Anglo-Saxon Period – Old English – Years A.D. 449-1066 A Brief History of the English Language & Introduction to BEOWULF
Anglo-Saxon Characteristics Strong belief in fate – O.E. Wyrd Derives from O.H. German *wurdiz Cognates in Old Saxon wurd & German werden Proto-Indo-European root is *wert- “to turn, rotate” O.E. wyrd is a verbal noun formed from the verb weorpan, meaning “to come to pass, to become” – term developed into modern English weird • Anglo-Saxon Wyrd roughly corresponds to fate or personal destiny • Ancestral to Modern English weird • The Tragedy of Macbeth – Weird Sisters
Anglo-Saxon Characteristics • juxtaposition of church & pagan worlds • admiration of heroic warriors who prevail in battle • express religious faith & give moral instruction through literature & an oral tradition
Staffordshire Hoard http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/ The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found, anywhere in the world. Discovered in a field near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire, England on 5 July 2009, it consists of more than 3,500 items, that are nearly all martial or warlike in character. A biblical inscription from an item in the hoard is written in Latin and is misspelled in two places, and reads ‘Rise up, O Lord, and may they enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face.’ Juxtaposition: sacred & secular – Christian & pagan
Style & Genres • oral tradition of literature • poetry dominant • unique verse form • caesura – midline pause • alliteration – repetition of stressed sounds (hard consonants) • repetition • 4 beat rhythm – four strong beats (stresses) in each line • Scop – professional poet • kenning – two-word metaphorical name for something • whale’s road = the sea • bone’s house = the body • sky’s candle = the sun • gold giver = king
Effect & Historical Context • Christianity helps literacy to spread • introduces Roman alphabet to Britain • oral tradition helps unite diverse peoples & their myths (Nordic, Celtic, Germanic) • life centered around ancestral tribes or clans that ruled themselves • originally warriors from invading outlying areas: Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Danes (Vikings) Key Literature: • BEOWULF • The Venerable Bede’s (673 AD-735 AD)The Ecclesiastical History of the English People) • Exeter Book • The Seafarer (poem)
An Ever So Brief History of the English Language 3000 languages – 100 English related Sub-families Hellenic / Greek Italic / Latin Albanian Armenian Balto Slavic Tocharian Indo-Iranian Sanskrit (Indian) Celtic Proto-Indo-European language • around 3500 B.C. – “great-granddaddy” • its users dispersed & migrated to various locations, whereat they influenced indigenous languages (hybrid-effect & homogenous phenomenon)
Inflection English – not highly inflected Latin - highly inflected nominative - subject genitive - possessive dative – indirect object accusative – direct object ablative – derived from derived from Proto-Indo-European (common ancestor to “Indo”) - prepositional case (at – with) • Grammatical process – spelling change according to word’s context, meaning, or placement in sentence • Nouns – do not change form in any case other than possessive case • Pronouns – change form in possessive & objective case
Examples of Inflection superlative adverbs walk slowly walk more slowly walk most slowly • The big house • The bigger house • The biggest house 3rd person singular /s/ regular past tense • I walk. • He walks. • He has walked.
Main Cases in English Case – grammatical function of noun or pronoun • SubjectiveCase – subject of verb & subjective complement – “Trump tweets.” - “Sammy is a writer.” • Possessive Case – “Her project rocks.” – “Loren’s work doesn’t end at school.” • Objective case – direct & indirect object – object of preposition – “to the beach” • Vocative case (direct address) – “I will see you present your GP on May 04, Daniel.”
KNOW These… • lexicon - vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge. • syntax – word order - arrangement of words & phrases in sentences • polyglot – a person who knows and is able to use several languages • cosmopolitan vocabulary – English has a vast & diverse (mixed character) vocabulary. more than half derived from Latin – some directly so, others through other Romance languages, such as French – the remainder comes from borrowing from many other languages • dialect or vernacular - a particular form of a language that is peculiar to a specific region or social group. • colloquialism or idiom – not standard English – an informal or nonliterary word or phrase that is typically used in ordinary or familiar conversation.
Super Sentences!*See PPT • English provides the unique capacity to express the same message or concept in infinite ways. • A THESAURUS illustrates our opportunity to choose from different words to achieve the tone we want with written or verbal expression. • Flexibility & history affords English great global influence – International Language of the World.
