, pronounced [ˈeŋɡliʃ]
), or Anglo-Saxon
is the earliest recorded form of the English language
, spoken in England
and southern and eastern Scotland
in the early Middle Ages
. It was brought to Great Britain
by Anglo-Saxon settlers
in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works
date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest
of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman
, a relative of French
. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, since during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English
, from which the word English
, means 'pertaining to the Angles'.
In Old English, this word was derived from Angles
(one of the Germanic tribes
who conquered parts of Great Britain in the 5th century).
During the 9th century, all invading Germanic tribes were referred to as Englisc
. It has been hypothesised that the Angles acquired their name because their land on the coast of Jutland
(now mainland Denmark
) resembled a fishhook
also had the meaning of 'narrow', referring to the shallow waters near the coast. That word ultimately goes back to Proto-Indo-European *h₂enǵʰ-
, also meaning 'narrow'.
Another theory is that the derivation of 'narrow' is the more likely connection to angling
(as in fishing
), which itself stems from a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root
meaning bend, angle
The semantic link is the fishing hook, which is curved or bent at an angle.
In any case, the Angles may have been called such because they were a fishing
people or were originally descended from such, and therefore England would mean 'land of the fishermen
', and English would be 'the fishermen's language'.
Old English was not static, and its usage covered a period of 700 years, from the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain
in the 5th century to the late 11th century, some time after the Norman invasion. While indicating that the establishment of dates is an arbitrary process, Albert Baugh dates Old English from 450 to 1150, a period of full inflexions, a synthetic language
Perhaps around 85% of Old English words are no longer in use, but those that survived are the basic elements of Modern English
Alfred the Great
statue in Winchester
. The 9th-century English King proposed that primary education be taught in English, with those wishing to advance to holy orders to continue their studies in Latin.
With the unification of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (outside the Danelaw
) by Alfred the Great
in the later 9th century, the language of government and literature became standardised around the West Saxon dialect
(Early West Saxon). Alfred advocated education in English
alongside Latin, and had many works translated into the English language; some of them, such as Pope Gregory I
's treatise Pastoral Care
, appear to have been translated by Alfred himself. In Old English, typical of the development of literature, poetry arose before prose, but Alfred chiefly inspired the growth of prose.
A later literary standard, dating from the late 10th century, arose under the influence of Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester
, and was followed by such writers as the prolific Ælfric of Eynsham
("the Grammarian"). This form of the language is known as the "Winchester
standard", or more commonly as Late West Saxon. It is considered to represent the "classical" form of Old English.
It retained its position of prestige until the time of the Norman Conquest, after which English ceased for a time to be of importance as a literary language.
The history of Old English can be subdivided into:
- Prehistoric Old English (c. 450 to 650); for this period, Old English is mostly a reconstructed language as no literary witnesses survive (with the exception of limited epigraphic evidence). This language, or closely related group of dialects, spoken by the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, and pre-dating documented Old English or Anglo-Saxon, has also been called Primitive Old English.
- Early Old English (c. 650 to 900), the period of the oldest manuscript traditions, with authors such as Cædmon, Bede, Cynewulf and Aldhelm.
- Late Old English (c. 900 to 1170), the final stage of the language leading up to the Norman conquest of England and the subsequent transition to Early Middle English.
The dialects of Old English c. 800 CE
Just as Modern English
is not monolithic, Old English varied according to place. Despite the diversity of language of the Germanic-speaking migrants who established Old English in Britain, it is possible to reconstruct proto-Old English as a fairly unitary language. For the most part, the differences between the attested regional dialects of Old English developed within Britain, rather than on the Continent. Although from the tenth century Old English writing from all regions tended to conform to a written standard
based on West Saxon, in speech Old English continued to exhibit much local and regional variation, which remained in Middle English and to some extent Modern English dialects
The four main dialectal forms of Old English were Mercian
, and West Saxon
Mercian and Northumbrian are together referred to as Anglian
. In terms of geography the Northumbrian region lay north of the Humber River; the Mercian lay north of the Thames
and south of the Humber River; West Saxon lay south and southwest of the Thames; and the smallest, Kentish region lay southeast of the Thames, a small corner of England. The Kentish region, settled by the Jutes from Jutland, has the scantest literary remains.
Each of these four dialects was associated with an independent kingdom on the island. Of these, Northumbria south of the Tyne
, and most of Mercia
, were overrun by the Vikings
during the 9th century. The portion of Mercia that was successfully defended, and all of Kent
, were then integrated into Wessex under Alfred the Great
. From that time on, the West Saxon dialect (then in the form now known as Early West Saxon) became standardised as the language of government, and as the basis for the many works of literature and religious materials produced or translated from Latin in that period.
