Historia de la Lengua Inglesa (2017)

Apunte Inglés
Universidad Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)
Grado Estudios Ingleses - 3º curso
Asignatura Historia de la Lengua Inglesa
Año del apunte 2017
Páginas 28
Fecha de subida 25/06/2017
Descargas 1
Subido por


Prof. Eugenio Contreras

Vista previa del texto

History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ 1.
HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE: PERIOD DIVISION The division of the history of English language has been studied into a traditional and … point of view. The traditional division is based on a mixture of political and linguistic reasons.
- Old English (OE): dated around the 5th and the 11th centuries (also known as the Anglo-Saxon period.
Germanic invasions and revolts in Great Britain provoked a significant mixture of languages and cultures which triggered a common language known as Old English. Bear in mind that Anglo-Saxon is not referred to a linguistic period, but to a historical one.
- Middle English (ME): dated around the 12th and 15th centuries and characterised by the Normal conquest. New settlement in the North-West area of France and its occupation in England lead to the inclusion of the French language. The beginning of ME is traditionally set in the 12th century due to the need of time for a proper consolidation of language after the Normal conquest.
- Modern English (Subdivision): wide-rage amount of information. Practically all texts books indicate that such books from the Modern English period come from the Modern Era.
- Early Modern English (EME): from the 16th to the 17th century, Renaissance period. Many simultaneous factors had a great impact on Germanic languages in general with the creation of the Norm.
- Late Modern English (LME): real expansion of the British Empire (18th-19th centuries). There are no significant differences towards the present-day English.
- Present-day English (PdE): dated from the 20th century to nowadays. Linguistic features revolved by political reasons.
Attempts to accommodate these periods to linguistic changes: - H. Sweet (1876) stated that Old English is a period of full inflections (naman, gifan, caru), richer inflection of Latin with gender and declarative divisions, verbal tenses. In the case of ME there are levelled inflections (naame, given, care); Modern English is characterised by lost inflections (naam, giv, caar) with lots of many vowel exclusions for instance.
Nevertheless, not all inflections exists, like in the case of plural, 3s, or past tenses. In addition, these attempt of dividing English into three periods deals with changes difficult to be dated. Inflections are taken as a single feature to establish the periods of any language, though truly there are many other features to be considered when dividing.
- Alternative (Blake (1996): this scholar changed the traditional point of view dramatically. Blake stated that given that the main source of the history of the English language is the written language, not every writer had the same domain of the English language since there were no attempts of regularisation (standard). In this regularisation we need a norm, and so an alternative division which reflects changes in and attitudes towards the standard.
The distinction he stablished dealt with terms like standard and standardised language. Firstly, in the standard language, the written form which is either imposed or promoted over a wider geographical area !1 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ than where it originated with the aim of making it the principal or sole written form in the country as a whole. Language always tends to expand itself, so there is an empirical sense. On the other hand, a standardised language is a language which has achieved a reasonable measure of regularity in its written form. This standardised typically tends to develop itself into a standard language.
According to Blake there are eight periods.
• The first period is a kind of prehistorical English (mid 5th century - late 9th century). The problem of this period is that there are not enough texts to be analysed and studied but just historical facts.
• First English standard (late 9th century) does have certain texts written in a still prehistorical English.
This is a period when lots of kingdoms still coexisted in Great Britain. King Alfred, for instance, was a West-Saxon ruler in Britain. In the North-East part of the island there were new Scandinavian invasions like the Vikings. The first English standard is typically called West-Saxon. The great majority of texts during this period are Saxon. There were no promotion of other vernacular languages in Europe but only Latin which was still used. Second most numerous record of written texts in Germanic languages.
• The third period is dated ca. 1100-1250. It was the time of the arrival of the Normans and the introduction of the French language to Britain. Therefore, we can find a change of standard by the inclusion of foreign languages like Latin and French. If you wanted to be someone in the 11th century you did need to speak French and Latin, so English was practically spoken by low-class people. Nonetheless, this third period is a diglossia period. At the same time, OE standard survived, but only as an inspiration for local standardised forms of English until ca. 1250.
• The fourth period (ca. 1250-1400) is characterised by an interregnum, which means that the king of England still ruled over England and France. This linage of Roman origin was consequently blurred.
English was not that extended yet from the linguistic point of view, though it will increase gradually its strength. Because there was no promotion of Standard or standardised language, there was a dialectal diversity, with no dialect used as a model for the rest.
• The fifth period is set in between the 1400 and the 1660 (Restoration period). It is at this period when English will need a standard. Latin was learnt just for cultural reasons, so that it is obvious that we are in need of English as a national language. Besides, printing press was increasingly expanded in a way to spread culture; economic, political and social development. There were numerous proposals, like the Chancery English or London English. The real ancestors of present-day English is seemingly Chancery English, though from the religious point of view there were other proposals given by universities like Cambridge or Oxford.
• The sixth period is dated circa 1660-1800. We will find a regulation of “correct” language (prescriptivism), mostly following Latin. Many scholars were aware that English need a drastic regulation in order to be more similar to Classical languages. Latin is still present at this time due to its influence in regulation.
