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Arts: Literature: World Literature: British: Old English
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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
Anglo-Saxons and Their Language
- Explains who the Anglo-Saxons were, where their language came from, and what their language was like. Also describes the relationship of Old English to other Germanic languages and to modern English. By Peter Baker.
ASPR Word Frequencies
- Lists each word that appears in the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records and shows the number of occurrences of each word.
Case in Old English
- Robert Stevick's study of case and other grammatical elements of Old English.
Changes in the English Language: a Comparison of Old, Middle, and Modern English
- For each verse of Luke 2:1-19, displays an Old English, Middle English, and Modern English version of the verse.
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.
Conceptual Semantics and Grammatical Relations in Old English
- A study of Old English from the viewpoint of historical linguistics. Covers word order, word formation, and other topics. By Ruta Nagucka.
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.
Grammar of Old English Poetry
- Describes the features of grammar in Old English poetry that distinguish it from the grammar of prose. Covers inflections, syntax, and word order. By Peter Baker.
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 that can appear in online Old English texts, 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.
Meanings of Anglo-Saxon Runes
- Displays a picture of each rune and gives its name and meaning. The entry for each rune includes the corresponding verse from the Old English Rune Poem..
Medieval Writing: Literate English
- Study of the history of written English, with emphasis on Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and the culture that produced them. Includes numerous illustrations and photos.
Meter in Old English Poetry
- Describes the use of alliteration in Old English poems and the rhythmic patterns employed in the individual lines of these poems. By Peter Baker.
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 OE glossaries, describes the different types of glossaries, and explains their relationship to later English dictionaries.
Old English Graphotactics
- A site dedicated to editions of Old English texts that include the graphotactics of original manuscripts and to studies of these texts. Graphotactics concerns the incidence and measure of spacings between strings of written symbols of a text. In such texts both the graphic symbols and the spacings carry linguistic information. Text and syntactical study of Beowulf and Alexander's Letter to Aristotle.
Old English In Its Material Context
- Provides essential information for reading Old English manuscripts. Covers the Old English alphabet, manuscript abbreviations, punctuation, capitalization, word and line divisions, and errors and corrections. Also discusses the runic alphabet, the use of runes in Old English literature, and Anglo-Saxon inscriptions in stone, jewelry, and other objects. By Peter Baker.
Old English Links
- Includes links to books and articles on Old English language topics.
Old English Syntax: Some Literary Illustrations
- Shows how selected literary texts exemplify characteristic features of Old English syntax.
Old English Verb Conjugator
- Online tool that accepts the infinitive form of an Old English verb as input and displays the complete conjugation of that verb as output. Also summarizes Old English verb groups and classes.
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.
Poetic Style in Old English
- Explains the stylistic characteristics of Old English poems, including a vocabulary found only in poems, the use of variation in poetic sentences, and the formulaic nature of poetic phrases and themes. By Peter Baker.
Prosody of Old and Middle English
- Explains the poetic principles and techniques that underlie all Old English poetry. Also covers the transition from Old English to Middle English poetic forms, foreign influences on Middle English poetry, and the alliterative revival of the 14th century.
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.
Tricks for Translating Old English
- Gives tips for making the translation of Old English easier. These tricks involve an understanding of certain grammatical constructions that are very common in Old English: modal plus infinitive, partitive genitive, locative dative, and the "ge" prefix of verbs. By Michael Drout.
Verb Movement in Old and Middle English: Dialect Variation and Language Contact
- Studies the position of the verb in Old English word order and shows the influence of this “V2” (verb-second) syntax on the word order of Middle English dialects.
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.
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