The Development of Vowel System in Middle English and New English



Мы поможем в написании ваших работ!


Мы поможем в написании ваших работ!



Мы поможем в написании ваших работ!


ЗНАЕТЕ ЛИ ВЫ?

The Development of Vowel System in Middle English and New English



 

Vowels

English vowels proved to be more changeable than consonants. Long vowels proved to be more changeable than short ones.

 

Middle English

The changes that occurred to vowels in ME were as follows:

1. Quantitative:

Reduction –weakening and disappearance of unstressed vowels. As far as the stress was mainly on the root the vowels in prefixes and suffixes got weak and underwent reduction. In unstressed position only two vowels were left – [ə] and [i]. They had never been contrasted.

E.g. ME tale [‘ta:lə], body [‘bodi]

In NE sound [ə] (schwa) was dropped at the end of the words but the letter e was left in spelling to show the length of the preceding vowel.

 

Shortening –all long vowels became short before consonant clusters (NB!! except [ld, nd, mb] –before these clusters vowels remained long or if a vowel was short it became long)

E.g.

Other Consonant Clusters
OE ME
fīftiζ fifty (fifty)
fēdde fedde (fed)
wīsdom wisdom (wisdom)

 

Lengthening (12th – 13th c.) –short vowels became long:

· before clusters [ld, nd, mb];

· in 2-syllable words, only to [e, o, a]in open stressed syllable

E.g.

Clusters [ld, nd, mb] 2-syllable words
OE ME OE ME
cild chīld (child) mete mēte (meat)
findan nden (find) open ōpen (open)
climban clīmben (climb) talu tāle (tale)

 

2. Qualitative:

The system of vowels in ME were no longer symmetrical as it was in OE

Short Vowels

· [y]changed to [i]e.g. OE hyll – ME hill (hill);

· [æ]changed to [a]e.g. OE wæs – ME was (was).

As a result:

i e a o u

 

Long Vowels

· [ỹ]changed to [ī];

· [ǽ]fell together with [έ];

· [ā]changed to [ō]e.g. OE stān – ME sto[o:]ne(stone).

As a result:

  close open
ī ū ē ō έ ǿ
           

 

New Diphthongs

OE diphthongs turned into monophthongs:

 

OE Diphth. ME Sounds OE ME
ĭě/īē à i līehtan lighten (lighten)
ĕŏ/ēō à e heorte herte (heart)
ĕă/ēā à æ ēast eest (east)

 

New diphthongs appeared due to vocalisation of [j], [γ]and [w]. These consonants turned into vowels ([i], [u]and [u] respectively) and became the glides of the new diphthongs:

 

i-glides OE ME u-glides OE ME
[ei] weζ[j] wey[i](way) [iu] - -
[ai] mæζ[j] may[i](may) [au] laζ[γ]u law[u]e [‘lauə] (low)
[oi](in French loan-words)   boy, toy [ou] cnāw[w]an know[u]en [‘knouən] (know)

 

New English

Great Vowel Shift – the change that happened in the 14th – 16th c.and affected all long monophthongs + diphthong [au]. As a result these vowels were:

· diphthongized;

· narrowed (became more closed);

· both diphthongized and narrowed.

 

ME Sounds NE Sounds ME NE
[i:] à [ai] time [‘ti:mə] time [teim]
[e:] à [i:] kepen [‘ke:pən] keep [ki:p]
[a:] à [ei] maken [‘ma:kən] make [meik]
[o:] à à [ou] [u:] stone [‘sto:nə] moon [mo:n] stone [stoun] moon [mu:n]
[u:] à [au] mous [mu:s] mouse [maus]
[au] à [o:] cause [‘kauzə] cause [ko:z]

 

This shift was not followed by spelling changes, i.e. it was not reflected in written form. Thus the Great Vowel Shift explains many modern rules of reading.

 

Short Vowels

 

ME Sounds NE Sounds ME NE
[a] à à [æ] [o]after [w]!! that [qat] man [man] was [was] water [‘watə] that [ðæt] man [mæn] was [woz] water [‘wotə]
[u] à [Λ] hut [hut] comen [cumen] hut [hΛt] come [cΛm]

There were exceptions though, e.g. put, pull, etc.

 

Vocalisation of [r]

It occurred in the 16th – 17th c. Sound [r] became vocalised (changed to [ə] (schwa)) when stood after vowels at the end of the word.