• The seventh period is set in the most splendorous age of Great Britain: the Expansion of the Empire and the Victorian Era. There were mixed attitudes: imperial expansion and reinforcement of the standard, instrument of the Empire (strengthening of VI); poets, novelists, essayists lived the revolutionary period of !2 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ Romanticism and its eye on local history. It is the time of local dialect study, indeed. Poets like Wordsworth or Browning attacked standard language in poetry in order to promote English dialects (the standard is a historical accident).
• The eighth period is featured by the decay of the Empire after the WWI and the rise of the USA. If the Empire is weaker now, it cannot be certainly known what the traditional standard is. Consequently, there will be a promotion of non-British standards and claims for recognition of other British varieties. Of course, conservative governments tried to react against this situation.
There is no description of language here, but historical and political facts instead. Nevertheless, there are certain aspects to be taken into account in this division.
!3 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ 2. HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS Methods of linguistic reconstruction: comparative and internal The term family is used to relate two different languages, we refer to the “biological” construction. However, it is open to criticism. From this point of view, we will use the term language families in order to refer to two genetically related languages which are divergent continuations of one previous language (protolanguage).
This notion of diversion is parallel to biology in the sense of gathering different breads and types of beings, thorough the family tree picture. The protolanguage, however, refers to one specific language and not to a group at all.
The model which is commonly applied to a biological evolution of members of groups is a tree model (family trees), whose members share features due to inheritance. This point of view deals with inheritance of certain features and linguistic characteristics. In the 19th century, there will be criticism since features were not considered necessary so far but the need of contact between languages. Approaches of transmission are successfully admitted in this theory.
For example, the West Germanic languages family tree model: This perspective is due to conviction that every common feature is inherited by an ancestor (the protolanguage). Paul Smith did not agree with this since he reckoned that there was other relevant factor which made the separation of languages possible: contact and wave models. Nonetheless, there are languages that, despite their differences, share a same territory though. Therefore, there is a need of contact between languages at inheriting. The wave model is conferred by successive generations and the contact between territories.
!4 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ Indo-European language family In terms of territory and inheritance, the Indo-European language family is the widest study model. In this case, if English belongs to the Germanic language family (Gothic, Old Norse, Old High German, Old Saxon, etc.), this Germanic language does also belong to the Indo-European family. The genetic point of view declares that languages share a common ancestor and that they change in time until getting a modern language different in significant features from the ancestor. Nevertheless, we cannot prove at all that this “ancestor” was the original language and so it had another ancestors.
Family trees are in constant change since they do not always follow the common pattern as it can be seen in French. The influence of latter English is related to certain basements in the territory, so the wave theory gets stronger. Bear in mind, that this language is meant to be a theoretical language since we lack of any prove of its existence.
Indo-European languages comprise many other subfamilies as it can be appreciated in the illustration (Indo-Iranian, Hellenic, Italic, etc.). Incredibly, these languages are remarkably extended from India to Iceland (formerly, Indo-Germanic). It was only after the Ottoman conquest of Turkey (marking the beginning of the Modern Age), a wedge of a non-IE language in what was historically an uninterrupted … Comparative method of linguistic reconstruction 19th-century linguists stablished a reconstructive research in order to find the origin of those languages they thought could come from a common ancestor. Protolanguages are sometimes attested, —e.g. Latin—, more commonly hypothetical —e.g. Proto-Germanic, Proto-Indo-European (PIE). By this theory, linguists were meant to reconstruct this original language through comparative methods. Hence, a language which is unattested must be reconstructive. There are several methods of linguistic reconstruction: comparative method and internal reconstruction.
!5 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ The comparative method was initially applied to phonology since linguists stated that languages tend to share more phonological features than, e.g., grammatical, There a lists of words with ‘same’ meaning and related sounds (cognate terms). For instance, the Spanish red and the English red do share a the form and sound (more or less) but not the same meaning. Once they have a lists of cognitive sounds, these proposals of ‘proto-forms’ must be seen to derive from them by the operation of plausible (non-arbitrary) mechanisms of sound change. Hence, linguists must be in knowledge of mechanism of sounds apart of assimilation.
Even in the 19th century there were certain clues, mainly German linguists, stablished that there must be certain laws (Junggrammatiker) pushed by neogramarians. They stated that not just tendencies, but completely regular (exceptionless) laws of sound change (sometimes inhibited by analogy). They refined methods which helped to correct previous wrong predictions). For instance, the results of Grimm’s Law (1st half of 19th c.) giving wrong results: if we have a sound which is PIE and it is proto-Germanic, it is not attested. A second result was that alveolar sounds in PIE (/t/, /d/, etc) turned into fricative sounds in protoGermanic. The previous one stablished that stops in PIE turned into labio-dental sounds in Gmc (*p } *f).
(example from CV: PIE *pater…). For neogramarians this was not enough since they thought that there must be an additional reason.
