sing”
[ww2]
[jicld]
wæstm [wæstm] “fruit”
g
ÿ ieldan [jicldYn] “to yield”
“child”
“blade”
Resonants
[l] liquid
[r] retroflex
[m] nasal
[n] nasal
[õg] nasal
II.2 Semivowels
[w] bilabial
[j] palatal
“with”
“yield”
Doubled consonants are pronounced separately and m ay be
considered “long”: as with vowel length (see below), this term
has to do primarily with duration in time. Thus, for example,
the medial -ll- in sellan, “to give,” is about twice as long as the
-l- in sele, “hall.” The double -ll- sound which this represents
9
is reflected in NE “stellar,” pronounced short, while the NE
phrase “stale loaf” contains a long [l] sound identical to that of
OE sellan. The -dd- in OE læddon, “led” (plural), has the
same long [d] sound as terminal followed by initial “d”- in NE
“red dog.”
II.3 Vowels
In the pronunciation of vowels, as distinguished from
consonants, the minimal opposition +/- voice is not relevant,
since in some sense vowels are “all voice.” Further, whereas
consonants restrict the passage of air through the throat and
mouth to a greater or lesser extent, vowels restrict the
passage of voiced air hardly at all: instead of stops, fricatives,
and affricates, vowels are characterized by the shape and
location of the tongue and lips in relation to the roof of the
mouth, giving minimal oppositions high/low, front/back,
round/unround, and tense/lax. A further distinction between
short and long describes the relative duration of the vowel
sound from onset to termination.
Old English had seven vowels, each with a long and short
equivalent:
Short: a æ
Long:
â æ
G
e i o u y
ç î ô û
y2
While indications of vowel length sometimes appear in OE
mss, they are used so sporadically and unsystematically as to
be of little practical value to the beginning student. In this
book, the textual material appearing in the lessons is
presented without macrons; in the linguistic apparatus –
paradigm s, glossary, and linguistic discussions – macrons are
used to indicate vowel length.
Vowel Sound
in NE
in OE
a [Y] low back, short
[Y:] low back, long
“pot” [pYt]
habban [hYbbYn] “have”
“father”[fY:ðcr] stân
[stY:n]
“stone”
10
æ[æ] low front, short “cat”
[kæt]
[æ
G ] low front, long “fan” [fæ:n]
e [e] mid front, short “debt” [det]
[e] mid front, long “fate” [fet]
i [w] high front, short “sit”
[swt]
[i] high front, long, “feet” [fit]
o []] mid back, short “log”
[l]g]
[o] mid back, long “no”
[no]
u [] high back, short “look” [lk]
[u] high back, long “moon”[mun]
y [ ¢] high front, lax
“tu” (Que.) [t¢]
[y] high front, tense “tu” (Fr.) [ty]
fæt
sæ
G
men
dçman
wit
wîd
sÿc op
côm
sunu
tûn
cyning
y2 þ
[fæt]
“vessel”
[sæ:]
“sea”
[men]
“men”
[dem Yn] “judge”
[wwt] “we (two)”
[wid]
“wide”
[š]p]
“poet”
[kom]
“came”
[sn]
“son”
[tun]
“town”
[k¢nwõ]
“king”
[y2]
“wave”
II.4 Diphthongs
Diphthongs consist of two vowel sounds, an initial vowel with
a following off-glide. Old English contained eight diphthongs,
the long and the short forms of the vowel combinations
spelled ea, eo, ie, and io. In the pronunciation of these, the
main stress was placed on the initial vowel, the second sound
having been reduced to schwa [ c].
Diphth.
in NE
ea
ça
eo
ço
ie
îe
io
îo
“yeah”
“bail”
“beryl”
“mayo”
“beard”
“meal”
“ear”
“yawn”
[ec]
[ec]
[ec]
[eo]
[wc]
[ic]
[wc]
[w]]
in OE
[jec]
ealdor [ecldcr]
[becl] hçah [heYP]
[becrcl] eorl
[ecrl]
[meo] çode
[eodc]
[bwcrd] hierde [hwcrdc]
[m icl], hîe
[hic]
[wcr]
liornian[lwcrniYn]
[i]n]
þîod
[2i]d]
“noble”
“high”
“nobleman”
“went”
“shepherd”
“they”
“learn”
“people”
As indicated in an earlier section, because of phonetic
variants in the representation of the phonology of Old
English, differences in scribal practice from scribe to scribe,
similarities between som e NE words and their OE precursors,
and similarities between some sounds in Old English, the
spelling of OE words was not as determinate or fixed as it is
11
in NE. Indeed, beginning with the late Middle English period
as a result of the circulation of printed texts, and continuing
with the dictionary m ovem ent of the 18th and primary
education in 19th century, English spelling has achieved a
rigidity that modern students take for granted. Old English
speakers and writers--even highly educated ones--would have
found this puzzling. The following table is meant to assist the
student in recognizing spelling variations and identifying
citation-forms of OE words when the spellings offered in the
lessons seem unusual.
Vowels of unstressed syllables are generally to be
pronounced as [ c] (schwa); they are subject to considerable
variation in spelling. Thus, the infinitive -an ending may
appear spelled -en or -on; conversely, the preterite plurals of
Strong Verbs may be spelled -on as expected or may appear as
-en or -an, making them identical in form to that of the
infinitive and the subjunctive plural. A table of spelling
equivalents for unstressed vowels appears in section II.3
below.
II.5 Accent
Most OE words take primary accentuation on the first
syllable unless the first syllable of the word is a prefix such as
for-, ge-, on-, and be-, which do not take stress; in these words,
accent falls on the second syllable: e.g., g·gn, fr·warþ, n·brnde
. These are chiefly compounds com posed of a verb plus a
prefix derived from a preposition-adverb. However, when
these prefixes occur in composition with a noun, primary
stress falls regularly on the first syllable. A list of these
prefixes in their stressed and unstressed forms--that is, as
they appear when prefixed to nouns as opposed to verbs
(accent marks here denote primary and secondary stress, not
vowel length):
Nouns
Verbs
æ- æt·wìelm, “fountain”
æf- ætf·þùnca, “offense”
æt- ætt·sp&rning, “offense”
a- à·wéallan, “well up”
of- òf·þýncan, “displease”
ot- òt·spúrnan, “tumble”
12
and- ánd·sàca, “apostate”
bi- bí·gènga, “inhabitant”
for- fór·w&rd, “a ruin”
or- ór·þànc, “mind”
þurh- þúrh·fère,”open way”þurhunder- únder·dèlf, “a mine”
wiþer- wíþer·sàca, “foe”
ut- út·gàng, “outlet, exit”
ymb- ýmb·hw&rft, “circle”
onòn·sácan, “deny”
be- bè·gán, “occupy”
for- fòr·wýrdan, “banish”
a- à·þéncan, “devise”
þùrh·féran, “ penetrate”
under- ùnder·délfan, “ mine”
wiþer- wìþer·sácian, “ oppose”
ut- ùt·gángan, “go out, exit”
ymb- &mb·hwéorfan, “ encircle”
`