Consequences:

· new diphthongs appeared: [εə], [iə], [uə];

· the vowels before [r] were lengthened (e.g. arm [a:m], for [fo:], etc.);

· triphthongs appeared: [aiə], [auə] (e.g. shower [‘∫auə], shire [‘∫aiə]).


Lecture 12

The Development of Consonant System in Middle English and New English

English consonants proved to be more stable than vowels. Nevertheless, new sets of consonants started to appear.

 

Sibilants and Affricates

Sibilants – a type of fricatives, narrower and sharper than all other fricatives ([f, v, q, ð, h]) – [s, z, ∫, ζ].

Affricates – sounds consisting of a plosive immediately followed by a fricative – [t∫, dζ].

In OE there were only 2 sibilants – [s, z]. [∫] appeared in ME and [ζ] – in NE.

Affricates [t∫, dζ] appeared both in ME and in NE.

 

Middle English

New consonants developed from palatal plosives [k’], [g’]and the cluster [sk’]:

 

OE Sounds ME Sounds In Writing OE ME
[k’] à [t∫] tch, ch cild [k’il’d] child [t∫ild]
[g’] à [dζ] g, dg ecge [‘egg’ə] edge [‘edζə]
[sk’] à [∫] sh, ssh, sch fisc[fisk’] fish[fi∫]

 

New English

Palatalisation –as a result of reduction of unstressed vowels several consonants merged into one:

 

ME Sounds NE Sounds ME NE
[sj] à [∫] commissioun [komi’sjon] commission [kə’mi∫ən]
[zj] à [ζ] pleasure [plə’zjurə] pleasure [‘pleζə]
[tj] à [t∫] nature[na’tjurə] nature[‘neit∫ə]
[dj] à [dζ] procedure [,prosə’djurə] procedure [prə’sidζə]

 

There were some exceptions though, e.g. mature, duty, due, suit, statue, tune, etc.

 

Fricatives

Voicing –occurredin the 16th c. (NE) to fricatives:

· in functional words and auxiliaries that are never stressed;

· when preceded by an unstressed and followed by a stressed vowel.

 

ME Sounds NE Sounds ME NE
[s] à [z] possess [pə’ses] possess [pə’zes]
[q] à [ð] this [qis],the [qə], there [qεə] this [ðis],the [ðə], there [ðεə]
[f] à [v] of[of] of[ov]
[ks] à [gz] anxiety [,ən’ksaiəti] anxiety [,ən’gzaiəti]
[t∫] à [dζ] knowledge [‘kno:lət∫ə] knowledge [‘no:lidζ]

 

Loss of Some Consonants

In NE some consonants were vocalised or gave birth to diphthongs and triphthongs.

· [r]was vocalised at the end of the word in the 16th -17th c. (see Lecture 11);

· [j]disappeared as a result of palatalisation (see palatalisation in Lecture 12); [j] remained only initially (e.g. year, yard, etc.);

· [х, х’] were lost (e.g. ME taughte [‘tauхtə] – NE taught [to:t], ME night [niх’t] NE night [neit]

· [kn] à [n](e.g. ME know [knou] – NE know [nou]);

· [gn] à [n](e.g. ME gnat [gnat] – NE gnat [næt]);

H/w:1. Ex. 10-14, 17 on p. 219 in “История английского языка” by Т.А. Расторгуева (copies).

 

24. Evolution of noun system from Middle English to Late New English.

Middle English

Most changes occurred to the Noun in ME.

System of Declensions

In ME the declensions disappeared due to the reduction of endings. As far as the Case endings were reduced to one or two, there remained no distinction between the Case forms of different declensions and there was no necessity any more to distinguish these declensions.

Gender

The Gender in OE was not supported semantically. It was only a classifying feature for the declensions and as far as the declensions disappeared there was no necessity to preserve the Gender. It disappeared by the 11th – 12th c.

Number

The quantity of the Number endings was also reduced as far as the declensions disappeared. The markers of the Plural became more uniform (-s, -en, root-sound interchange). The preference of the consonantal endings can be explained by the fact that the vowels were more apt to change and reduction then the consonants that in general proved to be more stable.

Case

The Case system was contracted in ME due to the reduction of endings. As far as the Case endings were reduced to one or two, there remained no distinction between the Case forms and there was no necessity any more to distinguish 4 Cases:

OE Cases ME Cases Peculiarities
Nominative à Dative à Accusative à   Common à (Subject) (former Nom) à (direct Object) (former Acc) à (prepositional/indirect Object) (former Dat)
Genitive à Genitive (Possessive) The usage of the Genitive became more limited. In Singular it was marked by -‘s. In the 17th – 18th c.the apostrophe (‘) started to be used in Pl, Gen as far as the plural Genitive ending was lost but some distinction between the Common and the Genitive case in Plural should be preserved.