Verner (2nd half of 19th c.) revised this theory and strengthen the relevance of stress position. In result, Grimm’s law operates if stress on 1st syllable, but if stress is not on 1st syllable, then not voiceless but voiced fricatives are found. These results belonged to a complementary law, so he was not happy with it at all. There is still the preservation of stress. Later on, after the proto-germanic stage, the Germanic languages stablished their stress on the first syllable).
First Germanic consonant shift (Grimm’s/Verner’s Law) explained in five steps: (handout in CV) 1. Aspirated voiced stops ⇨ corresponding voice fricatives: 2. Voiceless stops > corresponding voiceless fricatives (except when they followed another voiceless fricative): !6 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ 3. (Verner's Law) Voiceless fricatives > voiced (in a voiced environment and the PIE stress was not on the preceding syllable): 4. Voiced stops > voiceless 5. Voiced fricatives (from step 1) > corresponding voiced stops (sometimes: depending on the sound, the environment and the dialect) !7 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ Method of internal reconstruction This method is not based, necessarily, on formulated proto-languages, but on reconstructing one single language and the processes which explain how this target language became in such form. Proposals of previous linguistic forms/ stages from data obtained from one and the same linguistic system. Data is normally taken from variations away from regular mechanisms in that linguistic system. Through this, they take some relationships with PdE which must be morphologically related: e.g. PdE long>length mouse>mice foot>feet blood>bleed full>fill man>men In this case, there is no addition of any plural -s, but a vocalic change which stems from plurality instead.
This is commonly use when considering changes in word class. All these examples are gathered in a single group commonly called irregular plurals.
In other languages, like in German, we use the Umlaut when constructing plurals: e.g. Gast>Gäste,/ Mann>Männer/ Tochter>Töchter so this language shares certain similarities with English in morphological terms; in the second case, Männer has an additional suffix added.
Partial regularities and synchronic asymmetries can be explained by making reference to earlier periods in which these processes were completely regular and productive. If we engage a process of palatalisation, something is common between two languages like German and English. In fact, it can be said that there were certain cases in which these irregular forms were once regular. Commonly, morphological processes are triggered by sound changes. Examples show palatalisation of the stressed vowel. Something must have caused that palatalisation as a regular process so that they construct a suffix (plural or abstract in nouns, causative in verbs, etc.). The suffix contained a palatal element causing a subtype of assimilation (Umlaut) in the stressed vowel which turns into a palatalised allophone.
Later on, the allophone underwent a process of phonologisation (independent phoneme). In some cases, notably in English, the suffix (causing factor) was eventually lost and the morphological distinction was then marked only by the different root vowel.
GVS1) E.g. Pre-OE *mūsi (pl.)> *mȳsi>mȳs >mīs>mice (/maɪs/ But *mūs (sg.), unchanged until GVS operated→mouse /maʊs/ It is a commonly combined with comparative method, but sometimes the only method available. E.g.
laryngeals proposed by Saussure for PIE. For sure, there are many other methods of reconstruction which focused on, for instance, lexicology or morphology.
1 Great Vowel Shift !8 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ 3. OLD ENGLISH (OE) Spelling and Pronunciation a. Special letters • Æ, æ (ash) • Þ, Þ (thorn) • Ð, ð (eth) There are some other, but they are not commonly used in modern editing conventions since they are more used in Middle English.
b. Vowels • The five traditional vowel letters with two additional ones: <æ>, <y2>. Both long and short. Besides, there is a traditional convention: <ā, ē, ī>, etc. (not in MSS).
In more recent textbooks, not every scholar consider this distinction relevant at all, so transcriptions of OE vary.
• Diphthongs are open to discussion among scholars (sometimes just vowel digraphs?). Some scholars consider diphthongs to be read in the same way they are written like.
c. Consonants 1. Long consonants were spelled with double graphemes. For example, rinan ‘to rain’ was pronounced [ri:nan], and rinnan ‘to flow’ was [rin:an].
2. The graphemes <p b t d k m l r w> corresponded well to pronunciation; they represented [p b t d k m r w], respectively.
3. g = [j] before or between front vowels and finally after front vowels (except when they are the result of umlaut). The traditional convention is <ġ> (not in MSS); [y] (a voiced velar fricative) between back vowels or after [l] or [r]; [g] elsewhere.
4. c = [tʃ] next to a front vowel (except when it is the result of umlaut). Traditional convention <ċ> (not in MSS); [k] elsewhere.
5. n = [ŋ] before [k or [g]; [n] elsewhere.
6. h = [h] before vowels and before [l r n w] (‘hatt,’ hat); [ç] (a voiceless palatal fricative) after front vowels (niht, night); [χ] (a voiceless fricative… 7. sc = [ʃ] Traditional convention: <sċ> (not in MSS).
2 Like in German <ü> !9 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ 8. cg = [d] Traditional convention: <ċg> (not in MSS) 9. f= [v] when surrounded by voiced sounds; [ƒ] elsewhere and when doubled.
10. s= [z] when surrounded by voiced sounds; [s] elsewhere and when doubled 11. þ or ð = [ð] when surrounded by voiced sounds. = [θ] elsewhere and when doubled.
