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CHAT: Middle English (was: Ungrammaticalisation)

From:John Fisher <john@...>
Date:Monday, July 19, 1999, 13:32
In message <3792F094.985F77E5@...>, Tom Wier
<artabanos@...> writes

>No, it's Middle English. The irony is that even though spoken Middle English >would be basicly unintelligible to the modern English speaker, Chaucer and >Caxton >can still be studied in the original with only a little help
For comparison with Tom's bit of Beowulf here is a really famous bit of Middle English, the start of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which in my day we studied in the original in school. Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour Of which vertu engendred is the flour; Whan Zephirus eke with his sweete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne Hath in the Ram his halve cours yronne, And smale foweles maken melodye, That slepen al the nyght with open ye (So priketh hem nature in hir corages); Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; And specially from every shires ende Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende, The hooly blisful martir for to seke, That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke. -- John Fisher Elet Anta website: Drummond ro cleshfan merec; fanye litoc, inye litoc