The later literary standard known as Late West Saxon (see History
, above), although centred in the same region of the country, appears not to have been directly descended from Alfred's Early West Saxon. For example, the former diphthong
/iy/ tended to become monophthongised to /i/ in EWS, but to /y/ in LWS.
Due to the centralisation of power and the Viking invasions, there is relatively little written record of the non-West Saxon dialects after Alfred's unification. Some Mercian texts continued to be written, however, and the influence of Mercian is apparent in some of the translations produced under Alfred's programme, many of which were produced by Mercian scholars.
Other dialects certainly continued to be spoken, as is evidenced by the continued variation between their successors in Middle and Modern English. In fact, what would become the standard forms of Middle English and of Modern English are descended from Mercian rather than West Saxon, while Scots
developed from the Northumbrian dialect. It was once claimed that, owing to its position at the heart of the Kingdom of Wessex, the relics of Anglo-Saxon accent, idiom and vocabulary were best preserved in the dialect of Somerset
Influence of other languages
The language of the Anglo-Saxon settlers appears not to have been significantly affected by the native British Celtic languages
which it largely displaced
. The number of Celtic loanwords
introduced into the language is very small, although dialect and toponymic terms are more often retained in western language contact zones (Cumbria, Devon, Welsh Marches and Borders and so on) than in the east. However, various suggestions have been made concerning possible influence that Celtic may have had on developments in English syntax
in the post-Old English period, such as the regular progressive
construction and analytic word order
as well as the eventual development of the periphrastic auxiliary verb "do
". These ideas have generally not received widespread support from linguists, particularly as many of the theorized Brittonicisms
do not become widespread until the late Middle English and Early Modern English periods, in addition to the fact that similar forms exist in other modern Germanic languages.
Old English contained a certain number of loanwords from Latin
, which was the scholarly and diplomatic lingua franca
of Western Europe. It is sometimes possible to give approximate dates for the borrowing of individual Latin words based on which patterns of sound change they have undergone. Some Latin words had already been borrowed into the Germanic languages before the ancestral Angles
left continental Europe for Britain. More entered the language when the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity
and Latin-speaking priests became influential. It was also through Irish Christian missionaries that the Latin alphabet
was introduced and adapted for the writing of Old English
, replacing the earlier runic system. Nonetheless, the largest transfer of Latin-based (mainly Old French
) words into English occurred after the Norman Conquest
of 1066, and thus in the Middle English
rather than the Old English period.
Another source of loanwords was Old Norse
, which came into contact with Old English via the Scandinavian rulers and settlers in the Danelaw
from the late 9th century, and during the rule of Cnut
and other Danish kings in the early 11th century. Many place-names
in eastern and northern England are of Scandinavian origin. Norse borrowings are relatively rare in Old English literature, being mostly terms relating to government and administration. The literary standard, however, was based on the West Saxon dialect
, away from the main area of Scandinavian influence; the impact of Norse may have been greater in the eastern and northern dialects. Certainly in Middle English
texts, which are more often based on eastern dialects, a strong Norse influence becomes apparent. Modern English contains a great many, often everyday, words that were borrowed from Old Norse, and the grammatical simplification that occurred after the Old English period is also often attributed to Norse influence.
The influence of Old Norse certainly helped move English from a synthetic language
along the continuum to a more analytic word order
, and Old Norse
most likely made a greater impact on the English language than any other language.
The eagerness of Vikings
in the Danelaw to communicate with their Anglo-Saxon neighbours produced a friction that led to the erosion of the complicated inflectional word-endings.
Simeon Potter notes: "No less far-reaching was the influence of Scandinavian upon the inflexional endings of English in hastening that wearing away and leveling of grammatical forms which gradually spread from north to south. It was, after all, a salutary influence. The gain was greater than the loss. There was a gain in directness, in clarity, and in strength."
The strength of the Viking influence on Old English appears from the fact that the indispensable elements of the language – pronouns, modals, comparatives, pronominal adverbs (like "hence" and "together"), conjunctions and prepositions – show the most marked Danish influence; the best evidence of Scandinavian influence appears in the extensive word borrowings for, as Jespersen indicates, no texts exist in either Scandinavia or in Northern England from this time to give certain evidence of an influence on syntax. The effect of Old Norse on Old English was substantive, pervasive, and of a democratic character.
