Re: Ander-Saxon and New Old English
|From:||Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...>|
|Date:||Monday, August 6, 2001, 15:01|
> Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001 10:04:31 -0400
> From: Sally Caves <scaves@...>
> What about late Latin borrowings? Would they
> be expelled from the AME? Instead of
> "dormitory" we'd have "sleepstowe"? etc.
Well, that would depend on whether you see the propensity for Latin
borrowings as a trait brought in by the Normans. Of course, without
the Conquest the AS/OE literary tradition might not have been broken,
and that might have made people more likely to seek out old words or
create new from native stock, like in Iceland, instead of importing
> "Gale" for "sing"? gale, gole, galen?
Both are of good Germanic roots; if sing is an import, it's from Old
Norse. (You could have both --- in Danish cocks gale and people sing).
> "Thorf" for "need"? I thorf, he tharf, we thorf?
> I thorfed yesterday? Or: he tharfs?
> (would the preterite present verbs lose their
> distinctive third person singular present
Actually, in OE times the preterito-present verbs had a singular/
plural distinction, which developed into: I wot, thou wost, he wot,
we/you/they wit, preterite I wist. (That one almost made it into MoE,
in fact). Compare the preterite of to be: I was, thou wert, he was,
(In OE, the 2nd singular of the preterite of strong verbs still had
the vowel of the plural, and no -(s)t, but analogy had already leveled
the present of the preterito-present verbs, and it got to the strong
preterite a bit later. Otherwise we'd have thou wit and thou were).
So I'd say: I tharf, thou tharft, he tharf, we/you/they thorf,
preterite I thorft.
What happened *here*, of course, is that the preterito-present class
was reinterpreted as modal verbs, and patterned after those members of
the class where the ablaut had been levelled.
If several non-modal preterito-present verbs survive in AME, that
could serve to keep the paradigm alive too, so we'd have something
like: I shall, we sholl, I can, we cun.
Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <thorinn@...> (Humour NOT marked)