1.Define OE nouns and verbs in terms of grammatical categories they expressed.
– gender → masculine, neuter, feminine
– number → singular, dual, plural
– case → nominative (S), accusative (Od), genitive (possession), dative (Oi), instrumental (instrument)
– 2 categories of declension → strong (it declines for case, gender and number), a/o/u stem X weak (less variation between gender and cases)
– person → 1st, 2nd, 3rd
– number → singular, plural
– tense → present, preterite
– mood → indicative, subjunctive (unreality, supposition, volition), imperative
(aspective meaning expressed by past or present participle, but no category of aspect)
strong inflection = change of tense is indicated by vowel change (ablaut), 7 classes
weak inflection = change of tense is indicated by the addition of an ending, weak 1 (short X long), weak 2
preterite present verbs = originally strong verbs, they combine features of S and W verbs. The past tense acquired present tense meaning, afterwards a new preterite form (WEAK) was created. The preterite-present verbs developed into PDE modals.
2. Explain the principal difference in the functioning of sound change and analogy.
– both analogy and sound change create new forms in a language
– but sound change is often regular but it often creates irregular patterns, whereas analogy is irregular and causes regularity (e.g. regular sound change umlaut brother → brethren X irregular analogical change using the non-alternating singular/plural pattern in such nouns as sister → sisters: brother → brothers)
Examples from PG → OE
Sound change: PG *beró > GT baíra, EOE 1. sg. beru > LOE bere
Analogy: PG. 3. pl. weak vbs.*–ánthi>OE 3. (later 1.&2.) pl. –að (např. berað) → all plural indicative forms end with að
3. Explain the following concepts: class/stem; thematic/athematic; strong/weak; strong/weak adjectives; strong/weak verbs; syncretism; allomorphy; levelling of endings; grammatical gender; dual; preterite present verb.
‐ class/stem: the stem consists of what was in proto-germanic root and theme (e.g. stainaz → stain = root, a = theme, z = ending, the root is therefore “staina”). Etymology: PGM “stainaz” → OE “stan”. The classes of nouns are classified accordingly to what was the theme, therefore the OE word “stan” belongs into the group of “a-stem nouns” because in the Proto-germanic there was a-theme.
OE verbs conjugate by a stem modification (strong verbs) and inflectional suffixes (weak verbs).
Strong verbs are divided into 7 classes by how the ablaut operates (the vowel in the stem changes).
Weak verbs → the stem remains the same, conjugation formed by endings. Classification: 1st class - short X long (by the stem-vowel), 2nd class with “ian” (instead of “an”) thematic/athematic
thematic formation = the proto-germanic word consists of root + theme + ending, the ending is attached to the theme (e.g. stain + a + z)
athematic formation = there is no theme so the ending is attached directly to the root (e.g. fot+iz)
strong adj. = there are more endings and there is no need for the adjective to co-occur with a determiner as the ending itself is able to express all grammatical categories on its own
weak adj. = there are just few distinct endings but there is a grammatical need of the adjective to cooccur with a determiner (e.g. demonstrative/possessive pronoun) strong/weak verbs
strong verbs = based on vowel change – ablaut (OE singan, sang, sungon,... PDE sing sang sung, Czech beru, sbírat, bral)
weak verbs = based on the addition of the agglutinating dental/alveolar suffix
syncretism – the fusion of two or more originally different inflectional forms (=merging of endings), e.g. case system replaced by a system based on WO and formal words. allomorphy – alternation of two or more forms in a morphological or lexical unit. (*allomorph = different phonological variation of a morpheme, e.g. variation between plural /s/ /z/ /iz/)
levelling of endings – generalization of inflections, this is done by sound change and analogy
grammatical gender – category of OE nouns – masculine, feminine, neuter. Often the grammatical gender doesn't correspond with the natural gender (se wīfman (“woman”) – masculine gender). This clash is one of the reasons why the grammatical gender was lost (other reasons: phonetic, morphological)
dual – category of number marking nouns, adjectives, pronouns (not verbs), meaning “two”
preterite-present verb – originally strong verbs, they combine features of S and W verbs. The past tense acquired present tense meaning, afterwards a new preterite form (WEAK) was created. The preterite-present verbs developed into PDE modals. (OE durran “to dare” (but PDE must!)