Forms of English Past and Present 5.3.2009 History started in the 5th century and is still going on today New words: to google, gossip, to facebook, to handbag (to convince somebody with a little bit of force) Periods of the History of English: Old English (450-1150) Middle Engl. (1150-1500) Geoffrey Chaucer Early Modern Engl. (1500-1700) Shakespeare English (double negations, similar to Rap) Modern Engl. (1700-present) (Dates are not very important for the exam) Old English 5th century (449): Britain was invaded by Germanic tribes…
In the four versions of the Old Testament, one can found differences from the Modern English word “heaven”. In Old English the word “heofenan” was pronounced “heovɔnɑn”. All Old English diphthongs were monothongised. So, the Middle English word changed into “heune” which was pronounced “hevən”.
There, one can find the unrounded mid-front vowel /e/, instead of a diphthong. Another remarkable change is that the unstressed syllable at the end of the word and even the unstressed vowel /ɔ/ turned into a “-ə”. The loss of the final “-e” can be seen in the Middle English word.
There, it was still spelled but it was not pronounced anymore. Due to the mentioned changes above, the word got shorter and shorter. The Early Modern English word was already spelled and pronounced like the Modern English one. The only variation is that the plural form “heavens” is used in the Modern English version of the Old Testament.
Because of the fact that the /n/ is a sonorant, it does not a need a vowel in order to build a syllable. Thus, the phoneme /ə/ which existed in the last syllable of the Middle English word got lost in the Early Modern English version and the /n/ became syllabic.
In all four versions the voiced labio-dental fricative /v/ occurs in the pronunciation although it was not spelled until the Early Modern English period. This is a result of the increasing standardization of English spelling and grammar during the year 1500 until 1700. In Old English the word “heofenan” meant sky and heaven at the same time.
A specialization of meaning took place because in Modern English, there are different words standing for sky and heaven. This change is rooted in Scandinavian loanwords. These words were borrowed from the Old Norse and included in the English language due to language contact especially i.....[read full text]
The Germanic word “bradnysse”, which meant something like ‘surface’, was replaced by the word “face” in Middle English. This happened due to the Scandinavian influence, especially in the old Danelow area. Thus, the word “face” has its origin in Old Norse.
In Middle English, the phonemicisation of /s/ and /f/ took place through French loanwords. Both phonemes can be found in the pronunciation of “face” since the Middle English period. Besides from the pronunciation, the spelling of the word do.....