OE Phonology: front mutation (i-umlaut) Front mutation (or i-umlaut) occurred prior to surviving written English texts, probably in the sixth century A.D. Under front mutation, [i] or [j] in a following syllable changed the quality (not the quantity) of the preceding vowels as follows: i-umlaut Assimilation of root vowel (stressed) to the palatal feature of following unstressed vowel: V1 (-palatal] > V2 [+palatal] / ___+C+i /ĩ/ j OE dāl ‘portion’ > dǣlan ‘divide, distribute’ (Gothic dails>dailjan) Week verbs: a) Denominal: Infinitive → suffix *-jan (dāl>dǣlan) b) Causative: Stem of preterite singular of strong verb + *-ján; u>y ⇒ full>fyllan (PdE full>fill) List of i-umlaut changes: !10 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ History of the English Language: Paths of Grammatical Change Speed of language change If we consider e.g. lexicon, changes on vocabulary must be taken into account. In this case, for instance, we can appreciate that changes run slowly. Hence changes are different depending on different linguistic levels and on different specific periods which are influenced by socio-historical factors. The reason why English is such a special study-language is due to the significant mixture of languages involved.
In the cases of OE and ModE, they are considered typologically different languages. There are studies of languages which belong to different types, like in the case of English, and on the other hand, languages which have not suffered such drastic changes like Italian (regardless Latin). This is the typical study of English language typology, though there are other studies which focus on other factors. When we compare PdE and ‘Classical’ OE, it must be taken into account that these particular languages are dialects from different areas.
The speed of language change is not parallel to the different linguistic levels in the same way it is different depending on different specific periods which trigger socio-historical factors. There are periods in which language change is considerably fast and some other periods in which language changes slowly.
The main differences between initial and contemporary state of HEL: for sure, OE and ModE are typologically different languages (that is the reason why there is such a wide variety of Indo-European languages). Even if these languages belong to a common proto-language, the remarkable differences make the linguist group them up in sub-classes of languages; ‘Classical’ OE and standard PdE must be considered dialects from different areas. There are many other dialects of OE (West-Saxon), though the vast majority of surviving texts seem to be written in a specific dialect. The degree of spelling, for instance, is declining between these two languages. As it can be noticed, these two languages belong to different areas of the island; when comparing stages of languages, another important thing is that we must compare the number of texts and other documents with other languages at the time. In the case of OE, there is a limited number of texts, narrower variety. From the surviving text, we linguists must set out conclusions.
A. One the structural feature, which is essential when considering the evolution of the English language, is synthesis (⇒analysis3 ). We start from a stage of language in which grammatical information is found in the shape of the word (inflections, declination, conjugation, etc.). In the case of English, we do find a loss of inflections. Consequently, the less inflections it has, the more fixed the word order gets. Another compensatory result is the use of functional words (even without with the morphological meaning, the word can be clarified by other elements within the sentence).
B. Another one which is a little bit more abstract is the semantic orientation (SemO) which trigger syntactic orientation (SynO). In the case of SemO, we can see that it deals with pragmatic and semantic structuring. In a SemO language, communicative and meaning factors as well as ‘nonobligatory’ rules; in SynO languages, we will find a higher codification of categories (not so flexible 3 When you analyse, you divide a whole into its components.
!11 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ as other languages like, e.g., Chinese). Besides, English SynO is less transparent, more conventionalised. Here, we can have the case of ‘obligatory’ rules (not written, though).
Organisational centre: - text (SemO); - sentence (SynO).
• SemO features: the subject is not necessarily mentioned, though in English it is compulsory.
Nevertheless, it is not the case of many OE varieties; the subject (if it is included) is typically the agent in the sentence (e.g. Me gusta el chocolate// I like chocolate ⇒ clearly, the subject in Spanish language is not the same as in English); contextual use of ‘particles:’ passive sentences are almost inexistent in OE, though we do find a considerable use of passives in PdE; aspectual differentiation which is the result of lexical resources (adverbs); connectors/subordinators are typically non-specialised or absent. For instance, the list of connectors and subordinators will increase significantly along the Middle Ages.
C. Productive and receptive orientation. Orality (shared culture): in old times, the speaker produced a higher degree of freedom in possibilities of expression. Mind that the listener must understand properly the message. In the case of the listener, there is for sure a higher interpretative effort. Hence, there is a general and linguistic knowledge shared by speakers and listeners; literacy (distanced culture). When literacy arrives into any culture, the speaker deals with a lower degree of freedom in possibilities of expression, and so the listener has a lower interpretive effort, too. To conclude, the evolution of productive and receptive production ends up in a consolidation of resources ensuring linguistic intelligibility to other members of the community.
!12 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ OE Morphology General features a. Noun Phrases: Nouns (Pronouns), Adjectives and Determiners.
- NOUNS • categories to be considered are case, gender and number • Case: N, A, G, D • Nouns: several declensions • Strong: in PGmc there was a vowel between the root and the ending. Depending on the vowel: astem, i-stem, u-stem declensions. Associated with one or two genders each. So depending on the thematic vowel, we have several possibilities. Some of them will contain only masculine nouns, other feminine and other neutral ones.
