Middle English Verbal Prefix i-
|From:||Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>|
|Date:||Monday, March 13, 2006, 8:48|
Middle English appears to have had a prefix i- which could appear before
verbs. Some well known examples of this prefix in action are
"Adam lay ibounden,
Bounden in a bond..."
"Miri it is while sommer ilast with flugeles song..."
and most famously of all
"Summer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuckoo!"
What I can't discern from these examples is what the morpheme actually
means. Given that all the examples above are from songs, I do have the (to
my mind) somewhat unsatisfactory theory that it may be a poetic flourish.
Can anyone shed more light on it?