A Guide to Old English

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-10-17
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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A comprehensive introduction to Old English, combining simple, clear philology with the best literary works to provide a compelling and accessible beginners' guide. Provides a comprehensive introduction to Old English Uses a practical approach suited to the needs of the beginning student Features selections from the greatest works of Old English literature, organized from simple to more challenging texts to keep pace with the reader Includes a discussion of Anglo-Saxon literature, history, and culture, and a bibliography directing readers to useful publications on the subject Updated throughout with new material including the first 25 lines from Beowulf with detailed annotation and an explanation of Grimm's and Verner's laws

Author Biography

Fred C. Robinson is  Douglas Tracy Smith Professor Emeritus at Yale University. He is a Fellow and past President of the Medieval Academy of America, and has received many honors. He has written extensively on Beowulf, Old English, and English and American literature and language of all periods.
Bruce Mitchell is late Fellow Emeritus of St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Eighth Editionp. vi
Map of Anglo-Saxon Englandp. vii
Abbreviations and Symbolsp. xv
How to Use this Guidep. 1
p. 1
Preliminary Remarks on the Language (§§1-4)p. 11
Orthography and Pronunciation (§§5-9)p. 13
Orthography (§5)p. 13
Stress (§6)p. 13
Vowels (§7)p. 14
Diphthongs (§8)p. 14
Consonants (§9)p. 15
Inflexions (§§10-135)p. 17
Introduction (§§10-14)p. 17
Pronouns (§§15-21)p. 18
Nouns and Sound-Changes Relevant to Them (§§22-62)p. 20
Weak Nouns (§§22-25)p. 20
Some Technical Terms (§§26-32)p. 20
Strong Nouns like stan (masc.) and scip (neut.) (§§33-44)p. 22
Masculine and Neuter Nouns in -e (§§45-46)p. 26
Strong Feminine Nouns (§§47-51)p. 27
i-Mutation (§§52-57)p. 28
Nouns Affected by i-Mutation (§§58-60)p. 29
u-Nouns (§§61-62)p. 30
Adjectives (§§63-76)p. 31
Introduction (§§63-64)p. 31
Weak Declension (§65)p. 31
Strong Declension (§§66-67)p. 31
Stem Changes in Adjectives (§§68-73)p. 32
Comparison of Adjectives (§§74-76)p. 33
Observations on Noun, Adjective, and Pronoun Declensions (§§77-81)p. 34
Numerals (§§82-86)p. 34
Strong Verbs and Sound-Changes Relevant to Them (§§87-114)p. 35
Introduction (§§87-89)p. 35
Principal Parts of the Strong Verbs (§§90-95)p. 36
Breaking (§§96-99)p. 38
Influence of Initial i, sc, h (§100)p. 39
Influence of Nasals (§101)p. 40
Summary of the Strong Verbs of Class III (§102)p. 40
The Effects of Sound-Changes on Other Strong Verbs (§103)p. 40
Strong Verbs of Class VII (§104)p. 41
Grimm's Law and Verner's Law (§§105-109)p. 41
Conjugation of the Strong Verb (§§110-114)p. 43
Weak Verbs and Sound-Changes Relevant to Them (§§115-126)p. 46
Introduction (§115)p. 46
(§§116-123)p. 46
(§§124-125)p. 49
(§126)p. 50
Anomalous Verbs (§§127-130)p. 51
Bbon (§127)p. 51
Ddn and gan (§128)p. 51
Willan (§129)p. 52
Preterite-Present Verbs (§130)p. 52
Is a Verb Strong or Weak?
To which Class does it Belong? (§§131-134)p. 53
Adverbs (§135)p. 54
Formation (§135)p. 54
Comparison (§135)p. 54
Word Formation (§§136-138)p. 55
Introduction (§136)p. 55
Compounding (§137)p. 56
The Addition of Affixes (§138)p. 57
Prefixes (§138)p. 58
Suffixes (§138)p. 59
Syntax (§§139-214)p. 61
Introduction (§§139-142)p. 61
Word-Order (§§143-147)p. 63
Sentence Structure (§§148-153)p. 66
Recapitulation and Anticipation (§148)p. 66
The Splitting of Heavy Groups (§149)p. 67
Correlation (§§150-153)p. 68
Noun Clauses (§§154-161)p. 70
Introduction (§154)p. 70
Dependent Statements and Desires (§§155-156)p. 70
Dependent Questions (§§157-160)p. 72
The Accusative and Infinitive (§161)p. 75
iv Adjective Clauses (§§162-165)p. 75
Definite Adjective Clauses (§§162-163)p. 75
Indefinite Adjective Clauses (§164)p. 79
Mood (§165)p. 80
Adverb Clauses (§§166-181)p. 81
Introduction (§§166-167)p. 81
Non-Prepositional Conjunctions (§168)p. 83
Prepositional Conjunctions (§§169-171)p. 83
An Exercise in Analysis (§172)p. 86
Clauses of Place (§173)p. 87
Clauses of Time (§174)p. 88
Clauses of Purpose and Result (§175)p. 89
Causal Clauses (§176)p. 89
Clauses of Comparison (§177)p. 89
Clauses of Concession (§178)p. 90
Clauses of Condition (§179)p. 91