• Weak: an-declension.
• Root nouns: back vowel in some of the forms, umlauted vowel in some others, because of a former stressed syllable containing /i/ or /j/. No longer productive in OE times. Precedent of PdE mousemice, etc.
- ADJECTIVES • Germanic innovation: they can adopt either of 2 declensions depending on the syntactic context: • Strong (indefinite, more distinctive); there is more variation in strong forms. E.g. OE gōd cyning ‘good king’ • Weak (definite, less distinctive): we can have something which may be called a mixture between article and adjective after se/sēo/þæt (CV) - DETERMINERS (DEICTICS4) • se/sēo/þæt declension: distant reference. Mixture of PdE functions: article-demonstrative (in ME, there is a notable separation of forms with specialised functions). Romance languages, however, will suffer a parallel process.
• þes/þēos/þis declension (near reference): more specifically demonstrative.
- PERSONAL PRONOUNS. NOTABLE FEATURES: • Distinction between 2s and 2p (until EME): you is an original plural although in PdE is used in both singular and plural. It is actually a social evolution.
• Existence of a dual number: it is something shared by Germanic languages.
Survival of OE inflections in PdE 4 Wider term than determiner !13 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ “The boats were floating by the dock“ N/A Pl -as (masc a-stem nouns will generalise and become the regular plural in PdE). This is not the only possibility of plural in English, but also: “The oxen follow the plough” N/A Pl -an (surviving in ME, only remnants in PdE: children, oxen, brethren). This pattern is thought to come from Old Northern English.
“He found a raven’s nest” G Sg -es “The mice are hunting for food N/A Pl with root vowel mutation (i-umlaut) Because of their frequency, some root nouns surviving in PdE) “The sheep are in the pasture” N/A Pl=N/A sg “It seldom rains” D Pl -um. Originally, it is an adjective whose original meaning along this suffix -um means “rare.” “There is hardly a man alive” (on life) D Sg-e. The preposition does not correspond to the present day one, though. The first element comes, hence, from an original phrase.
b. Gender: M, F, N: grammatical gender and natural gender are thought to be the mirror image of “natural gender.” modiges mannes (M): of the brave man þæt æg (N): the egg þis leaf (N): this leaf word (N): those words freolic wif (N): noble woman se tun (M): the town/village seo ceaster (F): the city þone grund (M): the ground seo byrne (F): (chain)mail se mete (M): the food þæt scip (N): the ship þeos costn-ung (F): this temptation Realignment towards natural gender beginning to appear already in OE, and which was completed in early Middle English. This is linked to the Scandinavian settle in north-eastern England. The presence of gender is still operative but not for long time in this period known as early Middle English.
c. Verbs: categories for inflection: • Person: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd; this distinction is only common in singular forms; • Number: singular and plural (Gmc common characteristic: no person distinction in plural); • Mood: indicative, subjunctive, imperative; There are two major subdivisions among verbs: strong and weak. It will not depend on any context but in the particular quality of each verb. When talking about we distinction we realise that there are verbs which can only be found in strong form and, likewise, verbs which can only be found in weak forms.
Strong verbs (<PIE): relevant distinctions through vowel gradation (ablaut5 ). It is meant to be share between other languages like German or Dutch for instance. This is the main class in OE, but not today since we refer nowadays as irregular verbs. There are seven classes (some with subclasses) according to 5 Vowel rotation.
!14 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ the patterns of vowel change: present 3s; past sg. (1s and 3s); past pl (+2s); past. ppl. e.g. wrītan wrītt6 wrāt writon (ge-)writen. In PdE, the language has suffered such a dramatic change to the extent of narrowing down all the forms to two.
Weak verbs: these verbs form typically the past tense and past participle by adding the ending [-od(e)/ed(e)] or [-de/-te] to the present tense stem. In PdE, this form is easily found in regular verbs. It is not the productive class in OE. In ME, this pattern will gradually start to become the productive one (a long process going on in EME).
Irregular (anomalous) verbs: this is the case of the verb “to be,” and its irregular form bēeon/wesan.
This verb, however, presents alternative paradigms; preterite-present verbs: this means that there is something between these two tenses. Former past forms developed Present function and new Past forms were created following the weak pattern: e.g. cunnan7 “be able to, know/” māgan8 “be able to/” sċulan9 “have to.” The surviving descendants are model auxiliaries in PdE.
6 Sometimes umlauted vowel in 3s.
7 Can 8 Make 9 Should and shall !15 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ OE Syntax. Clauses: general features In the case of sentences, we have that they can be excluded simple sentences (just one clause) or complex sentences with more than one clause. Hence, clauses can be either coordinated and subordinated.
• Coordinating conjunctions: and AND, ac BUT; • Subordinating conjunctions (some of them in correlative structure): forþon, for þæm, for þæm þe BECAUSE ⎪⎪ oþ, oþ þæt UNTIL; gif (+subjunctive) IF ⎪⎪ þa, þa… þa WHEN (WHEN…THEN); þæt (SO) THAT ⎪⎪ þeah, þeah þe (+subjunctive) ALTHOUGH; þonne THAN ⎪⎪ swa…swa (JUST AS); ær, ær þan þe (+subjunctive) BEFORE ⎪⎪ æfter þan/þæm þe AFTER.