Old Norse and Old English resembled each other closely like cousins and with some words in common, they roughly understood each other;
in time the inflections melted away and the analytic pattern emerged.
It is most "important to recognize that in many words the English and Scandinavian language differed chiefly in their inflectional elements. The body of the word was so nearly the same in the two languages that only the endings would put obstacles in the way of mutual understanding. In the mixed population which existed in the Danelaw, these endings must have led to much confusion, tending gradually to become obscured and finally lost." This blending of peoples and languages resulted in "simplifying English grammar".
The sounds enclosed in parentheses in the chart above are not considered to be phonemes
- [dʒ] is an allophone of /j/ occurring after /n/ and when geminated (doubled).
- [ŋ] is an allophone of /n/ occurring before [k] and [ɡ].
- [v, ð, z] are voiced allophones of /f, θ, s/ respectively, occurring between vowels or voiced consonants when the preceding sound was stressed.
- [h, ç] are allophones of /x/ occurring at the beginning of a word or after a front vowel, respectively.
- [ɡ] is an allophone of /ɣ/ occurring after /n/ or when doubled. At some point before the Middle English period, [ɡ] also became the pronunciation word-initially.
- the voiceless sonorants [w̥, l̥, n̥, r̥] occur after [h] in the sequences /xw, xl, xn, xr/.
The above system is largely similar to that of Modern English
, except that [ç, x, ɣ, l̥, n̥, r̥] (and [w̥] for most speakers
) have generally been lost, while the voiced affricate and fricatives (now also including /ʒ/) have become independent phonemes, as has /ŋ/.
Vowels – monophthongs
The open back rounded vowel
[ɒ] was an allophone of short /ɑ/ which occurred in stressed syllables before nasal consonants (/m/ and /n/). It was variously spelled either ⟨a⟩ or ⟨o⟩.
The Anglian dialects also had the mid front rounded vowel
/ø(ː)/, spelled ⟨oe⟩, which had emerged from i-umlaut
of /o(ː)/. In West Saxon and Kentish, it had already merged with /e(ː)/ before the first written prose.
Other dialects had different systems of diphthongs. For example, the Northumbrian dialect retained /i(ː)o̯/, which had merged with /e(ː)o̯/ in West Saxon.
Some of the principal sound changes
occurring in the pre-history and history of Old English were the following:
- Fronting of [ɑ(ː)] to [æ(ː)] except when nasalised or followed by a nasal consonant ("Anglo-Frisian brightening"), partly reversed in certain positions by later "a-restoration" or retraction.
- Monophthongisation of the diphthong [ai], and modification of remaining diphthongs to the height-harmonic type.
- Diphthongisation of long and short front vowels in certain positions ("breaking").
- Palatalisation of velars [k], [ɡ], [ɣ], [sk] to [tʃ], [dʒ], [j], [ʃ] in certain front-vowel environments.
- The process known as i-mutation (which for example led to modern mice as the plural of mouse).
- Loss of certain weak vowels in word-final and medial positions; reduction of remaining unstressed vowels.
- Diphthongisation of certain vowels before certain consonants when preceding a back vowel ("back mutation").
- Loss of /x/ between vowels or between a voiced consonant and a vowel, with lengthening of the preceding vowel.
- Collapse of two consecutive vowels into a single vowel.
- "Palatal umlaut", which has given forms such as six (compare German sechs).
For more details of these processes, see the main article, linked above. For sound changes before and after the Old English period, see Phonological history of English
Adjectives agree with nouns in case, gender, and number, and can be either strong or weak. Pronouns
and sometimes participles
agree in case, gender, and number. First-person and second-person personal pronouns
occasionally distinguish dual-number
forms. The definite article sē
and its inflections
serve as a definite article
("the"), a demonstrative adjective
("that"), and demonstrative pronoun
. Other demonstratives
("this"), and ġeon
("that over there"). These words inflect
for case, gender, and number. Adjectives have both strong and weak sets of endings, weak ones being used when a definite or possessive determiner
is also present.
for three persons
: first, second, and third; two numbers: singular, plural; two tenses
: present, and past; three moods
, and imperative
and are strong (exhibiting ablaut) or weak (exhibiting a dental suffix). Verbs have two infinitive
forms: bare and bound; and two participles
: present and past. The subjunctive has past and present forms. Finite verbs agree with subjects
in person and number. The future tense
, passive voice
, and other aspects
are formed with compounds. Adpositions
are mostly before but are often after their object. If the object
of an adposition is marked in the dative case, an adposition may conceivably be located anywhere in the sentence.
