Difference between revisions of "Old English"

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'''Old English''' is an early form of the English [[language]] that was spoken in [[England]] around 1000 years ago. It is sometimes called [[Anglo-Saxon]]. The language spoken in England is considered Old English [[450]][[AD]] until some time after the [[Norman]] invasion of england (around [[1066]][[AD]]), when it becomes [[Middle English]]. Most Old English texts are now [[Transliteration|transliterated]] rather than being produced in [[period]] typefaces.  
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'''Old English''' is an early form of the [[English]] [[language]] that was spoken in [[England]] around 1000 years ago. It is sometimes called [[Anglo-Saxon]] as it was mainly derived from the tongue of the [[Saxon]]s. The language spoken in England is considered Old English [[450]] [[AD]] until some time after the [[Norman conquest|Norman invasion]] of England (around [[1066]] [[AD]]), when it becomes [[Middle English]]. Most Old English texts are now [[Transliteration|transliterated]] rather than being produced in [[period]] typefaces.  
  
 
== Major differences from modern English ==
 
== Major differences from modern English ==
* Extra letters (such as and )
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* Extra letters (such as "þ" and "ð")
 
* Different sound values for letters.
 
* Different sound values for letters.
 
* Different grammar (including cases: nominative, dative, genitive and accusative.)
 
* Different grammar (including cases: nominative, dative, genitive and accusative.)
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[[Beowulf]] is a traditional heroic epic poem in Old English alliterative verse. At 3182 lines, it is far more substantial than any similar work in the language, representing about 10% of the extant [[Anglo-Saxon]] corpus. The poem is untitled in the [[manuscript]], but has been known as Beowulf since the early [[19th century]].
 
[[Beowulf]] is a traditional heroic epic poem in Old English alliterative verse. At 3182 lines, it is far more substantial than any similar work in the language, representing about 10% of the extant [[Anglo-Saxon]] corpus. The poem is untitled in the [[manuscript]], but has been known as Beowulf since the early [[19th century]].
  
The [[Project Gutenberg]] e-text of Beowulf can be found at http://library.adelaide.edu.au/etext/pg/etext97/bwulf10.txt
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An e-text of Beowulf can be found at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/beo/index.htm
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An e-text in the original Anglo-Saxon/Old English can be found at http://free.hostdepartment.com/R/Ridan/BeowulfAS.htm
  
=== The lords prayer (showing change over time) ===
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=== The Lord's Prayer (showing change over time) ===
Many early examples of old english (and other period languages) are of a religious nature. The Lord's Prayer is a good example of the change in [[English]] over time.
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Many early examples of Old English (and other period languages) are of a religious nature. The Lord's Prayer is a good example of the change in [[English]] over time.
  
====Dated 1611 AD.====
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<b>''Dated 1611 AD.''</b>
 
:Our father which art in heauen,
 
:Our father which art in heauen,
 
:hallowed be thy name.
 
:hallowed be thy name.
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:Amen.
 
:Amen.
  
Most modern English speakers should be able to understand this version of the Lord's Prayer. Note the use of u in place of v. It is not until fairly recently that u an v have been considered separate letters (a good example of this can be seen in the glossary of the [[Forme of Cury]]).
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Most modern English speakers should be able to understand this version of the Lord's Prayer. Note the use of "u" in place of "v". It is not until fairly recently that "u" an "v" have been considered separate letters (a good example of this can be seen in the glossary of the [[Forme of Cury]]).
  
====Dated 1384 AD. ====
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<b>''Dated 1384 AD. ''</b>
:Oure fadir art in heuenes halwid be name;
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:Oure fadir &thorn;at art in heuenes halwid be &thorn;i name;
:reume or kyngdom come to be.
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:&THORN;i reume or kyngdom come to be.
:Be wille don in as it is doun in heuene.
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:Be &thorn;i wille don in her&thorn;e as it is doun in heuene.
 
:yeue to us today oure eche dayes bred.
 
:yeue to us today oure eche dayes bred.
:And foryeue to us oure dettis is oure synnys as we foryeuen to oure dettouris is to men han synned in us.  
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:And foryeue to us oure dettis &thorn;at is oure synnys as we foryeuen to oure dettouris &thorn;at is to men &thorn;at han synned in us.  
 
:And lede us not into temptacion but delyuere us from euyl.
 
:And lede us not into temptacion but delyuere us from euyl.
  
Most modern English speakers should be able to understand some of this version of the Lord's Prayer. Note the use of the letter , this has essentially the same value as "th" in modern English.
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Most modern English speakers should be able to understand some of this version of the Lord's Prayer when written. Spoken it would sound a great deal different; for instance, "ou" is pronounced like "oo" and in general the vowels have their continental value ("oorra fahderr thut arrt in ai(r)venas ulwid bai(r) thee nahma", with trilled "rr"). Note the use of the letter "&thorn;", this has essentially the same value as "th" in modern English.
  
