Old English, sometimes referred to as Anglo-Saxon, is a member of the Germanic family of the Indo-European languages. It is the earliest form of the English language. It was written and spoken in England from roughly the 5th to the 11th century. Its written records include the earliest known poems in the English language and a considerable body of prose.
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About Old English
Answers the questions: What is old English, Why learn Old English, and Why is Old English so different from modern English. By Murray McGillivray
ASPR Word Frequencies
Lists each word that appears in the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records and shows the number of occurrences of each word.
Changes in the English Language: a Comparison of Old, Middle, and Modern English
Displays Old English, Middle English, and Modern English versions of each verse in Luke 2:1-19.
Changes in the Language to the Days of Chaucer
Studies the development of Old English and Middle English. Covers grammar, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and dialects.
Englisc Composition Listserv
An electronic discussion group dedicated to writing and communicating in Old English. Includes event announcements and links.
English Dialects From the Eighth Century to the Present Day
A history and description of English dialects from the Old English period to the present. By W.W. Skeat.
History of English
Describes the development of the English language from pre-history to the present. In addition to Old English, covers the Indo-European language family, the Germanic branch of this family, the Celts and Romans, Middle English, early modern English, late modern English, and English today.
History of the English Language Lectures
Includes several videos, with narration, on Old English language topics. By Edwin Duncan.
Junicode Font Page
Junicode is a font for medievalists created by Peter Baker. If a computer is unable to display certain characters in the Old English alphabet, the Junicode font supplies the needed characters. Site describes the font and includes a link to a page from which the font can be downloaded.
Language of the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings
Describes the survival of Old English and Old Norse words in modern English. Includes illustrations.
Medieval Writing: Literate English
Study of the history of written English in the Old English and Middle English periods. Includes discussion of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and the culture that produced them. Includes numerous illustrations and photos.
Old English Alphabet
Shows the form and pronunciation of each letter in the Old English alphabet. Includes a sample text from a manuscript, a transcription of this text, and a modern English translation. Also shows the form, name, and equivalent English letter for each rune in the Runic alphabet
Old English Compared to Modern English
Merriam-Webster Online article uses a passage from Aelfric's Homily on St. Gregory to show the similarities and differences between Old English and Modern English. Also compares Middle English to Modern English and describes the Germanic roots of Old English.
Old English Glossaries: Creating a Vernacular
Scholarly introduction to Old English glossaries. Covers the origin and purpose of Old English glossaries, describes the different types of glossaries, and explains their relationship to later English dictionaries.
Old English Word Search Engines
Provides two search tools. One finds all occurrences of a word or words in the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records (ASPR). The other finds all occurrences of a word or words in the entire Old English corpus.
Old English: an Overview
An introduction to the key features of Old English by Philip Durkin of the Oxford English Dictionary. Covers historical background, distinguishing features of Old English, beginning of Old English, end of Old English, dialects, verbs, derivation of families of words from the same base word, and sound changes.
Parable of the Prodigal Son in Different Stages of English
Gives Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English, and Modern English versions of Luke 15:11-32 and allows side-by-side comparisons of different versions. Includes audio of verses 11-21 in each version.
Prosody of Old and Middle English
Studies the poetic principles, techniques, and forms that underlie Old English poetry and Middle English poetry.
Runes and Manuscripts
Studies the development of the alphabet and writing in Anglo-Saxon England. Topics include: the national Germanic alphabet (runes), the use of runes in literature, the influence of the Roman and Irish alphabets on the English hand, the tools of book-making, and the role of scribes and scriptoria.
Sounds of Old English
Robert D. Stevick's account of the Old English sound system. Includes exercises.
Why Old English Is the Way It Is
Explains how political and cultural events changed the Anglo-Saxon language into the English spoken today. By Michael Drout.
Last update:March 12, 2016 at 3:10:30 UTC