4. Middle English phonetics and grammar icon

4. Middle English phonetics and grammar

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1. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/History of the English Language/Question3. History.doc
2. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/History of the English Language/Question4. History.doc
3. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/History of the English Language/История языка 1.doc
4. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/History of the English Language/История языка 2.doc
5. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/History of the English Language/История языка 3.doc
6. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/History of the English Language/История языка 5.doc
7. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/History of the English Language/история языка 4.doc
8. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/Lexicology/Question1. Lexiology.doc
9. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/Lexicology/Question2. Lexicology.doc
10. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/Lexicology/Question3. Lexicology..doc
11. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/Lexicology/Question4. Lexicology..doc
12. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/Phonetics/Question1. Phonetics.doc
13. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/Phonetics/Question2. Phonetics.doc
14. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/Phonetics/Question3. Phonetics.doc
15. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/Phonetics/Question4. Phonetics.doc
16. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/grammar/Morphology.doc
17. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/grammar/Question1. Morphology.doc
18. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/grammar/Question1. Syntax.doc
19. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/grammar/Question2. Morphology.doc
20. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/grammar/Question2. Syntax.doc
21. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/grammar/Question3. Morphology.doc
22. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/grammar/The sentence and the text.doc
23. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/~$вопрос лит-ра.doc
24. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/1. Этапы развития романтизма в Англии.doc
25. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/10 вопрос лит-ра.doc
26. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/10. Теккерей.doc
27. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/11. Основные направления английской литературы конца 19.doc
28. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/11вопрос лит-ра.doc
29. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/11вопрос.doc
30. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/12. Творчество Голсуорси.doc
31. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/13 вопрос лит-ра.doc
32. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/13. Влияние натурализма на американскую литературу конца 19.doc
33. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/14. Твен.doc
34. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/15 вопрос лит-ра.doc
35. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/15. Взаимодействие реализма и модернизма в английской литературе первой половины 20 века.doc
36. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/16. Основные тенденции развития американского романа в первой половине 20 века.doc
37. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/17 вопрос лит-ра.doc
38. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/17. Особенности художественного мира Фолкнера.doc
39. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/18 вопрос лит-ра.doc
40. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/18. Творчество Хэмингуэя.doc
41. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/19. Английский философский роман второй половины 20 века.doc
42. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/2 вопрос лит-ра.doc
43. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/2. Поэзия английского романтизма.doc
44. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/20. Постмодернизм в английской литературе Барнс.doc
45. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/21 вопрос лит-ра.doc
46. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/21. Особенности развития литературы США после Второй мировой войны.doc
47. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/3. Жанр исторического романа в творчестве В.doc
48. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/4 вопрос лит-ра.doc
49. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/4. Творчество Байрона как вершина английского романтизма.doc
50. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/5 вопрос лит-ра.doc
51. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/5 и 6.Специфика американского романтизма.doc
52. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/7. Творчество По.doc
53. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/8. Творчество Диккенса.doc
54. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/9. Английский викторианский женский роман.doc
55. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/Barns.doc
56. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/~$. Английский философский роман второй половины 20 века.doc
57. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/Краткие.doc
58. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/имена.doc
59. /ответы на вопросы к госнику/литра/писатели и даты.doc
The Norman Conquest
Major Changes in the sound system in Middle English
Old English. General characteristics
2. Old English Phonetics and Grammar
The Norman Conquest
5. Tendencies of New English Language Development
4. Middle English phonetics and grammar
Definition and aims of the course, its connection with phonetics, grammar, stylistics. The lexical system of the language. Syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations.
Lexicology №2. Word-building
Semasiology. Its object and problems
Native words and borrowed words. The source of borrowings and the origin of borrowed words. Ways of borrowing
The phoneme, the allophone. Distinctive features of phonemes. Complementary distribution. Free variations. The functions of the phoneme. Modifications of phoneme in speech: assimilation, accommodation, elision, reduction. Sound insertion
Theories of the nature of the syllable. Syllable formation. The rules of the syllable division. Functions of the syllable. Word stress.
Rhythm, tempo, pausation, tamber. Functions of intonation. Prosodic units: syllable, rhythmic group, intonation group, the utterance. The structure of the intonation group. Types of head, prehead, tail. Utterance stress
The Southern British type of English pronunciation, the Northern regional type of English pronunciation, the Scottish regional type of English pronunciation.
Description of the English verb: the categorical meaning of the verb, its morphological system, syntactic function. The category of tense in different linguistic theories.
The segmental units of morphology as part of the grammatical theory. The notion of morph. Types of morphs. The definition of morpheme.
The subject matter of syntax. The basic syntactic notions: the phrase, the sentence, the suprasegmental construction. Their definitions. The notions of minor and major syntax. The phrase and the sentence. Essential differences
Theories of parts of speech classifications. The principles of syntactico-distributional classification of English words. The three-criteria characterization of grammatical classes of words developed in home linguistics.
The Sentence. Its definition. Classification of sentences
Description of the English verb: the categorical meaning of the verb, its morphological system, syntactic function. The category of tense in different linguistic theories.
The sentence and the text
1. Этапы развития романтизма в Англии
10. William Makepeace Thackeray as a representative of English realism of the 19
Теккерей «Ярмарка Тщеславия»
Теория эстетизма и творчество Уайльда (1854\56 – 1900)
11. Literature of the turn of the centuries Fin de Siecle. Great Britain in the end of the 19
11. Literature of the turn of the centuries Fin de Siecle. Great Britain in the end of the 19
Творчество Дж. Голсуорси//Творчество Т. Харди. John Galsworthy
13. Naturalistic tendencies in the American literature of the turn of the centuries
Предпосылки натурализма
М. Твен основоположник реализма в литературе США
15. Interaction of realism and modernism in the English literature of the first half of the 20
Взаимодействие реализма и модернизма в английской литературе первой половины 20 века
«потерянного поколения» в творчестве Э. Хемигуэя; «американская мечта» в романах Ф. С. Фитцджеральда «Великий Гэтсби и Т. Драйзера «Американская трагедия»
17. The peculiarities of the Faulkner’s artistic world
Особенности художественного мира У
18. The creativity of Ernest Miller Hemingway, peculiarities and evolution of the literary method
Творчество Э
Philosophical novels
2. The poetry of English romanticism (Lake school, John Keats, P. B. Shelley)
Поэзия английского романтизма Озерная школа, Дж. Китс, П. Б
Postmodern literature
20. American literature after the Second World War
Особенности развития литературы США после Второй мировой войны
Becoming Sir Walter Scott. He dies in his house in 1832
George Gordon Byron
Лорд Джордж Гордон Байрон 1788-1824
5. The peculiarities of American Romanticism. American literature in the 20-s of the 19
Пионеров (романы Ф. Купера); тип героя и использование фольклора (новеллы В. Ирвинга); религиозная символика (Мелвилл и Готорн); ключевые идеи трансцендентализма (Р. Эмерсон, Г. Торо)
Двойничества; детективные новеллы; основные стилистические приемы
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Victorian literature
English literature
Вальтер Скотт
English literature Walter Scott (1771-1832)
William Wordsworth