WHY Cosmopolitan Vocabulary? Native CELTS + GERMANIC TRIBES (Angles, Saxon, & Jutes) = Old English or Anglo-Saxon English (449-1066) Influences? Greek, Latin, Celtic (oral), German Listen – first lines of BEOWULF IN O.E. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isYrRaupFU4
Next occupation… William, Duke or Normandy (France), led campaign against Britain – 200 year French occupation of Britain – Do you prefer a drink or a beverage? 1066 – 1475 – M.E. – the Middle English period Influences? Celtic, Greek & Latin, German, Scandinavia (Viking invaders), & French languages The Vikings first invaded Britain in AD 793 and last invaded in 1066 when William the Conqueror became King of England after the Battle of Hastings.
The Canterbury Tales Prologue – lines 1-18 • (1) Whan that Aprill with his shoures sote • The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote, • And bathed every veyne in swich licour, • Of which vertu engendred is the flour; • (5) Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth • Inspired hath in every holt and heeth • The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne • Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne; • And smale fowles maken melodye, • (10) That slepen all the night with open ye-- • So priketh hem Nature in hir corages-- • Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, • And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, • To ferne halwes, couth in sondry londes; • (15) And specially, from every shires ende • Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende, • The holy blisful martir for to seke, • That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke. Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-xpzfsY4bU
Early Modern & Modern Periods1600s & 1700s World Exploration had huge impact on English lexicon Elizabethan Period – Queen Elizabeth I November 17, 1558 – March 24, 1603 Jacobean Period – King James I March 24, 1603 – March 27, 1625
Present Day English (PDE) • 1800s until 2017 • words become dated (antiquated) or evolved into meanings very different from their original meaning Wench: shortened form of the O.E. wenchel (referred to children of either sex), wench used to mean “female child” before it came to be used to refer to female servants — and more pejoratively to wanton women. Naughty: Long ago, if you were naughty, you had naught or nothing. Then it came to mean evil or immoral, and now you are just badly behaved. Meat: Have you ever wondered about the expression “meat and drink”? It comes from an older meaning of the word meat that refers to food in general — solid food of a variety of kinds (not just animal flesh), as opposed to drink. Hussy: Hussy comes from the word housewife (several sound changes) &used to refer to the mistress of a household, not the disreputable woman it refers to today. Guy: This word is an eponym. It comes from the name of Guy Fawkes, who was part of a failed attempt to blow up Parliament in 1605. Folks used to burn his effigy, a “Guy Fawkes” or a “guy,” and from there it came to refer to a frightful figure. In the U.S., it has come to refer to men in general.
KNOW These… etymology – a word’s history or origin denotation – a word’s dictionary definition connotation – word’s emotional power; emotional sense of word idiom & idiomatic expression – a type of informal English that has a meaning different from the meaning of words used in expression, i.e., hold your horses
History of English in 10 Minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9Tfbeqyu2U&list=PLA03075BAD88B909E Essential Question: What are 10 interesting points about the development of English? *include points not in notes… *write in classroom notebook
While reading Beowulf, we are privy to a world that is both primitive and civilized.
PRIMITIVE Violence; fought among themselves. Chaos: After Grendel’s attack, the men disperse and find beds in different places; the army should be together. Superstitions: Hrothgar sought “stone gods” for wisdom in dealing with Grendel. Need to survive: man must be prepared with weapons. Cannibalism: Grendel and his Mother’s appetite for human flesh. Wyrd: Fate is one’s Destiny. CIVILIZED Belief in higher power/God: men give thanks to God; God protects Hrothgar’s throne. Social order Bonds between king and subject: Higlac and Beowulf; Hrothgar and Beowulf. High moral code Customs and Traditions Aesthetic values: Herot’s construction, the Mead Hall had beautiful walls, gold treasure; swords, scabbards. Skilled sailors Common language A Pagan Story Peppered with Christian Elements
Anglo Saxon Riddles I’m seething and conniving. I’m relentless, and my appetite for destruction is insatiable. I tote an ideology of which you have no defense. I’ll take your knowledge & comfort and make you submit! Who or what am I?
TERRORISM or TERROIST