Adverb Clauses Expressing Other Relationships (§180)p. 92
Other Ways of Expressing Adverbial Relationships (§181)p. 93
Parataxis (§§182-186)p. 93
Introduction (§§182-183)p. 93
List of Conjunctions and Adverbs Commonly Used (§184)p. 94
Parataxis without Conjunctions (§185)p. 96
Some Special Idioms (§186)p. 96
Concord (§187)p. 97
Nouns, Pronouns and their Modifiers (§187)p. 97
Pronouns and their Antecedents (§187)p. 97
Subject and Verb (§187)p. 98
The Uses of the Cases (§§188-192)p. 98
Nominative (§188)p. 98
Accusative (§189)p. 99
Genitive (§190)p. 99
Dative (§191)p. 99
Instrumental (§192)p. 100
Articles, Pronouns, and Numerals (§§193-194)p. 100
Articles and Pronouns (§193)p. 100
Numerals (§194)p. 101
Verbs (§§195-212)p. 101
The Uses of the Present and Preterite Tenses (§§195-198)p. 101
The Resolved Tenses (§§199-204)p. 103
Introduction (§199)p. 103
The Verb 'to have' as an Auxiliary (§200)p. 103
The Verb 'to be' as an Auxiliary of Tense (§201)p. 104
The Passive (§§202-203)p. 104
Other Uses of the Present and Past Participles (§204)p. 105
The Uses of the Infinitives (§205)p. 105
The 'Modal' Auxiliaries (§§206-211)p. 106
Introduction (§206)p. 106
Magan (§207)p. 107
*Mdtan (§208)p. 107
Cunnan (§209)p. 108
*Sculan (§210)p. 108
Willan (§211)p. 108
Impersonal Verbs (§212)p. 109
Prepositions (§§213-214)p. 109
List of Prepositions (§214)p. 110
An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon Studies (§§215-251)p. 111
Some Significant Dates (§§215-216)p. 111
History (§§217-218)p. 111
Archaeology (§§219-230)p. 117
Introduction (§219)p. 117
List of Abbreviated Titles (§220)p. 118
Weapons and Warfare (§221)p. 120
Life and Dress (§222)p. 120
Architecture and Buildings (§§223-224)p. 121
Sculpture and Carving (§225)p. 122
Jewellery and Metalwork (§226)p. 123
Embroidery (§227)p. 123
Coins (§228)p. 124
Manuscripts and Runic Inscriptions (§229)p. 124
The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial (§230)p. 124
Language (§§231-235)p. 125
Changes in English (§231)p. 125
The Danish Invasions (§232)p. 126
The Norman Conquest (§233)p. 127
Vocabulary (§234)p. 127
Some Questions (§235)p. 128
Literature (§§236-251)p. 128
Introduction (§§236-246)p. 128
Poetry (§§247-249)p. 134
Prose (§§250-251)p. 135
Select Bibliography (§§252-269)p. 137
General (§252)p. 137
Preliminary Remarks on the Language (§253)p. 137
Orthography and Pronunciation (§254)p. 138
Inflexions (§254)p. 138
Word Formation (§255)p. 138
Syntax (§256)p. 138
Introduction to Anglo-Saxon Studies (§§257-269)p. 139
History (§257)p. 139
Archaeology (§258)p. 139
Language (§§259-261)p. 140
History of English Prose (§259)p. 140
Vocabulary (§§260-261)p. 140
Word Formation 140 Changes of Meaning (§260)p. 140
Borrowings (§261)p. 140
Literature (§§262-269)p. 141
Topics Raised in §§236-246 (§262)p. 141
General Criticism (§263)p. 141
Poetry Texts (§264)p. 141
Appreciation of the Poetry (§265)p. 143
The Use of Oral Formulae (§266)p. 143
Metre (§267)p. 143
Prose Texts (§268)p. 144
Sources (§269)p. 144
Strong Verbsp. 146
Some Effects of i-Mutationp. 154
Metrep. 156
List of Linguistic Terms Used in this Bookp. 163
The Moods of Old Englishp. 174
Grimm's and Verner's Lawsp. 175
Prose And Verse Texts
Practice Sentencesp. 179
Two Old Testament Piecesp. 181
The Fall of Manp. 182
Abraham and Isaacp. 186
A Colloquy on the Occupationsp. 190
Two Characteristic Prose Works by Ælfricp. 198
Preface to Genesis 198 St. Edmund, King and Martyrp. 203
Alfred the Great's Preface to his Translation of Gregory's Pastoral Carep. 212
Cynewulf and Cyneheardp. 216
Selections from the Anglo-Saxon Chroniclep. 220
Bede's Account of the Conversion of King Edwinp. 224
Bede's Account of the Poet Cædmonp. 228
The Goths and Boethius: Prose and Verse from the Introduction to King Alfred's Boethius Translationp. 234
(a)-(p) Riddlesp. 239
The Battle of Maldonp. 249
The Ruinp. 261
The Dream of the Roodp. 264
The Wife's Lamentp. 272
The Wandererp. 276
The Seafarerp. 284
Four excerpts from Beowulf 291 Prologuep. 294
Beowulf's Fight with Grendelp. 296
Beowulf Consoles Hrothgar for Æschere's Deathp. 303
The Lament of the Last Survivorp. 306
Beowulf's Funeralp. 307
Wulf and Eadwacerp. 309
Judithp. 312
Cotton Gnomes or Maximsp. 325
Sermo Lupi ad Anglosp. 329
Glossaryp. 337
Indexes to Part Onep. 418
Index of Subjectsp. 418
Index of Wordsp. 422
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