Changes in the vocabulary system in NE period

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Changes in the vocabulary system in NE period

The growth of the English vocabulary from internal sources can be observed in all periods of history. As before, word formation fell into 2 types:

1)Word derivation (suffixation (native suffixes:-er-writer, -ness, -don, -ship, -hood, -man (eg: woman), -ish-feverish, -y-hairy, risky, -less, -ful: borrowed suffixes: (entered the English language with the two biggest waves of loan-words (-able), were used to form different parts of speech: nouns, adjectives and verbs: -ess (governess), -ty, -age, -ry, -ment, -able/-ible, -al, -ic…), prefixation (native prefixes: out, under, over; borrowed prefixes: re, de, dis, en/in, dis, un, im, non, extra, semi, co, anti, pre…), sound interchanges ( has grown due to the weakening and loss of many suffixes and grammatical endings- song - sing), word stress (in many derived words it served as an additional distinctive feature together with other world-building means (relax - relaxation)): conversion was a new method of word derivation which arose in Late ME and grew into a most productive, specifically English way of creating new words. Conversation is effected through a change in the meaning, the grammatical paradigm and the syntactic use of the word in the sentence. The word is transformed into another part of speech with an identical initial form (house (noun) – house (verb)).

2) Word composition. Compound words of the ME and Early NE periods were formed after the word-building patterns inherited from OE: two noun-stems (workshop, lighthouse). Compound adjectives in ME and Early NE continued to be formed in accordance with the same patterns as in OE: “back formation” is a process of word-building based on analogy: televise from television.: narrowing and widening of meanings.

Modern English is called the period of “lost” endings: singen→sing.

The division is based on a feature both phonetic (weakening of sounds) and morphological (loss of unstressed vowel, weakening and loss of gram. morphemes).NE is divided into:

1)New English of Modern English. Period (1500-1610) – early modern English . The period of Shakespeare.

2)Late English of Modern English (1660-…). The transition from one state to another is slow and gradual.

17. The OE verb, its grammatical & morphological categories

The OE V. like the N. & Adj. was a highly changeable part of speech & all its gram categories were expressed with the help of inflexions. All the forms of OE V. were synthetic, as analytical were only beginning to appear. The non-finite forms had little in common with the finite forms but shared many features with the nominal parts of speech.

4 gram. Categories of FINITE V:

V.-predicate agreed with the subject of the sentence in:

-Number: - singular - plur.

-Person: - 1st- 2nd - 3rd

Specifically verbal categories:

-Mood: - indicative-imperative-subjunctive

Tense: - present

- past or past/ non-past

4 morphological types of V. In OE:

1)strong (about 300; are usually divided into 7 classes in OE; corresponding to more than irreg. v.)

2)weak (about 900; usually div. into 3 classes; now – regular v.)

3)preterite-present (past-present) – 12(6 survived in MOD. E. – cunnan, cann, dear, sculan, sceal, magan, mæg, āg, mōt; most of them didn’t indicate actions, but expressed a kind of an attitude to an action expressed by another v., an Infinitive which followed the preterite-present – used like modal verbs )

4)anomalous(with irreg. forms)– bēon(be), willan(will), gān(go), dōn(do)

18. Strong V. in OE & their further development

Made up about ¼ of all verbs.

The strong type was inherited from Indo-European. In IE v. of this type built their Past by an ablaut (a change in the root stressed vowel ←gradation(брал – беру; везу - вёз)). Depending on the type of the vowel change (alternation) Germ. Strong v. are tradit. subdivided Into 7 classes.

The principal forms of all the strong v. have the same endings irrespective of class:

--an for the INFINITIVE

-No ending in the PAST SINGULAR stem (but end is formed by changing a stressed root vowel)

-on in the form of PAST PLURAL

-en for PARTICIPLE 2

Strong v. of the class 7 were less regular than the other classes & consisted of a small subclasses, but the members of class 7 (ā, ēo, ēo, ā) & class 6 (a, ō, ō, a) have identical vowels in Past sing. & past plur. Strong v. were in minority in OE & belonged to a non-productive type. Many of them were in high frequency in speech which could not, but contributed in their stability(to sit, give, come).

1)In ME the final syllables of the stems, like all final syllables were weakened, in the early NE most of them were lost. Thus the OE endings -an, -on, -en (INFINITIVE, PAST PLURAL, PARTICIPLE 2 ) were all reduced to ME –en.

