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Changes since 1600. Pronunciation Grammar Vocabulary. 2 Grammatical changes since 1600. I shall deal with these points: Changes in the verb system tense and aspect modal verbs do-support present tense verbal inflexions 2nd-person forms of address group genitive.

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Changes since 1600


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  1. Changes since 1600 • Pronunciation • Grammar • Vocabulary

  2. 2 Grammatical changes since 1600 I shall deal with these points: • Changes in the verb system • tense and aspect • modal verbs • do-support • present tense verbal inflexions • 2nd-person forms of address • group genitive

  3. Changes since 1600(Early Modern English) I shall deal with these points: • Changes in the verb system • tense and aspect

  4. Changes since 1600(Early Modern English) I shall deal with these points: • Changes in the verb system • tense and aspect

  5. Development of the English Tense System Reduction of the IE tense system → 2 tenses in Germanic

  6. Development of the English Tense System 2 “pure” tenses in Germanic: traditionally known as “present” and “past”: • I think, she thinks – I love, she loves • I thought, she thought – I loved, she loved Compare the periphrastic verbal forms: I have thought, had thought, will think, will have thought, am thinking, will be thinking, might have been thinking, etc., etc.

  7. Development of the English Tense System 2 tenses in Germanic: traditionally known as “present” and “past”: • past = simple past = preterite: I thought – she thought

  8. Loss of the simple past in (spoken) French and German je l’ai vu je le vis ich habe ihn gesehen

  9. Development of the English Tense System 2 tenses in Old English: traditionally known as “present” and “past”: • Héo céapað fiscas be þám sǽmannum she buys fish from the seamen • Héo céapode gystran dæg þonne fisc she bought the fish yesterday • se scóp singþ/singeþ • se scóp sang

  10. Development of the English Tense System 2 tenses in Germanic: traditionally known as “present” and “past”: (why the quotes?)

  11. Past: she bought – he sang – they laughed past time Present: she buys – he sings – they laugh unspecified time Development of the English Tense System • Asymmetry between “present” and “past”: (Note the scare quotes)

  12. Development of the English Tense System problem with the “present” • Héo céapað fiscas be þám sǽmannum • Se scóp singþ • Héo céapað tó merigen þá fiscas • Se scóp singþ tó dæg on æftentíde • þætte mon éaþe tóslíteð, þætte næfre gesomnad wæs ....

  13. Development of the English Tense System problem with the “present” • She opens the door and enters the house (Intructions? Narrative present?) • She buys fish from the seamen • I see her every day • I see her on Mondays • I see her on Monday

  14. TENSE ASPECT Development of the English Tense System “present” and “past” “unfinished” – “finished” • Héo céapað - se scóp singþ • Héo céapode - se scóp sang

  15. Development of the English Tense System Modern English makes a clear distinction between • She buys fish at the market • She is buying fish at the market

  16. Development of the English Tense System Modern English makes a clear distinction between • What do you read? • What are you reading?

  17. Development of the English Tense System 16th century English does not: • What read you my Lord? • What do you read my Lord? (Hamlet)

  18. Development of the English Tense System Modern English makes a clear distinction between • I never saw her • I have never seen her

  19. Development of the English Tense System 16th century English does not: • I never saw so fair a child

  20. In OE and ME and even later the simple past could be used where we would now use a perfective

  21. In OE and ME and even later the simple past could be used where we would now use a perfective: • Næfre ic ne gesáwe swá fæger cild

  22. In OE and ME and even later the simple past could be used where we would now use a perfective: • Næfre ic ne gesáwe swá fæger cild • Se Ælfric wæs þá abbot siððon fiftig wintre (OE Chr. 956)

  23. In OE and ME and even later the simple past could be used where we would now use a perfective: • Næfre ic ne gesáwe swá fæger cild • Se Ælfric wæs þá abbot siððon fiftig wintre (OE Chr. 956) • I was not angry since I came to France (Shakespeare)

  24. In OE and ME and even later the simple past could be used where we would now use a perfective: • Næfre ic ne gesáwe swá fæger cild • Se Ælfric wæs þá abbot siððon fiftig wintre (OE Chr. 956) • I was not angry since I came to France (Shakespeare) • Ne’er saw I, never felt a calm so deep (Wordsworth)

  25. In OE and ME and even later the simple past could be used where we would now use a perfective: • Næfre ic ne gesáwe swá fæger cild • Se Ælfric wæs þá abbot siððon fiftig wintre (OE Chr. 956) • I was not angry since I came to France (Shakespeare) • Ne’er saw I, never felt a calm so deep (Wordsworth) But also: • I have done the deed (Shakespeare)

  26. Development of the perfect How did the form have + past participle arise? We have heard this song have heard We this song

  27. Development of the perfect How did the form have + past participle arise? We have heard this song have We heard this song