Causes for Decay of Case System:

1.Influence of the Scandinavian Dialects that were grammatically simpler in comparison with OE Dialects and this influence led to the minimization of grammar.

2.Phonetic reduction of final unstressed syllables (inflections).

Consequences of Case System Decay:

1.The number of prepositions started to grow to help to replace the former Case forms.

2.As far as there was no distinctions between the Cases, the distinction between the Subject and the Object of a sentence was lost à fixed word order appeared (The Subject almost always took the first place and was followed by the Object).

 

25. Evolution of pronoun system from Middle English to Late New English.

Demonstrative pronoun

In MEthe Case system disappeared due to the fact that there were some homonymous forms (see the table above: e.g. þǽre – F, Sg, Gen; F, Sg, Dat; F, Sg, Instr; þa – Pl, Nom; Pl, Acc; þisse – F, Sg, Gen; F, Sg, Dat) and due to phonetic reduction.

In NEthe Gender was lost due to the fact that there were some homonymous forms (see the table above: e.g. þes/þæs – M, Sg, Gen; N, Sg, Gen; þæm – M, Sg, Dat; N, Sg, Dat; þissum – M, Sg, Dat; N, Sg, Dat) and the following changes happened to the pronouns marked with * in the table above:

· se (M, Sg, Nom) – turned into the definite article “the” (discussed more particularly in the point “Rise of Articles” below);

· sēo (F, Sg, Nom) – turned into the personal pronoun “she” (discussed more particularly in the point “Personal Pronouns” (changes in the 3rd person) below);

· þæt (N, Sg, Nom) – remained as the unchangeable demonstrative pronoun “that”;

· þis (N, Sg, Nom) – remained as the unchangeable demonstrative pronoun “this”;

· þý (M, Sg, Instr) – in OE was used in the comparative constructions like “the sooner…the better” but in NE was not distinguished any more phonetically and merged with the unchangeable form of the definite article “the”.

The only category that was left in the demonstrative pronouns was the Number (e.g. ModE this – these, that – those).

Later the following changes happened to the personal pronouns (some of them are marked with * in the table above so that one can trace the connection easily):

Gender

Genderisstill preserved(he, she, it) in ModE but is often denied by scholars because it is expressed lexically and practically has nothing to do with grammar.

2. Cases:

· In MEthe Genitive Case turned into a new class of pronounsPossessive Pronouns(e.g. ModE I (pers.) – mine (possess.); you – yours, he – his, she – her, etc.);

· The Dative and the Accusative Cases fell together and formed the Objective Case.Thus in ME there were only two cases left in the personal pronouns – Nominative and Objective (e.g. ModE I (Nom) – me (Obj); he – him, she – her, etc.).

Number

Dual formsdisappeared in ME. In NE the category of Number disappeared in the 2nd person of the personal pronouns (see the explanation below).

3rd person

As far as in the Early ME many forms in the 3rd person coincided phonetically and often caused confusion and difficulties in communication, the following changes occurred:

Pers. Gender OE Early ME Late ME Comments
3rd M, Sg à he à he preserved original form
F, Sg hēo/hīo à he à she As far as it coincided with M, Sg and Plural forms, a new word was found – derived from the demonstrative pronoun sēo (F, Sg, Nom) – to distinguish the forms.
N, Sg hit à hit à it preserved original form, lost initial [h]
Plural hēo/hīe à he/hi à they As far as it coincided with M, Sg and F, Sg forms, a new word was found – a Scandinavian borrowing – to distinguish the forms.

4. 2nd person

Pers. Number OE ME Comments NE
2nd Sg þu à thouà Fell out of use due to the French etiquette (it forbade impolite “thou” form, so it was replaced with the polite “ēow” form). ēow (Pl, Dat)(you)
Pl ζē à ye à Coincided phonetically with à was dropped

Thus in NE the category of Number disappeared in the 2nd person of the personal pronouns.

 

26. Evolution of verb system from Middle English to Late New English.



Последнее изменение этой страницы: 2016-12-12; Нарушение авторского права страницы; Мы поможем в написании вашей работы!

infopedia.su Все материалы представленные на сайте исключительно с целью ознакомления читателями и не преследуют коммерческих целей или нарушение авторских прав. Обратная связь - 3.238.249.17 (0.016 с.)