2)Important change - Reduction in the number of stems from 4 to 3, by removing the distinction b/t the 2 past stems –plural & singular. Analogical leveling depended on the dialect & on the class of the v. (ex: in the northern dialects the vowel of the Past sing. Tended to replace that of the Past of plural)

3)The best preserved classes are: - class 1(i, ā, i, i) – rise, ride; -class 3 a(i, a, u, u) – drink, speak; -class 6 (a, ō, ō, a) – take, shake.

4. As time went on more & more some of originally strong v. died or transferred into weak type: to love, hope, bake, climb, help, swallow, wash, grip, bow etc. The opposite transfer was rather exceptional (several former weak v. – NE wear, dig, stick) & 3 borrowings – take, thrive(from O Scand) & strive (from O Fr)

19. Weak V. in OE & their further development

The number of weak v. in OE by far more exceeded that of strong v. in fact, all the v. with the exception of strong, & the minor groups(about 315-320) were weak(about ¾ of all v. ) .

Among them there were many derivatives of OE noun, adj, stems (talu (tale) – tellan; full – fullan (fill)); & derivatives from strong v: fallen – feallan (fell).

It was Germanic type, one of the Germanic innovations in grammar.

Productive type

Weak v. were subdivide into 3 classes(in Gothic there were 4 classes)

3 main Principle forms:

1. INFINITIVE: 1) 1st class ended in –an/-ian(seldom & occurs after [r] styrian, tellan)

2)2nd class ended in –ian (lōcian)

3) 3rd class ended in –an & no vowel before the dental suffix (libban, habban)

2. PAST TENSE: 1st class ended in –e, -ede, -te( styrede, tealde )

2nd class ended in –ode([o] before the dental suffix; lōcode)

3rd class ended in –de (no vowel before the dental suffix; lifde)

3. PARTICIPLE 2: 1st class ended in –ed, -d(after voiced), -t(after unvoiced) – teald, styred

2nd class ended in –od ([o] before the dental suffix; lōcod )

3rd class ended in –d (lifd, hæfd)

Main Changes:

A strong tendency towards greater regularity & order

-The OE v. of class 3 either joined the other classes of weak verbs (libban OE – liven ME(1st class – live NE)) or became irregular ( OE habban – ME haven – NE have; NE say)

ME verbs of Class 1 took the ending -de in the past without an inter­mediate vowel before the dental suffix - and the ending -ed in the Past Participle. They had descended from OE verbs of Class 1 with a long root syllable (containing a long vowel or a short vowel plus two consonants - OE deman, temman.

The verbs of Class 2, which were marked by -ode, -od in OE, had weakened these endings to -ede, -ed in ME. Since a few verbs of OE Class I had -ede, -ed (the type la styrian), they are included in ME Class II. Consequently, the only difference between the two classes of weak verbs in ME was the presence or absence of the element -p- be­fore the dental suffix in the Past tense stem.

In Late ME the vowel [e] in unstressed medial and final syllables became very unstable and was lost. This change eliminated the differ­ences between the two classes and also the distinctions between the 2nd and 3rd principal forms, thus reducing the number of stems in the weak verbs from three to two. Late ME weak verbs are the immediate source of modern standard (regular) verbs. The reverse process - weak verbs changing into strong ones - was of rare occurrence. Nevertheless a few weak verbs adopted strong forms. These changes account for the forms of NE wear.


20. Preterite-present V. in OE & their further development

Preterite-present(past-present) – 12(6 survived in MOD. E. – cunnan, cann, dear, sculan, sceal, magan, mæg, āg, mōt; most of them didn’t indicate actions, but expressed a kind of an attitude to an action expressed by another v., an Infinitive which followed the preterite-present – used like modal verbs ). In other words they were used like modal verbs & eventually developed into modern modal verbs.

Changes: -Several Preterite-present V. died out. The surviving v. lost some of their old forms & gram. Distinctions but retained many specific pecularities. They lost the forms of the verbals which had sprung up in OE & the distinctions b/t the forms of number & mood in the Present tense. In NE their paradigms have been reduced to 2 forms or even to 1.

-They also developed new meanings

Ex: can – to know how, to know →expresses supposition; May – supposition, permission


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