Examples: • Coordination: se hlaford ferde to þæm dunum, ac se hlæfdige to þæm tune ferde10 ** the verb takes place in final position in the second clause although it is a coordinated clause. Nevertheless, we must bear in mind that the distinction between coordinated and subordinated clauses in OE is not clear. This cannot be equivalent at all to Present-Day German.
• Subordination: For þæm þe he wis wer wæs, he weorþode þone Ælmihtigan Hlaford;11 se goda cyning lufode þæt folc swa swa se Ælmihtiga Hlaford ealle weras lufaþ.12 • Finite verb in subordinated clause: - Indicative (event: complete/certain): Æfter þan þe hie þone wer bundon, hie ofslogon hine - Subjunctive (event not yet happened/hypothetical/doubtful): Ær þan þe þone wer ofslogen, hie bundon hine.13 Special features: • Parataxis (juxtaposition of simple clauses) rather than hypotaxis (subordination). Oral influence.
And þa gefeaht Æþered cyning and Ælfred his broþor wiþ þone here æat.14 • Recapitulation (resumptive pronouns): Are ieldran, þa þe þas stowa ær heoldon, hie lufodon wisdom.15 • Splitting of heavy groups: He feared mid twæm cnapum to þæm dunum, and Isaac asmod.16 10 “The lord travelled to the hills, but the lady to the settlement travelled.” 11 “Because he a wise man was, he honoured the Almighty Lord.” 12 “The good king loved that people (just as) the Almighty Lord all men loves.” 13 Before they the man slew, they bound him 14 “And then King Athered and Alfred his brother fought against the army at Meretown, and they were in two armies, and there was a great slaughter…” 15 “Our forefathers, those who formally held these places, they loved wisdom.” 16 “He travelled with two servants to the hills, and Isaac as well (‘together’).” !16 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ !17 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ 4. MIDDLE ENGLISH (ME) The ME period starts with the arrival of the Normans to England. The consequences of this conquest triggered linguistic consequences with the introduction of the French language in a typical Germanicspeaking territory. We must bear in mind that this French was a dialect from Normandy and which did not mean the extinction of English, since it could survive in the low classes. Nevertheless, Latin was not used for administrative purposes like in the case of Europe, but now we have French as the target language for such purposes. For sure, French was not spoken by many, but by powerful figures in England, though it really influenced the English language and vice versa. Therefore, what we find in the island is a diglossic situation in which two languages are spoken in the same territory. The influence of Norman habits for spelling, certain grammatical influences are found, too (though scholars still discuss this fact), introduction of vocabulary in particular fields (politics, food…).
Phonology Development which is to be associated in internal courses of English.
1) Voiced fricatives become phonemic: OE does not show phonemic distinction between voiced and voiceless fricatives. Fricatives were voiced when surrounded by voiced sounds and were voiceless otherwise. During ME, phonemicisation took place as voiced fricatives appeared in previously voiceless environments for various reasons: • French loanwords that had voiced fricatives in initial or final position in a word, for example, villain /ˈvɪlən/.
• Dialect mixture17. Southern dialects were voicing initial fricatives as early as OE, e.g. ME Southern zine ‘sin’ versus East Midlands sinne 18.
• Voicing of fricatives in lightly stressed common words, e.g. is. Depending on the dialect, it is written with the voiced /z/ or voiceless /s/ because of the lack of spelling rules.
• Loss of final vowels that left voiced fricatives in a previously voiceless position, e.g. OE risan [rīzan] ‘to rise’ versus ME rise [rīz].
2) Lengthening and shortening of Vowels in stressed syllables • Classical OE: “Phonological quantity,” i.e., not depending on environment; • ME: changes in quantity, now depending on environment. It triggered a couple of developments: A. In late OE, short vowels lengthened before certain consonants clusters. The resulting long vowels remained in ME in the following combinations: 17 It is in this particular period when we can truly find dialects.
18 Contraposition of voiced and voiceless /s/ and /z/ depending on the territory.
!18 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ 1. í, o + mb; e.g. OE climban, ME clīmbe(n) 2. i, u + nd; e.g. OE grindan, ME grīnde(n) 3. any vowel + ld; e.g. OE milde, ME mīlde (except when followed by another consonant, eg. child and children.
B. In the 13th century, a, e, and o lengthened in open syllables, i.e., syllables ending in a vowel. If a single consonant comes between two vowels, the consonant goes with the second vowel and the first syllable is open, as in OE stelan ‘to steal,’ ME stē-le(n); C. In late OE and in ME, long vowels (except those under [A] shortened in closed syllables, i.e.
syllables ending in one or more consonatns. If two consonants come between vowels, the first consonant goes with the first syllable, making it a closed syllable. The second consonant goes with the second syllable, as in OE sōfte ‘soft.’ ME sof-te.