Remnants of the Old English case system in Modern English are in the forms of a few pronouns
(such as I/me/mine
) and in the possessive
, which derives from the masculine and neuter genitive ending -es
. The modern English plural
derives from the Old English -as
, but the latter applied only to "strong" masculine nouns in the nominative and accusative cases; different plural endings were used in other instances. Old English nouns had grammatical gender
, while modern English has only natural gender. Pronoun usage could reflect either natural or grammatical gender when those conflicted, as in the case of ƿīf
, a neuter noun referring to a female person.
In Old English's verbal compound constructions are the beginnings of the compound tenses of Modern English
Old English verbs include strong verbs
, which form the past tense by altering the root vowel, and weak verbs
, which use a suffix such as -de
As in Modern English, and peculiar to the Germanic languages, the verbs formed two great classes: weak (regular), and strong (irregular). Like today, Old English had fewer strong verbs, and many of these have over time decayed into weak forms. Then, as now, dental suffixes indicated the past tense of the weak verbs, as in work
- Default word order is verb-second in main clauses, and verb-final in subordinate clauses, being more like modern German than modern English.
- No do-support in questions and negatives. Questions were usually formed by invertingsubject and finite verb, and negatives by placing ne before the finite verb, regardless of which verb.
- Multiple negatives can stack up in a sentence intensifying each other (negative concord).
- Sentences with subordinate clauses of the type "when X, Y" (e.g. "When I got home, I ate dinner") don't use a wh-type conjunction, but rather a th-type correlative conjunction such as þā, otherwise meaning "then" (e.g. þā X, þā Y in place of "when X, Y"). The wh-words are used only as interrogatives and as indefinite pronouns.
- Similarly, wh- forms were not used as relative pronouns. Instead, the indeclinable word þe is used, often preceded by (or replaced by) the appropriate form of the article/demonstrative se.
Old English was first written in runes
, using the futhorc
—a rune set derived from the Germanic 24-character elder futhark
, extended by five more runes used to represent Anglo-Saxon vowel sounds and sometimes by several more additional characters. From around the 8th century, the runic system came to be supplanted by a (minuscule) half-uncial
script of the Latin alphabet
introduced by Irish Christian
This was replaced by Insular script
, a cursive and pointed version of the half-uncial script. This was used until the end of the 12th century when continental Carolingian minuscule
(also known as Caroline
) replaced the insular.
The Latin alphabet of the time still lacked the letters ⟨j⟩ and ⟨w⟩, and there was no ⟨v⟩ as distinct from ⟨u⟩; moreover native Old English spellings did not use ⟨k⟩, ⟨q⟩ or ⟨z⟩. The remaining 20 Latin letters were supplemented by four more: ⟨æ
, modern ash
) and ⟨ð⟩ (ðæt
, now called eth
or edh), which were modified Latin letters, and thorn
⟨þ⟩ and wynn
⟨ƿ⟩, which are borrowings from the futhorc. A few letter pairs were used as digraphs
, representing a single sound. Also used was the Tironian note
⟨⁊⟩ (a character similar to the digit 7) for the conjunction and
. A common scribal abbreviation
was a thorn with a stroke
⟩, which was used for the pronoun þæt
over vowels were originally used not to mark long vowels (as in modern editions), but to indicate stress, or as abbreviations for a following m
Modern editions of Old English manuscripts generally introduce some additional conventions. The modern forms of Latin letters are used, including ⟨g⟩ in place of the insular G
, ⟨s⟩ for long S
, and others which may differ considerably from the insular script, notably ⟨e⟩, ⟨f⟩ and ⟨r⟩. Macrons are used to indicate long vowels, where usually no distinction was made between long and short vowels in the originals. (In some older editions an acute accent
mark was used for consistency with Old Norse conventions.) Additionally, modern editions often distinguish between velar
⟩ and ⟨g
⟩ by placing dots above the palatals: ⟨ċ
⟩. The letter wynn ⟨ƿ
⟩ is usually replaced with ⟨w
⟩, but æsc
, eth and thorn are normally retained (except when eth is replaced by thorn).
In contrast with Modern English orthography
, that of Old English was reasonably regular
, with a mostly predictable correspondence between letters and phonemes
. There were not usually any silent letters
—in the word cniht
, for example, both the ⟨c⟩ and ⟨h⟩ were pronounced, unlike the ⟨k⟩ and ⟨gh⟩ in the modern knight
. The following table lists the Old English letters and digraphs together with the phonemes they represent, using the same notation as in the Phonology
Doubled consonants are geminated
; the geminate fricatives ⟨ðð
⟩ and ⟨ss
⟩ cannot be voiced.
