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HELL LECTURE 3
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  1. HELL LECTURE 3 Middle English Period (1050 - 1500)

  2. MIDDLE ENGLISH DIALECTS • NORTHERN – North England • EAST-MIDLAND *– the east of theMidlands • WEST-MIDLAND – thewest of theMidlands • SOUTH-WESTERN – West England • KENTISH – Kent

  3. GENERAL MIDDLE ENGLISH CHRONOLOGY • 1066-1204 Decline of English • 1204-1348 Rise of English • 1348-1509 Dominance of English

  4. MIDDLE ENGLISH CHRONOLOGY I • 1066-1204 Decline of English • Norman invasion (1066), Frenchconquest and unification of England; Norman = North-man, descendants of Danes, spokeFrenchinfluenced by Germanicdialect • William infullcontrol of Englandwithin ten years • death of many Anglo-Saxonnobles • end of internalconflicts and Viking invasions; control of theWelsh • Frenchmeninall high offices • Anglo-SaxonChroniclewrittenuntil 1154 • imposition of feudal system, vassalage, peasantsbound to the land • increaseindialectaldifferences • kings of EnglandspokeFrench, tookFrenchwives and livedmostlyin France, French-speakingcourt • Henry II Plantagenet (r. 1154-1189), married to Eleanor of Aquitaine, father of Richard I, theLionheart (r. 1189-1199) and John Lackland • assassination of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket in 1170 • lack of prestige of English; Latin was writtenlanguage of theChurch and seculardocuments; Scandinavian stillspokenintheDanelaw, CelticlanguagesprevailedinWales and Scotland • development of bilingualismamong Norman officials, supervisors, somemarriages of French and English, bilingualchildren • examples of Frenchwords: tax, estate, trouble, duty, pay, table, boil, serve, roast, dine, religion, saviour; pray, trinity • verylittlewrittenEnglishfromthis period

  5. MIDDLE ENGLISH CHRONOLOGY II • 1204-1348 Riseof English • King John (JohnLackland) (r. 1199-1216), loss of Normandy in 1204 • many Norman landholderschose to stayinEngland, spokeAnglo-Frenchdialect • baronsrevoltagainst John, Magna Carta (1215), origins and development of Parliament • Henry III (r. 1216-1272), son of John; francophilia of Henry III, many Frenchmengivenofficialpositions • Edward I (r. 1272-1307), son of Henry III, conqueredWales and waged war with Scotland • decline of FrenchculturaldominanceinEngland • riseinuse of English, smoothing out of dialectaldifferences, beginning of standard Englishbased on London dialect; crusades, pilgrimagescontributed to increaseincommunication and formation of commonlanguage.

  6. MIDDLE ENGLISH CHRONOLOGY III • 1348-1509 Dominance of English • Frenchremainedofficiallanguage of Englanduntil 2nd half of 14th c. • - by mid to late 14th c. English was normal medium of instruction • -1362 Englishbecameofficiallanguage of legal proceedings, everyoneinEnglandspokeEnglish by end of 14th c., displacing of French, Norse, and Celticlanguages • persistence of dialectaldifferences, increaseinEnglishwriting, morecommonin legal documentsthanFrenchorLatin by 15th c. • LONDON as commercial center, seaport, proximity to Westminster court - emergenceof London/East Midlanddialect as standard spoken and writtenlanguage, compromisedialect, • 1474 – William Caxton - printers' activity , literacyincreased • 1337-1453 - HundredYears' War - Edward III (Windsor) (r. 1327-1377), his claim to Frenchthroneledto the war • - EnglishvictoriesatCrécy (1346), Poitiers (1356), Agincourt (1415), role of Joan of Arc (1429) • - eventualFrenchvictory, loss of allEnglishcontinentalholdings • - Frenchno longersignificant to theEnglish • Black Death 1348-1351, death of 1/3 of Englishpopulation, social chaos, laborshortages, emancipation of peasants, wageincreases, riseinprestige of English as language of workingclasses • 1455-1485 - War of theRoses, York vs. Lancaster, Richard Duke of York vs. Henry VI (executed) • LancastrianHenry VII Tudor marries Elizabeth of York, hefathers Henry VIII • 1509 beginsreign of Henry VIII, end of Middle English period