4. Middle English phonetics and grammar.

Spelling changes in ME. Qualitative and quantitative vowel changes. Development of monophthongs and diphthongs.

Vowels in the unstressed position

All vowels in the unstressed position underwent a qualitative change and became the vowel of the type of [i] or [e] unstressed. This phonetic change had a far-reaching effect upon the system of the grammatical endings of the English words which now became homonymous:

OE writan – wrat – writon – writen

ME writen – wrot – writen – writen

Vowels under stress

Qualitative changes

Three long monophthongs underwent changes in ME:

  1. a – o (stan – ston)

  2. æ – e (slæpan – slepen)

  3. y – i (fyr – fir)

The rest of the long monophthongs stayed the same (e, o, u, i).

Out of the OE short monophthongs too changed their quality in ME:

  1. æ – a

  2. y – i

The rest of the short monophthongs stayed the same (a, e, o, i, u).

All OE diphthongs were contracted (became monophthongs) at the end of the OE period, however, in ME there appeared 4 new diphthongs: [ai], [ei], [au], [ou].

Quantitative changes

Lengthening of vowels. The vowels [a], [o] and [e] were lengthened when found in an open syllable of disyllabic words (OE talu – ME tale).

Shortening of vowels. All long vowels were shortened in ME when found:

  • before double consonants and consonant clusters, except those clusters that caused lengthening (ld, mb, nd): cepte [ke:ptə] – cept [kept].

  • in the first syllable of a trisyllabic word: hæligdæg [hæ:lidæj] – halidai [halidai].

Changes in the consonant system.

Changes in the consonant system in ME are very slight. Certain voiced consonants became voiceless and other voiceless consonants became voiced.

The most important change in the consonant system is the development of the fricative consonant [∫] and the affricates [t∫] and [d ]: cild – child, scip – ship.

Consonants could also occasionally be lost completely. We may regard three main cases of the loss of consonants:

  1. [w] was lost before a following [o] if it came after another consonant: swa – so.

  2. The initial [h] of the consonant cluster was lost: hring – ring.

  3. In some cases the consonants in the final position were also lost: drivan – drive.

The noun.

In ME and in NE only 2 grammatical categories of noun were preserved compared with the three of OE. These are the categories of number and case, the category of gender having been lost at the beginning of the ME period.


There are two number forms in ME and NE: Singular and Plural, and two methods of indicating the Plural form:

  • -s/-es (from the strong declension)

  • -en (from the weak declension: oxen)

OE stān, ME stōn, NE stone – OE stānas, ME stōnes, NE stones


The number of cases in ME and consequently in NE is reduced to Common and Genitive case. The OE Nominative, Accusative and Dative cases merged into one case – the Common case at the beginning of ME.


Nom. stān Common case stōn stone

Acc. stān Genitive case stōnes stone’s

Dat. stāne

Gen. stānes

In NE mainly the nouns denoting living beings are used in the Genetive (Possessive) case.

The Pronoun.

In OE all pronouns were declined and the pronominal paradigm was very complicated. In ME the system was greatly simplified.


The four-case system that existed in OE gave way to a two-case system in late ME and in NE. Out of Nominative, Accusative, Dative and Genitive only Nominative and Objective (Acc. + Dat.) cases were preserved. Also we may single out the Possessive case.

N Ic Nom. I

A mec Obj. me

D mē Pos. my (mine)

G mīn


As a grammatical category gender disappeared already in ME, the pronouns he and she referring only to animate notions and it – to inanimate.


The three number system that existed in Early OE (Sg, Pl, Dual) was substituted by a two number system already in Late OE.

The development of articles.

The form of the definite article the can be traced back to the OE demonstrative pronoun (that, masculine, singular), which in the course of history was gradually transformed into the losing its inflections and began to be used with all nouns, irrespective of their gender or number.

The indefinite article developed from the OE numeral ān. In ME ān split into two words: the indefinite pronoun an, losing a separate stress and undergoing reduction of its vowel, and the numeral one, remaining stressed as any other notional word. Later the indefinite pronoun an grew into the indefinite article a/an, and together with the definite article the formed a new grammatical category – the category of determination or the category of article.

The Adjective

In ME we may find only two grammatical categories of OE: declension and the category of number. The category of gender was lost.


The difference between strong and weak declension is shown by the zero ending for the former and the ending –e for the latter, but only in the Singular. The forms of the strong and weak declension in the Plural have similar endings (-e): yong, yonge (Sg.), yonge (Pl.).


The difference between number forms is only in the strong declension: yong – yonge.

