Middle English (1150-1500). Synchronic / Inner History Many changes would have occurred regardless of the Norman Conquest, but the Conquest accelerated these changes and created changes in new directions. Synthetic to Analytic.
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Synchronic / Inner History
Many changes would have occurred regardless of the Norman Conquest, but the Conquest accelerated these changes and created changes in new directions.
OE inflectional endings merge due to leveling and are finally reduced to two forms (dog / dogs / dog's / dogs')
There are no case distinctions except in the genitive (identical with the plural).
Particles (prepositions and conjunctions) and word order are used to express grammatical relations.
A. bird / birds (strongest in the North and Midlands).
B. wolf / wolves; fox / foxes (in use everywhere).
ox / oxen (strongest in the South).
Father goes to the store.
There is no way to signal the relational context of the subject "father," especially since there are no (or fewer) inflectional endings.If we had just one generic pronoun it would get very confusing.
His father / my father / your father (personal pronouns)
The father / That father / Those fathers (dem. pronouns)
OE Aetheling > nobleman