Вопрос №51 Development of the Perfect forms and the category of Time-correlation in ME and ENE. 

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Вопрос №51 Development of the Perfect forms and the category of Time-correlation in ME and ENE.

Have developed from OE verb phrases. The main sourses: the OE possessive construction, consisting of the verb habban (NE have), a direct obj and Part II of a transitive verb. Originally habban was used only with Part of transitive vs, then with verbs taking genitival, datival and prepositional obj and even with intransitibe vs. The other source of Perf forms was the OE phrase consisting of the link-verb beon and Part II of intransitive verbs.

In ME the two verb phrases turned into analytical forms and made up a single set of forms termed “perfect”. The Part had lost their forms of agreement with the noun; the places of the obj and the Part in the construction with haven changed. The Part usually stood close to the verb have and was followed by the obj which referred to the analytical form. In the Perf form the auxiliary have lost the mean of possession.

Вопрос №52 Growth of analytical verb forms in ME and ENE.

In OE period verbs had: category of person, number, tense and mood.

In ME period verbs had all grammatical categories of OE period + categories of order, voice and aspect (continuous).

These new forms were built analytically (different auxiliaries).

As there are only Present and Past forms existing in OE, in ME they remained and there was no future form.

There were indicative, subjunctive and imperative mood in OE which were preserved in ME. And at the end of the ME period (end of 14th century) two more subjunctive moods forms appeared. All of them were built on the analytical pattern. In NE period main changes occurred in tense and aspect.

1.Perfect forms started to develop (15th century or earlier)

2.Continuous forms started to be built on the form be + inf I (part. I)

The development of aspect form was very slow. It has become stable only by the 19th century.

Вопрос №53 Word-stock in ME. Etymological layers.

From the 12-th cent to 19 th:

voc loses of ws or their mean, replacement and additions. It was connected with events in external history, the changing conditions of life and the obsolence of many medieval concepts:

- In OE many groups of synonyms whose differentiation became irrelevant in ME

- The specific Eng poetry went out of use

- From 80 to 85% of the Eng ws went out of use, they were replaced (a result of coexistence)

- Among additions many pure innovations (new ws - bourgeois)

- The development of the voc led to the growth of polysemy and homonymy

- Scandinavian influence in the 13-th cent

- French infl in ME by the Norman conquerors

Вопрос №54 formation of Eng national lang.

The formation of the National Literary Eng Lang covers the Early NE(16-19 cent). We speak of the evolution of a single literary lang instead of the similar or different development of the dialects. There were at least 2 major external factors which favoured the rise of the Nat lang and the literary standards; the unification of the country and the progress of the culture. Other historical events (increasing foreign contacts, affected the lang in a less general way: the influenced the growth of the voc).

-establishment of the written standard (the end of Early NE by the middle of the 17-th cent)

- normalizing tendencies (literary Renaissance: grammar books, dictionaries)

- growth of the spoken standard (Written stand had been fixed by the beg of the 17 th cent and 17-18th cent -drama)

Practical questions

Explain the spelling and the origin of the forms: write – wrote –written

Changes of unstressed vowels in ME and NE. All unstressed vowels changed in quality, changing in the direction of [e] sound. That process had a far-reaching effect upon the sys of gram endings of the Eng ws (forms of strong vs: OE wr i tan-wr a t-writon-writen, with the suff –an,-on,-en differet only in the vowel component became homonymous. ME written, wr o t-writen); The Inf lost its inflected form in EME. Wr i tan and to Wr i tanne appear in ME as to written NE (to) write.

The strong verbs in OE had principal forms: OE wr i tan-wr a t-writon-writen. In ME they exhibited a marked tendency to have the same vowel in both the forms of the past tense, thus gradually reducing the number of the principal forms to three. In NE they have only three principal forms in verbs originally belonging to the group of strong verbs:write – wrote –written.

Explain the spelling and the origin of the forms: find – found – found

Quantitative vowel changes in Late OE and Early Middle Eng.

Quantitative changes of vowels. In ME the length of the vowel came to be dependent on the kind of the consonant that followed the vowel.

Lengthening of vowels.

1) Vowels were lengthened in early ME before the consonant clusters: nd, ed, mb (cild>chi:ld). But if a 3rd consonant followed these combinations, the short vowel did not become long. (OE- cildru>children). The OE form of the Past tense pl Ind mood of the v to findfundon became founden in the 12-13th cent and found in Modern Eng. Several changes: phonetic and spelling changes as the root vowel u became u: and then au then the letter u was replaced by the digraph ou. That is why in such ws as OE findan- fand-fundon-funden. ME- fi:nden- founden-founden the vowel i was lengthened

Explain the spelling and the origin of the forms: rise – rose – risen

CG word (to rise); a strong verb of Class 1 (i-class) alternated s with z but not with r; r i san- r a s-rison-risen (NE rise). The 7th class is the least regular one. The stems of strong verbs coincide in the following way:

Present Indicative had the same form as subjunctive, infinitive and participle I. (e)The 1st and the 3rd singular of Preterit. (o) We find it in the stem of indicative preterit, subjunctive preterit, 2nd person singular. (zero)

OE r i san-r a s-rison-risen; MErisen; NE rise-rose-risen;

Vowel gradation in Gothic strong vs: IE (PG) class 1 reisan –Inf; Past sg rais; Past pl risum; Part II risan NE rise.

Explain the spelling and the pronunciation of the words: sea, cloud.

From OE native word i-stem. OG saiws,sær, seo, OEs æ (substantion s æ-sea): s æe- s æ-sea

Cloud: I u -a u; u-ou

Explain the spelling and the pronunciation of the words: time, above

OEtima; Great vowel shift: MEtime (ti:me) i:-ai NEtime

Great vowel shift above


Explain the origin of articles in Modern English.

The Definite Article originated from the Demonstrative Pr. In OE DPs were usually used in a weakened meaning when they denoted a known thing. Ex. Hē būde wiÞ Þā West s æ. (He lived near that West Sea.) The definite article (Þā) began to loose its forms of declension in Middle English (North – 12 cent, South –beg of the 14cent).

The Indefinite Article originated form the numeral one. Ex. Þa læз Þær ān micel eā. (Then lay there a long river).


  1. Explain the spelling and the origin of the plural: child- children.

Native Eng. goes back to the original neutral s-stem declension: child-children (OE cild-cildru). The case of merging then splitting: OE cons k` has split into ME ʧ: OEcild, MEchild (ʧi;ld), NE child. In ME and NE digraph ch appeared. The most important endings from the historical point of view was: the ending - an of the n-stem declension plural. It is preserved in ME child i:-i children. The class of n-stem nouns was the 2nd largest after and it survived longer then other classes. (a-stem exception). That’s why in southern dialects some newly borrowed ws or coined ws were declined acc to the n-stem type and it influenced the nouns of other classes: OE an > ME en OE a-stem: N sg. cild; N pl. cildru > ME children. OE cild (kild), ciest (kiest), NE child – the velar consonant k was softened to k` as it stood before the front vowel i: - kild-k`ild. In the sg they were declined like neutral a-stems but in the pl had a specific inflexion not to be found outside the group: their stem suff –s transformed into –r had survived as part of the inflection – child r en. Quantitative vowel changes in Late OE and Early Middle Eng.

Explain the spelling and the pronunciation of the words: hose, street.

Qualitative vowel changes in EME. Growth of new diphthongs. All unstressed vws changed in quality usually in the direction of e sound. Long stressed monoth turned to the process of narrowing OE æ-e stræt-MEstreet (e:-narrower); NE street (æ-e:-i: the great vowel shift).

ME hose NEhose



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