History of the English Language Part 3

Grimm's Law

Rules formulated by Jacob Grimmdetails the regular changes in the IE stops that occurred in Germainic languages

Verner's Law

rule formulated by Karl Vernerexplains apparent exceptions to Grimm's Lawp-b L: caput (head) Gothic: haubipt-d Greek: klutos (famous) E: hlud (loud)k-g Greek: dekas (group of ten) Gothic: tiguss-r Sanskrit: snusa (daughter-in-law) OE: snoru


a change in a vowel, originally caused by a change in stress or accentex. ring, rang, rung

free stress

stress can be put anywhere in the word and it'll have the same meaning

fixed stress

stress must be in a specific in a word or it will change the meaning

What is the path of descent from English to Indo-European?

5,000 BC- 3,000 BC: Eastern Europe, Western Asia3,000 BC: migrations start in various directions

Approximately where and when were the language ancestors of English spoken?

0 AD, migration of dialect variation began in Southern Scandinavia, Northern Germany450 AD, tribes of Angles, Saxons, Jukes, Friscans

How is the stress pattern of Commmon Germainic different from Common Indo-European

IE had free stress. There was no fixed, specific patternGermainic had fixed stress. In particular, the 1st syllable of the root.

Sound changes made up in Grimm's Law

p?f L: pedis, pater E: foot, fathert?� [?] L: tres, tonare E: three, thunderk?h [x] L: canis, cornu E: hound, hornb?p : L: turba (crowd) E: thorp (village)d?t L: dentis, duo E: tooth, twog?c L: granum, ager E: corn, acrebh?b L: frater, fran(n)go E: brother, breakdh?d L: foris, fin(n)go E: door, doughgh?g L: hortus, hostis E: garden, guest

closed syllable

syllable that ends in one or more consonantsex: salt, stop, pass, sink

open syllable

syllable that ends in a vowel soundex: sigh, go, pay, me, paw


relations are expressed primarily by means of inflectionsuses more morphemes


expresses grammatcal relationships by means of separate words rather than inflectionseach word has fewer morphemeslg. changed more to this during ME

comparative reconstruction

process of establishing hypothetical earlier forms by comparing cognate forms in related descendent languages or dialectsex. the reconstruction of the IE form of which PDE "three", French "trois," German "drei", and Russian "tri" are descendants


form of an adjective or adverb that indicates that something possesses a quality to the maximum degree.ex: the most exciting, the slowest

grammatical gender

division of words into masculine, feminine, neutral that are arbitrary (as in French)

biological gender

division of words into masculine, feminine, neutral that correspond to the actual gender referred


forming words by cutting off the begining or the end of another word.Ex: refrigerator- fridge

What events happened in 1066 that effects the history of the English language?

Norman invasion of England. Last and most thouroughgoing invasion by foreigners.Unified England for the first time in history

how did the distribution of short and long vowels changed to become more regular based on whether the syllable was open (long V) or closed (short V)

In short vowels, all short vowels were reduced to "e" (upside down e) in unstressed syllables. short vowel /I/ tended to remain the same lead to the ultimate loss of most inflectionsin long vowels, had a loss of /y/ and /ae/ and its addition of /backward 3/ and /upside down c/loanwords also contributed to long vowelsvowels became short before GVS, didn't participateafter gvs, vowel length no longer phonemic

break a word into syllables so that you can recognize whether each syllable is open or closed

frogge 'frog' closed syllable, short vowelstelen 'to steal' open syllable, long voweltale 'tale' open syllable, long vowelasken 'to ask' closed syllable short vowelhil 'hill' closed syllable, short vowel

Where does the y come from in quaint store names like Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe?

Why came from teh symbol thorn which represents the sound "th". Overtime, the writing changed to the symbol "y

When and how did English become a more analytic language?

during ME through the loss of inflectional endings and the increased use of prepositions, compound verb phrases, more/most for adjective comparatives, and more fixed word order

Which pronouns were added to the language during ME (i.e., which pronouns didn�t develop from OE via sound changes), where they came from (if it�s known), and why the language added them (i.e., what would have happened to the pronoun system if all pronouns had just followed regular sound changes).

OE had 1st, 2nd person- singular, dual, plural. ME had singular, plural (no dual)ME sg: "thou" pl: "you" -came from Frenchnew form, 3rd sg: feminine "she" -unknown olrigin3rd person pl: "they" -from Old Norse

difference between ME and PDE in distinctions shown in second person pronouns, and know how the use of you for second person singular started

in PDE, "you" for both sg and pl.in ME, sg "thou" pl "you"Came from French

the degree of acceptability of multiple negation in ME

multiple negation is tolerated and allowed



how do Norse, French, and Latin compare in the number of words each contributed to English during the ME period

Mostly from FrenchSecond most from O.N.Latin a little less

how did social factors influence which kinds of words were borrowed and what stylistic connotations those words came to have?

More contact usually through different trade interactions or other jobs. Connotations usually related to foods and goods from other countries.

2 ways that native words could react semantically to new borrowings with similar meanings

narrowingshifts in connotation

two ways that loanwords could be altered after borrowing

clipping and backformation