  7. MIDDLE ENGLISH WRITING • littleEnglishwritingduring 1100-1200 period; • matchbetweensound and spellingworsened; • influence of Frenchscribes, confusioninspelling system; • newstandard English not a directdescendant of West Saxon

  8. MIDDLE ENGLISH PHONOLOGY - CONSONANTS • Consonants • consonantinventory much likethat of Present Day Englishexcept for soundsin hu/ng/ (velarnasal) and mea/s/ure (alveo-palatalvoicedfricative) • addition of phonemicvoicedfricatives: v, , z; effect of Frenchloanwords: vetch/fetch, view/few, vile/file • voicelessfricative /h/ hadvelar (ME thurh) and alveo-palatal (ME niht) allophones • loss of long consonants (OE mann ) • h lostinclusters, OE hlæfdige>MEladi, OE hnecca>MEnecke, OE hræfn>MEraven • voicedvelarfricativeallophone of g (normally a voicedvelar stop in OE) became w after l and r: OE swelgan>MEswolwen, OE feolaga>MEfelawe, OE morgen>MEmorwen, OE sorg>MEsorow • OE prefixge- lostinitialconsonant and was reduced to y or i: OE genog>MEinough, OE genumen>MEinomen • unstressedfinalconsonantstended to be lostafter a vowel: OE ic>ME i, OE -lic>MEly • final -n in many verbalforms (infinitive, pluralsubjunctive, pluralpreterite) was lost (remainsinsome past participles of strongverbs: seen, gone, taken); final -n alsolostinpossessiveadjectives my and thy and indefinitearticle 'an' beforewordsbeginningwithconsonant (-n remainedinthepossessivepronouns) • w droppedafter s or t: OE sweostor> sister, OE swilc>such (sometimesretainedinspelling: sword, two; sometimesstillpronounced: swallow, twin, swim) • l was lostinthevicinity of palatal c inadjectivalpronouns OE ælc, swilc, hwilc, micel> each, such, which, much (sometimesremained: filch, milch) • fricative v tended to drop out beforeconsonant+consonantorvowel+consonant: OE hlaford, hlæfdige, heafod, hæfde>ME lord, ladi, hed, hadde (sometimesretained: OE heofon, hræfn, dreflian>heaven, raven, drivel) • final b lostafter m but retainedinspelling: lamb, comb, climb (remainedinmedialposition: timber, amble); intrusive b after m and beforeconsonant: OE bremel, næmel, æmerge>MEbremble, nimble, ember (also OE puma>MEthombe) • intrusive d after n infinalpositionorbeforeresonant: OE dwinan, punor > ME dwindle, thunder • intrusive t after s infinalpositionorbeforeresonant: OE hlysnan, behæs > ME listnen, beheste • initialstopsinclustersgn- and kn- stillpronounced: ME gnat, gnawen, knowen, knave • h oftenlostinunstressedpositions: OE hit>MEit