The first page of the Beowulf
manuscript with its openingHƿæt ƿē Gārde/na ingēar dagum þēod cyninga / þrym ge frunon...
"Listen! We of the Spear-Danes from days of yore have heard of the glory of the folk-kings..."
The corpus of Old English literature is small but still significant, with some 400 surviving manuscripts.
The pagan and Christian streams mingle in Old English, one of the richest and most significant bodies of literature preserved among the early Germanic peoples.
In his supplementary article to the 1935 posthumous edition of Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader
, Dr. James Hulbert writes:
In such historical conditions, an incalculable amount of the writings of the Anglo-Saxon period perished. What they contained, how important they were for an understanding of literature before the Conquest, we have no means of knowing: the scant catalogues of monastic libraries do not help us, and there are no references in extant works to other compositions....How incomplete our materials are can be illustrated by the well-known fact that, with few and relatively unimportant exceptions, all extant Anglo-Saxon poetry is preserved in four manuscripts.
Some of the most important surviving works of Old English literature are Beowulf
, an epic poem
; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
, a record of early English history; the Franks Casket
, an inscribed early whalebone artefact; and Cædmon's Hymn
, a Christian religious poem. There are also a number of extant prose works, such as sermons and saints' lives, biblical translations, and translated Latin works of the early Church Fathers, legal documents, such as laws and wills, and practical works on grammar, medicine, and geography. Still, poetry is considered the heart of Old English literature. Nearly all Anglo-Saxon authors are anonymous, with a few exceptions, such as Bede
. Cædmon, the earliest English poet known by name, served as a lay brother in the monastery at Whitby.
The first example is taken from the opening lines of the folk-epic Beowulf
, a poem of some 3,000 lines and the single greatest work of Old English.
This passage describes how Hrothgar
's legendary ancestor Scyld
was found as a baby, washed ashore, and adopted by a noble family. The translation is literal and represents the original poetic word order. As such, it is not typical of Old English prose. The modern cognates of original words have been used whenever practical to give a close approximation of the feel of the original poem.
The words in brackets are implied in the Old English by noun case and the bold words in brackets are explanations of words that have slightly different meanings in a modern context. Notice how what is used by the poet where a word like lo or behold would be expected. This usage is similar to what-ho!, both an expression of surprise and a call to attention.
English poetry is based on stress and alliteration. In alliteration, the first consonant in a word alliterates with the same consonant at the beginning of another word, as with Gār-Dena and ġeār-dagum. Vowels alliterate with any other vowel, as with æþelingas and ellen. In the text below, the letters that alliterate are bolded.
A semi-fluent translation in Modern English would be:
Lo! We have heard of majesty of the Spear-Danes, of those nation-kings in the days of yore, and how those noblemen promoted zeal. Scyld Scefing took away mead-benches from bands of enemies, from many tribes; he terrified earls. Since he was first found destitute (he gained consolation for that) he grew under the heavens, prospered in honours, until each of those who lived around him over the sea had to obey him, give him tribute. That was a good king!
A recording of how the Lord's Prayer probably sounded in Old English, pronounced slowly
This text of the Lord's Prayer
is presented in the standardised Early West Saxon dialect.
Charter of Cnut
This is a proclamation from King Cnut the Great
to his earl Thorkell the Tall
and the English people written in AD 1020. Unlike the previous two examples, this text is prose rather than poetry. For ease of reading, the passage has been divided into sentences while the pilcrows
represent the original division.
Old English lexicography was revived in the early modern period, drawing heavily on Anglo-Saxons' own glossaries. The major publication at this time was William Somner
's Dictionarium Saxonico-Latino-Anglicum
The next substantial Old English dictionary was Joseph Bosworth
's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary
In modern scholarship, the following dictionaries remain current:
- Cameron, Angus, et al. (ed.) (1983-). Dictionary of Old English. Toronto: Published for the Dictionary of Old English Project, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto by the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. Initially issued on microfiche and subsequently as a CD-ROM, the dictionary is now primarily published online at https://www.doe.utoronto.ca. This generally supersedes previous dictionaries where available. As of September 2018, the dictionary covered A-I.