D. In ME, if two or more unstressed syllables followed the stressed syllable, the vowel of the stressed syllable always shortened (trisyllabic shortening), regardless of whether it was open or closed and regardless of the followingg consonants, as in ME brēke(n) ‘to break’ versus brekefast ‘breakfast.’ • Apart from this, progressive realisation /ə/ or loss for unstressed vowels in final position (with consequences for morphology). For instance, name could be pronounced as /ˈnaːmə/ in ME before Great Vowel Shift (/ˈneɪm/).
Morphosyntax I. MORPHOLOGY a) Noun phrase 1) Noun: decay and loss of inflectional endings was something which was affecting all dialects, but even more at the Danelaw area.
1.1. Case: progressive lack of contrast and eventual loss leading to analytic constructions; 1.2. Gender: correspondence between grammatical and natural gender (tendency from late OE); the final result is the loss of gender as a formal category; what we will have is that the only compensation for this is an identification through pronominal reference (singular); 1.3. Number: it is preserved but from several declensions we have in OE, we will have two surviving paradigms: NORTH: {-(e)s} (aEer OE strong masc. stanas, Nom/Acc pl) SOUTH: AlternaLon {-(e)s/-en} (aEer OE weak masc. naman, Nom/Acc pl) !19 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ From 13th century on, this sibilant {-es} was spread over North and Midlands; just in the 14th century it was accepted everywhere. Only surviving {-en} plurals in PdE standard: children, oxen, brethren; of course, we cannot forget that there are more irregular plurals like umlaut and zero plurals (feet, men; fish, etc.).
1.4. Genitive: similar distribution (with minor differences) of forms and spread of forms to number ending. The apostrophe (‘) was only found from late 18th century, like in the case of German which still lacks of this graph.
1.4.1. Syntactic evolution: OE non-fixed position; late OE, more frequent preceding head of NP.
It lead to an analytic construction (of + NP {DT}) and consequently a partitive. In ME (from mid 13th century) a positional specialisation took place: preceding > synthetic; following > analytic.
Relations expressed by analytic construction (taking on those formerly expressed by the synthetic construction): Distribution between synthetic and analytic, parallel to PdE (synthetic 2) Adjectives OE Differentiation between strong (indefinite) ~ weak (definite) Concord: case, gender and number with head of NP ME Loss of differentiation before that in nouns • {-e} in oblique cases, sg and pl • complete loss of endings (earlier in N) 2.1. Comparative and superlative. Periphrastic structures OE Synthetic forms ME In addition, analytic markers • adjectives borrowed from French • extension to the rest 2.2. Nominalization OE deictic + adjective (sg and pl) ME article + adjective (sg and pl) ⇒no differentiation between sg and pl (one ~ ones construction) 3) Pronouns 3.1. Personal pronouns OE cases: Nom, Acc, Gen, Dat ME Loss of Acc; Dat generalized for oblique cases (Gen⇒possessive pronouns) !20 thematic referent).
History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ 3.1.1. Forms and dialectal distribution • Alternation of strong (stressed) and weak (unstressed) forms • Originally, complementary distribution • Subsequently, generalisation of weak form in most cases 3.2. Possessive pronouns 4) Determiners (deictics) OE se, seo, þat/þes, þeos, þis OE þat > ME 1) that (pl. those) OR 2) the (unstressed) OE þis > ME this (pl. thise)⇒N, EML OE þes > ME thes (pl. these)⇒S, WML 5) Relative pronouns !21 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ OE þat (connector) ME that Interrogative pronouns > relative pronouns which (personal and non-personal), whom, whose, who b) The Verb Phrase 1) Verb a) Morphology • Remarkable simplification • Operation of analogy b) Syntax SOV > SVO • Towards an obligatory use of pronouns • Development of specialised analytic constructions a) ME Verb Morphology: OE ⟹ Strong (7 classes) and Weak (13 classes); ME ⟹ STRONG (1 class) and Weak (1 class) b) Development of analytic constructions !22 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ ME {Present} ~ {Past} ~ {Present Perfect} ~ {Past Perfect} Perfect: have + past participle Constructional antecedents in OE: habban / (for intransitive movement verbs) wesan + P. P. But not (fully) grammaticalised Compare with Spanish (not exactly alternative) constructions: Tengo las vacas ordeñadAS Tengo ordeñadAS las vacas He ordeñadO las vacas a) b) c) d) a) b) c) d) free WO concord independence of Part/Adj. “auxiliary” verb with a certain lexical content fixed WO absence of concord part.: not independent typical auxiliary verb (no lexical content) > aspectual periphrasis which leads to resultative meaning in i, and fully grammaticalised meaning in ii.
ME: towards full grammaticalisation.