====Dated circa 1000 AD.====
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<b>''Dated circa 1000 AD.''</b>
:ure eart on heofonum si nama gehalgod tobecume rice willa on swa swa on heofonum urne hlaf syle us to and forgyf us ure gyltas swa swa we urum gyltendum and ne us on costnunge ac alys us of yfele .
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:F&aelig;der ure &thorn;u &thorn;e eart on heofonum si &thorn;in nama gehalgod tobecume &thorn;in rice gewur&thorn;e &thorn;in willa on eor&eth;an swa swa on heofonum urne ged&aelig;ghwamlican hlaf syle us to d&aelig;g and forgyf us ure gyltas swa swa we forgyfa&eth; urum gyltendum and ne gel&aelig;d &thorn;u us on costnunge ac alys us of yfele so&thorn;lice.
  
This version of the Lord's Prayer probably isn't recognizable by the majority of modern English speakers. 1000 AD is before the [[Norman]] [[invasion]] of [[England]] and therefore many of the words in Modern English that were taken from French are not yet present in the Language.
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This version of the Lord's Prayer probably isn't recognizable by the majority of modern English speakers. 1000 AD is before the [[Norman conquest|Norman invasion]] of [[England]] and therefore many of the words in Modern English that were taken from [[French]] are not yet present in the language.
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===Other Examples===
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* [[Battle of Brunnanburh]]
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* [[Beowulf]]
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* [[Exeter Riddles]]
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===Manuscripts written in Old English===
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* [[Beowulf manuscript]]
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* [[MS Junius XI]]
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* [[The Exeter Book]]
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* [[The Vercelli Book]]
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* [[Anglo-Saxon Chronicle]]
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===See Also===
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* [[Old English alternate titles]]
  
 
===External Links===
 
===External Links===
*[http://www.engl.virginia.edu/OE/courses/handouts/oealpha.gif The Old English Alphabet]
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*[http://www.omniglot.com/writing/oldenglish.htm The Old English Alphabet]
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[[Category:Language]]

Latest revision as of 10:32, 12 October 2009

Old English is an early form of the English language that was spoken in England around 1000 years ago. It is sometimes called Anglo-Saxon as it was mainly derived from the tongue of the Saxons. The language spoken in England is considered Old English 450 AD until some time after the Norman invasion of England (around 1066 AD), when it becomes Middle English. Most Old English texts are now transliterated rather than being produced in period typefaces.

Major differences from modern English

  • Extra letters (such as "þ" and "ð")
  • Different sound values for letters.
  • Different grammar (including cases: nominative, dative, genitive and accusative.)

Samples of Old English

Beowulf (circa 900 AD)

Beowulf is a traditional heroic epic poem in Old English alliterative verse. At 3182 lines, it is far more substantial than any similar work in the language, representing about 10% of the extant Anglo-Saxon corpus. The poem is untitled in the manuscript, but has been known as Beowulf since the early 19th century.

An e-text of Beowulf can be found at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/beo/index.htm An e-text in the original Anglo-Saxon/Old English can be found at http://free.hostdepartment.com/R/Ridan/BeowulfAS.htm

The Lord's Prayer (showing change over time)

Many early examples of Old English (and other period languages) are of a religious nature. The Lord's Prayer is a good example of the change in English over time.

Dated 1611 AD.

Our father which art in heauen,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth as it is in heauen.
Giue us this day our daily bread.
And forgiue us our debts as we forgiue our debters.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliuer us from euill.
Amen.

Most modern English speakers should be able to understand this version of the Lord's Prayer. Note the use of "u" in place of "v". It is not until fairly recently that "u" an "v" have been considered separate letters (a good example of this can be seen in the glossary of the Forme of Cury).

Dated 1384 AD.

Oure fadir þat art in heuenes halwid be þi name;
Þi reume or kyngdom come to be.
Be þi wille don in herþe as it is doun in heuene.
yeue to us today oure eche dayes bred.
And foryeue to us oure dettis þat is oure synnys as we foryeuen to oure dettouris þat is to men þat han synned in us.
And lede us not into temptacion but delyuere us from euyl.

Most modern English speakers should be able to understand some of this version of the Lord's Prayer when written. Spoken it would sound a great deal different; for instance, "ou" is pronounced like "oo" and in general the vowels have their continental value ("oorra fahderr thut arrt in ai(r)venas ulwid bai(r) thee nahma", with trilled "rr"). Note the use of the letter "þ", this has essentially the same value as "th" in modern English.

Dated circa 1000 AD.

Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum si þin nama gehalgod tobecume þin rice gewurþe þin willa on eorðan swa swa on heofonum urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us to dæg and forgyf us ure gyltas swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge ac alys us of yfele soþlice.

This version of the Lord's Prayer probably isn't recognizable by the majority of modern English speakers. 1000 AD is before the Norman invasion of England and therefore many of the words in Modern English that were taken from French are not yet present in the language.

Other Examples

Manuscripts written in Old English

See Also

External Links