- Bosworth, Joseph and T. Northcote Toller. (1898). An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. The main research dictionary for Old English, unless superseded by the Dictionary of Old English. Various digitisations are available open-access, including at http://bosworth.ff.cuni.cz/. Due to errors and omissions in the 1898 publication, this needs to be read in conjunction with:
- T. Northcote Toller. (1921). An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary: Supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Alistair Campbell (1972). An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary: Enlarged addenda and corrigenda. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Clark Hall, J. R.. (1969). A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. 4th rev. edn by Herbet D. Meritt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Occasionally more accurate than Bosworth-Toller, and widely used as a reading dictionary. Various digitisations are available, including here.
- Roberts, Jane and Christian Kay, with Lynne Grundy, A Thesaurus of Old English in Two Volumes, Costerus New Series, 131–32, 2nd rev. impression, 2 vols (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000), also available online. A thesaurus based on the definitions in Bosworth-Toller and the structure of Roget's Thesaurus.
Like other historical languages, Old English has been used by scholars and enthusiasts of later periods to create texts either imitating Anglo-Saxon literature or deliberately transferring it to a different cultural context. Examples include Alistair Campbell
and J. R. R. Tolkien
. Ransom Riggs
uses several Old English words, such as syndrigast (singular, peculiar), ymbryne (period, cycle), etc., dubbed as "Old Peculiar" ones.
A number of websites devoted to Modern Paganism
and historical reenactment
offer reference material and forums promoting the active use of Old English. There is also an Old English version of Wikipedia
. However, one investigation found that many Neo-Old English texts published online bear little resemblance to the historical language and have many basic grammatical mistakes.
- ^ By the 16th century the term Anglo-Saxon came to refer to all things of the early English period, including language, culture, and people. While it remains the normal term for the latter two aspects, the language began to be called Old English towards the end of the 19th century, as a result of the increasingly strong anti-Germanic nationalism in English society of the 1890s and early 1900s. However, many authors still also use the term Anglo-Saxon to refer to the language.
Crystal, David (2003). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-53033-4.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Baugh, Albert (1951). A History of the English Language. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. pp. 60–83, 110–130 (Scandinavian influence).
- ^ Fennell, Barbara 1998. A history of English. A sociolinguistic approach. Oxford: Blackwell.
- ^ Pyles, Thomas and John Algeo 1993. Origins and development of the English language. 4th edition. (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich).
- ^ Barber, Charles, Joan C. Beal and Philip A. Shaw 2009. The English language. A historical introduction. Second edition of Barber (1993). Cambridge: University Press.
- ^ Mugglestone, Lynda (ed.) 2006. The Oxford History of English. Oxford: University Press.
- ^ Hogg, Richard M. and David Denison (ed.) 2006. A history of the English language. Cambridge: University Press.
- ^ Baugh, Albert C. and Thomas Cable 1993 A history of the English language. 4th edition. (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall).
- ^ Hogg (1992), p. 83.
- ^ Stumpf, John (1970). An Outline of English Literature; Anglo-Saxon and Middle English Literature. London: Forum House Publishing Company. p. 7. We do not know what languages the Jutes, Angles, and Saxons spoke, nor even whether they were sufficiently similar to make them mutually intelligible, but it is reasonable to assume that by the end of the sixth century there must have been a language that could be understood by all and this we call Primitive Old English.
- ^ A. Campbell, Old English Grammar (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959), §§5-22.
- ^ Campbell, Alistair (1959). Old English Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-19-811943-7.
- ^ Hogg (1992), p. 117; but for a different interpretation of this, see Old English diphthongs.
- ^ Magennis (2011), pp. 56–60.
- ^ The Somersetshire dialect: its pronunciation, 2 papers (1861) Thomas Spencer Baynes, first published 1855 & 1856
- ^ "Rotary-munich.de" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
- ^ John Insley, "Britons and Anglo-Saxons," in Kulturelle Integration und Personnenamen in Mittelalter, De Gruyter (2018)
- ^ Koch, Anthony S. "Function and Grammar in the History of English: Periphrastic Do" (PDF).
- ^ Culicover, Peter W. "The Rise and Fall of Constructions and the History of English Do-Support" (PDF).
- ^ Elsness, Johann (1997). "On the progression of the progressive in early Modern English" (PDF). ICAME Journal. 18. S2CID 13441465. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 August 2020.
- ^ Alexiadou, Artemis (2008), Nominal vs. Verbal -ing Constructions and the Development of the English Progressive
- ^ Robert McColl Millar, "English in the 'transition period': the sources of contact-induced change," in Contact: The Interaction of Closely-Related Linguistic Varieties and the History of English, Edinburgh University Press (2016)
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