!23 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ II. SYNTAX Germanic: O V language ⟹ S O V OE Transition towards a V O language: a) General tendency towards S V O b) If Adverbial in 1st position⟹A V S O Preservation of OV: S – "aux" – O – V (V: inf./part.) Subordinate clauses: S O V ME Towards an obligatory use of pronouns S V O, regularised WO19 , but AVSO still used NB: Even in PdE: 1) non-assertive Adv + aux+ S + V: Never had I seen such a sight 2) Adv of place + V + S: Down the road came the bus 19 word order !24 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ !25 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ 5. EARLY MODERN ENGLISH 5.1. Phonology One of the most relevant events in the history of the English language takes place in this period: the Great Vowel Shift. From the phonological point of view, it is one of the most complicated phenomenon in phonemic terms. Firstly, the specific development here is that open vowels turn into closed vowels (and even sometimes diphthongs). Secondly, short vowels become long and (commonly) stressed vowels. Thirdly, it is said to be a chain shift: one vowel changes and takes the position of the next vowel and so on and so forth (one vowel pushes the other); fourthly, it is a gradual process found in phases, taking place between the 14th and 18th centuries.
It is so complicated this phenomenon that there are discrepancies among scholars. Hence, the causes of the GVS are basically proposals: a) Linguistic: e.g. instability of previous system; vowel closure due to articulatory effort; b) Social: social classes take on affected pronunciations (fashion); c) Combination of both factors (attempts) Apart from the Great Vowel Shift, Early Modern English experimented other phonological phenomena like the shortening of long vowels. This shortening is less systematic than the GVS, and is the reason why !26 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ certain vowels like /ɛ+/ are shortened as /ɛ/, e.g., breadth, sweat, spread (note <ea>); even other long vowels like /o+/ underwent a process of shortening to /ʊ/, e.g. foot, look (still operating, group /grʊp/. On the other hand, short vowels developed, historically, a more stable system with a significant exception of back close short vowel (2 allophones): /ʊ/ and /ʌ/ blood, flood (16th century). Besides, there was a phonemicisation of / ž/ in 18th century. Sometimes causing distinction in earlier allophones at some stage: ME <look> /loːk/ ⇒ EME /lu+k/ ⟹ /lʊk/ ME <lu(c)k> /lʊk/ ⟹ EME /lʊk/ ⟹ /lʌk/ 5.2. Morphosyntax Firstly, there is a consolidation of weak verbs as the main productive class, with some fluctuation in: a) verbs which have moved into the weak class: holp > helped; clamb/clomb > climbed b) verbs which have remained strong: ground > grinded; ran >runned; shook>shaked Secondly, it must be highlighted the inflection in person and number: a) Present plural: in general, non-marked since the initial stage b) 3s: {-eth} (16th c.) Since late 16th c. {-(e)s}. 17th c.: examples of <-eth> but indication of {-(e)s} (rhyme) c) 2s <-est> (shall, will: {-t}). Process of disuse of thou in the standard for social reasons ⇒ disuse of the ending.
Analytic constructions 1. Shall, will: grammaticalisation process ongoing 2. Progressive forms: increase in use and greater functional specialisation 3. Perfect constructions: grammaticalisation process of have as Aux ongoing, but no sharp distinction between {Past} does not match with {Present/Past Pf} 4. Passive: after complete loss of weorthan, generalisation of be constructions. Former distinction between: static interpretation of be and dynamic interpretation of weorthan, now extinct. EME: potential ambiguity between one or the other: e.g. get takes on function of “perfective passive quasiauxiliary” (dynamic). This is a process still ongoing. E.g. The ship got sunk.
4.1. IO as passive sentence subject: OE, ME: IO (oblique case) in preverbal position > OVS; OE: him was …; ME me was toold…; since ME: gradual reinterpretation of preverbal constituent as S. Cf. reinterpretation of “impersonal constructions,” still present in EME: me need/I need (Shakespeare: this likes me well) and methinks your looks are sad (Shakespeare, Henry VII).
5. Auxiliary do: Since OE, "substitutive" use (cf. Spanish hacer). Periphrasis seems to come from this substitutive use.
a) Interrogative !27 History of the English Language Daniel Antón Pacheco ____________________________________ 15th c. mainly VS(O) (inversion) ~ Aux + S + V do still sporadic; later on, considerable generalisation (not completed) b) Negative OE: • Unmarked: ne + V (finite) • Emphatic: a) n /n (with or without ne) b) nō̄wiht/n with (contraction: n ht > not) ME: • Increased frequency of unmarked ne + nought/not/nat ne, superfluous, is lost EME: 16th c: with do ⇒ emphatic; 17th, unmarked (with exceptions) c) Negative Interrogative Late ME: first constructions with do, alternation with (ne +) not EME: still alternation a) do + not, b) V + not d) Negative Imperative ME: (ne +) not [emphatic; later on unmarked] EME: alternation with do + not • Free variation of constructions until the end of EME • • PdE use, settled in 19th c.
6. Modal verbs: • Modality: Speaker's attitude towards the propositional content of an utterance ⇒ a) Epistemic (possibility) b) Deontic (necessity) • Possible resources: grammatical (subjunctive, special verbs) and lexical (adverbs, expressions/phrases) Different languages (or different periods of one and the same language) may show a different balance in using these resources.
• Subjunctive in EME: on the wane, but still in use (until 18th c.). Disuse balanced with development of modal verbs.
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