  28. have We heard this song wé habbað þisne sang gehyred-ne við höfum þennan söng heyrð-an wé habbað þisne sang gehyredne

  29. Ég hef þennan mann áður séðan Við höfum vopn þeirra tekin Hann hafði þá konuna þegar kvænta

  30. wé habbað þisne sang gehyredne við höfum þennan söng heyrðan wé habbað þisne sang gehyred við höfum þennan söng heyrt we hauen þis song yhered we have (y)hered þis song we have heard this song

  31. Another example: • Ic hine ne gesáwe siððon þritig dagas • (“I saw him not since 3 days”) • Ic ne hæbbe hine gesawenne siððon þritig dagas • Ic ne hæbbe hine gesawen siððon þritig dagas • I haue him noht ysene þese thirtie dayes • I have not seen him for thirty days

  32. Intransitive verbs used be + past participle: • Se weall is gefeallen • Þe wall is (y)fallen • The wall has fallen down • Ic eom gecumen • I am come • I have come

  33. Modal Verbs These verbs have changed their meaning since OE:

  34. Modal Verbs Note how the correponding Icelandic verbs kann and vil have retained their meaning:

  35. Preterite-present verbs Why do can may shall will not take -s in the 3rd person singular? Originally, some preterite-present verbs had a preterite (past) form but a present meaning. hé cann ‘he knows how to’ hann kann hún veit héo wát ‘she knows’ And then they acquired a new past tense: hé cúþe ‘he knew how to’ hann kunni hún vissi héo wisste ‘she knew’

  36. Preterite-present verbs Why do can may shall will not take -s in the 3rd person singular? Originally, some preterite-present verbs had a preterite (past) form but a present meaning. Later, other verbs such as “will” and “dare” started to behave the same

  37. Compound future • will originally means ‘wish, desire, intend’ • cf. Icelandic vilja • shall originally means ‘owe’ • cf. Icelandic skuld

  38. Compound future • will originally means ‘wish, desire, intend’ • cf. Icelandic vilja • shall originally means ‘owe’ • cf. Icelandic skuld hé wille þæt hors céapian he wants (is going?) to buy the horse Gif þú æfre cymst tó þære stówe, þonne wilt þú cweþan þæt heo swíþe unfæger síe if you ever come to that place, you will say that it is (subjunctive) very ugly

  39. Compound future • will originally means ‘wish, desire, intend’ • cf. Icelandic vilja • shall originally means ‘owe’ • cf. Icelandic skuld Hú micel scealt þú mínum hlaforde? How much do you owe to my Lord ? Þú scealt on æghwelc tíd Godes willan wercan. Thou shalt always do God’s will. Þú scealt gréot etan þíne lífdagas. Thou shalt eat stones all the days of thy life.

  40. Compound future 18th-century prescriptivism dertermined the use of “shall” and “will according to person: I shall, we shall you will, he will, they will

  41. Do support Affirmative I saw the Queen arrive I did see the Queen arrive Interrogative Saw you the Queen arrive? Did you see the Queen arrive Negative We saw not the Queen arrive We did not see the Queen arrive

  42. Do support Affirmative Goes back to OE; very common 1500-1700; died out in prose in 18th century. She ded call after hym ryght pyteousli (Caxton 1489) Used to avoid inversion There did I see that low-spirited Swaine (Shakespeare) Not a single word did Peggotty speak (Dickens) Well do I remember the scene Now only emphatic / repetitive / contradictive But we do want them

  43. Do support Interrogative The original form was simple inversion: • slæpest þú ‘do you sleep?’ • What rowne ye with oure mayde ? • ‘What are you whispering to our girl?’ (Chaucer)

  44. Do support Interrogative The original form was simple inversion. Chaucer occasionally uses do: Fader why do ye wepe? (=Fader why wepe ye?)

  45. Do support Interrogative The original form was simple inversion. Chaucer occasionally uses do. Shakespeare could use both simple inversion and do: How say you, Lady? ‘What’s your opinion, Lady? Had he his hurts before? (Siward, Macbeth) Wash they his wounds with tears? Why dost though whet thy knife so earnestly? (Merchant of Venice) Do you bite your thumb at us, sir? (Romeo and Juliet) Dost thou forget from what a torment I did free thee? (Tempest)

  46. Do support Negative The development is as follows: OE: héo ne lufode hine early ME: ho ne luvede him later ME: sche ne luvede him noht Early Modern: she loved him not Modern English: she did not love him Some verbs can still use simple “not”: I know not, it matters not, I think not won’t shan’t aren’t isn’t wasn’t am’t an't ain't

  47. Later verbal inflexions

  48. Later verbal inflexions

  49. Later verbal inflexions

  50. be • Eight forms in Standard Modern English: • be been being • am is are • was were • Non-overlaping grammatical functions