The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume 2: 1066-1476
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Volume II deals with the Middle English period, approximately 1066-1476, and describes and analyzes developments in the language from the Norman Conquest to the introduction of printing. This period witnessed important features such as the assimilation of French and the emergence of a standard variety of English. There are chapters on phonology and morphology, syntax, dialectology, lexis and semantics, literary language, and onomastics. Each chapter concludes with a section on further reading; and the volume as a whole is supported by an extensive glossary of linguistic terms and a comprehensive bibliography. The chapters are written by specialists who are familiar with modern approaches to the study of historical linguistics.
historical changes taking place in his time. For instance, lufe 'love' < OE lufu, polenn 'endure' < OE polian where we would expect **luffe, **pollenn suggest the beginnings of a process of open-syllable lengthening (see 2.3.2, 2.5.2). 2.1.4 Old and Middle English dialects and the London bias This chapter and its equivalent in volume III are biased toward the evolution of what we might loosely call the ' modern standard', or to use a term of John Wells (1982), 'general English'. Geographically,
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e.g. Orm, in passages in the dedication to the Ormulum concerning himself and his brother: anndunnc birr]) bapepannkenn Crist 'and us-two (it) behoves to thank Christ, mitt shulenn tredenn unnderrfot 'we-two must tread underfoot'. After 1200 number became a two-way opposition in all categories. Roger Lass (b) Old English already showed a tendency towards dative/accusative syncretism, normally in favour of the dative form. In Middle English this trend continues in the masculine and feminine
the unique class of modal auxiliaries, with idiosyncratic morphology and syntax. 22.214.171.124 Infinitive, gerund and participles Modern English verbs are usually said to have four 'non-finite' forms (i.e. unmarked for tense and person/number): infinitive, past participle, present participle and gerund. 29 The last two are formally identical but functionally distinct: (76) Infinitive (to) Past-participle Present participle 1 Gerund / write writt-en . . writ ln " 8 The infinitive and gerund are
disputed questions about the pronunciation of Middle English (Lass 1976), or to demonstrate the present-day survival of Middle English variants in particular locations (Wakelin & Barry 1968). Of course, this process also works in the opposite direction: just as present-day findings can be, and have been, used to illuminate the past, so the findings of Middle English dialectology can be used to illuminate the present — or later stages of the language, such as Early Modern English. 3.1.4 Middle