In NE these grammatical categories do not exist any more.

Degrees of comparison

Contrary to the mentioned above grammatical categories, degrees of comparison of the adjective were not only preserved but also developed in ME and NE: heard, hard, hard – heardra, hardre, harder – heardost, hardest, hardest.

Besides the suffixation as the most productive way of forming degrees, a new analytical method appeared (more, most comfortable).

Simplifying changes in the verb conjugation.

The decay of OE inflections is also apparent in the conjugation of the verb.

Number inflections. In the 13th and 14th c. the ending –en turned into the main marker of the pl forms of the verb. But in the late 14th c. it was often missed out and was dropped in the 15th c.

Person inflections. The OE endings of the 3 p. sg - -þ, -eþ, -iaþ – merged into a single ending –(e)th and later –(e)s. The ending –(e)st of the 2 p. sg became obsolete together with the pronoun thou.

In ME homonymy of the mood forms also grew. E.g.: the Indicative and Subjunctive moods could no longer be distinguished in the pl.

The distinction of tenses was preserved in the verb paradigm through all historical periods.


A comparison of the verbals in OE, ME and NE shows that the number of verbals in OE was less than in ME and NE. At the end of the ME period a new verbal developed – the Gerund, in addition to the Infinitive and the Participle existing already in OE. The Gerund appeared as a mixture of OE Present Participle ending in –ende and the OE Verbal noun ending in –inge. From the Verbal noun the Gerund acquired the form (the ending ‘–ing(e)’), but under the influence of the Participle it became more “verbal” in meaning.

In the process of English history the Verbals are gradually shifting from the system of declension into the system of conjugation. Thus, the Participle and the Infinitive lost their declensions and acquired the grammatical categories of order, voice and aspect (the participle and the gerund – only order and voice).

The OE preposition preceding the Dative case of the infinitive loses its independent meaning and functions simply as a grammatical particle showing that the Verbal is an Infinitive.

Development of new grammatical forms and categories of the verb

In OE the verb had four categories: person, number, tense and mood. In ME and NE there gradually developed three more grammatical categories – order, voice and aspect.

These grammatical categories used new analytical forms, developed from free word combinations of the OE verbs habban, beon/wesan + infinitive (or participle). The first element of this combination lost its lexical meaning, and the second – its grammatical one.

The category of order was the oldest, formed already in ME from the OE free combination habban + past participle (I have done).

The category of voice appeared out of the free combination of beon + past participle (he was killed).

The category of aspect was formed on the basis of the free combination of beon + present participle (she was singing).

The grammatical categories of tense and mood which existed in OE acquired new categorical forms.

In ME there appeared the form of future tense, developed out of the free combination of the OE modal verbs ‘sculan’ and ‘willan’ with the infinitive. This free combination of words was split into two groups:

  1. in the first, the modal meaning is preserved (You shall do it – necessity, I will do it – volition);

  2. in the second, the fixed word combination is perceived as the future tense form (I shall go there, you will go there).

Changes in ME syntax.

  1. The adjective was still placed before the noun (an elderly servant). However, some adjectives followed nouns, especially when translated from French and Latin. It also happened that one adjective preceded the noun and the other (or others) followed it (many cities and towns, fair, noble and rich).

  2. Phrasal modifiers typically followed the words they modified (the sins that come of gluttony and lechery).

  3. The of-possessive was the innovation of ME. It was supported by the French possessive with ‘de’ (according to the laws of our land).

  4. Group possessives are just appearing in ME and are typically made up of possessive + noun + noun modifier (Christ, the king’s son of heaven).

  5. Prepositions occasionally follow objects, especially if the object is a pronoun (He seyd him to).

  6. Compound words start appearing, though there are not much of them.

  7. The perfect tense became common in ME with be and have as auxiliaries, though be became more identified with the passive.

  8. The progressive developed in OE though it was rare and usually found in translations from Latin.

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