  9. MIDDLE ENGLISH PHONOLOGY - VOWELS • Vowels • loss of OE /y/ and /æ:/: /y/ unrounded to /i/; /æ:/ raisedtowards /e:/ orloweredtoward/a:/ • all OE diphthongsbecamepurevowels • addition of schwa; schwainunstressedsyllables, reduction of allunstressedvowels to schwaor i as in K/i/d, reason for ultimateloss of most inflections; a source of schwa was epentheticorparasiticvowelbetweentwoconsonants, generallyspelled<e>: OE setl, æfre, swefn> ME setel, ever, sweven • Frenchloanwordsaddedseveralnewdiphthongs (e.g. OF point, bouillir, noyse > ME point, boille, noise) and contributed to vowellengthening; diphthongsresultedfromvocalization of w, y, and v betweenvowels; • lenghtening and shortening: • phonemicvowellengthin ME (lostin Modern English) • alreadyin OE shortvowelstended to lengthenbeforecertainconsonantclusters OE climban, feld> ME climbe, feld • lengthening of shortvowelsinopensyllables (OE gatu, hopa > ME gate, hope) • shortening of long vowelsinstressedclosedsyllables, OE softe, godsibb, sceaphirde> ME softe, godsib, scepherde, exceptions (before-st): OE last, gast, crist>MElast, gost, Christ; • iftwoormoreunstressedsyllablesfollowedthestressed one, thevowel of thestressedsyllable was shortened (Christ/Christmas [ME Christesmesse], break/breakfast [ME brekefast]); • someremnants of distinctionscaused by lengtheningorshorteninginopen and closedsyllables: five/fifteen, wise/wisdom; inweakverbs, thedentalendingclosedsyllables: hide/hid, keep/kept, sleep/slept, hear/heard • loss of unstressedvowels: unstressedfinal -e was graduallydropped, thoughit was probablyoftenpronounced; -e of inflectionalendingsalsobeinglost, evenwhenfollowed by consonant (as in -es, eth, ed) (e.g. breath/breathed), exceptions: wishes, judges, wanted, raided; loss of -e inadverbsmadethemidentical to adjective, henceambiguity of plainadverbse.g. hard, fast; final -e inFrenchloanwords not lostbecause of Frenchfinalstress, hencecite>city, purete>purity

  10. MIDDLE ENGLISH PROSODY • Middle EnglishProsody • stress on rootsyllables, less stress on subsequentsyllables; • lossof endings> reductioninnumber of unstressedsyllables, • increaseduse of unstressedparticlessuch as definite and indefinitearticles, prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, analyticpossessive (of), markedinfinitive (to), compoundverbphrases; • OE trochaicrhythmshift to iambicrhythm of unstressedsyllablesfollowed by stressedones (caused by increaseinuse of unstressedparticles and by Frenchloans)

  11. MIDDLE ENGLISH GRAPHICS • Middle EnglishGraphics • 26 letters, ash and ethdropped, thorn and yoghretained; Frenchloans j and v treated as allographs of i and u; v reserved for initialposition; interchangeable y and i; • yogh: velarfricative /x/ (po/h/t), semivowel /j/ (/y/ung), alveopalatalvoicedaffricate /j/ (brid/g/e), alsoused as z (daiz) • q and z morewidelyused under French influence, qu for /kw/ OE cwic, cwen> ME quicke, quene • tendency for use of digraphthinstead of thorn, thornretainedinfunctionwords, that, thou, then; confusion of y and thorn, henceyeoldecoffeeshoppe • poormatch of sound and symbol caused by OE > ME soundchanges, French influence, newspellingconventions, dialectaldifferences • o for u (come, love, son, won, tongue, some), way to avoidconfusioncaused by use of minims (verticalstrokes) • c for s, influence of Frenchloanslikecellar, place affectedspelling of nativewordslike lice, mice • k for /k/, before i/e, n (OE cene, cyssan, cneow> keen, kiss, knee), cf. cat, cool, cut, clean • increaseduse of digraphs: th for thorn/ethsounds, ou/ow for long u (hour, round); doubling of vowels to indicatelength (beet, boot); sh for alveopalatalfricative s (OE scamu> shame); ch for alveopalatalaffricate c (OE ceap, cinn> ME cheap, chin); dg for alveopalatalaffricate j (OE bricg>MEbridge), (but j ininitialpositionaccording to Frenchconvention, ME just); gh for velarfricative (OE poht, riht> ME thought, right; wh for w (voicelessaspiratedbilabialfricative), OE hwæt, hwil, order of lettersreversedin ME, what, while; gu for g, inFrenchloans, guard, guile, guide, OE gylt>guilt • punctuation: point, virguleindicatedsyntactic break; punctuselevatus, somewhatlikecomma; questionmark; hyphen for worddivisionatend of line; paragraphmarkers • handwriting: insularhandreplaced by Carolingianminusculeincursive and gothicstyles

  12. THE CANTERBURY TALES • www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE0MtENfOMU