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Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the
English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), g ...

English language
, spoken in
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
and southern and eastern
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
in the early
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. It was brought to
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island, and the List of i ...

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 The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and ...
of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, by
Anglo-NormanAnglo-Norman may refer to: *Anglo-Normans The Anglo-Normans ( nrf, Anglo-Normaunds, ang, Engel-Norðmandisca) were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Bretons, Flemish people, F ...
(a relative of French) as the language of the upper classes. 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 Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments following ...
in England and
Early Scots Early Scots was the emerging literary language of the Northern Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History ...
in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
. Old English developed from a set of
Anglo-Frisian The Anglo-Frisian languages are the West Germanic languages which include Anglic (English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxo ...
or
Ingvaeonic North Sea Germanic, also known as Ingvaeonic , is a postulated grouping of the northern West Germanic languages that consists of Old Frisian Old Frisian is a West Germanic language spoken between the 8th and 16th centuries in the area between ...
dialects originally spoken by
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
tribes traditionally known as the
Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli; german: Angeln) were one of the main Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditionally ...

Angles
,
Saxons The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languag ...

Saxons
and
Jutes The Jutes (), Iuti, or Iutæ ( da, Jyde, non, Jótar, ang, Ēotas) were one of the Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscand ...
. As the Germanic settlers became dominant in England, their language replaced the languages of
Roman Britain Roman Britain is the period in classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, ...

Roman Britain
:
Common Brittonic Common Brittonic ( ang, Brytisċ; cy, Brythoneg; kw, Brythonek; br, Predeneg), also known as Common Brythonic or Proto-Brittonic, was a Celtic language The Celtic languages ( , ) are a group of related languages descended from Proto-C ...
, a
Celtic language The Celtic languages ( , ) are a group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic The Proto-Celtic language, also called Common Celtic, is the ancestral proto-language of all the known Celtic languages, and a descendant of the Proto-I ...
; and
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
, brought to Britain by Roman invasion. Old English had four main dialects, associated with particular
Anglo-Saxon kingdoms The Heptarchy is a collective name applied to the seven king King is the title given to a male in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is , which title is also given to the of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiqui ...

Anglo-Saxon kingdoms
: Mercian, Northumbrian, Kentish and West Saxon. It was West Saxon that formed the basis for the literary standard of the later Old English period, although the dominant forms of Middle and
Modern English Modern English (sometimes New English or NE (ME) as opposed to Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th cen ...

Modern English
would develop mainly from Mercian, and Scots from Northumbrian. The speech of eastern and northern parts of England was subject to strong
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
influence due to Scandinavian rule and settlement beginning in the 9th century. Old English is one of the
West Germanic languages The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples a ...
, and its closest relatives are
Old Frisian Old Frisian was a West Germanic language spoken between the 8th and 16th centuries in the area between the Rhine ), Surselva, Graubünden, Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Sv ...
and
Old Saxon Old Saxon, also known as Old Low German, was a and the earliest recorded form of / (spoken nowadays in , the northeastern Netherlands, southern Denmark, the and parts of ). It is a language, closely related to the languages. It is documented ...
. Like other old Germanic languages, it is very different from Modern English and Modern Scots, and largely incomprehensible for Modern English or Modern Scots speakers without study. Within Old English grammar nouns, adjectives, pronouns and verbs have many
inflection In linguistic morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeology), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts * Morphology (astronomy), study of the shape of astronomical obj ...
al endings and forms, and
word order In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
is much freer. The oldest Old English inscriptions were written using a runic system, but from about the 8th century this was replaced by a version of the Latin alphabet.


Etymology

''Englisc'', from which the word ''English'' is derived, means 'pertaining to the Angles'. In Old English, this word was derived from ''Angles'' (one of the
Germanic tribe This list of ancient s is an inventory of ancient Germanic cultures, tribal groupings and other alliances of Germanic tribes and civilisations in ancient times. The information comes from various ancient historical documents, beginning in the 2nd ...
s 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 Jutland (; da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, Den Kimbriske Halvø, Den Jyske Halvø; german: Kimbrische Halbinsel), is a peninsula of North ...

Jutland
(now mainland
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
and
Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein () is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany The Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , lan ...

Schleswig-Holstein
) resembled a
fishhook A fish hook or fishhook is a tool for catching fish either by impaling them in the mouth or, more rarely, by snagging the body of the fish. Fish hooks have been employed for centuries by Fisherman, anglers to catch fresh and saltwater fish. In ...

fishhook
.
Proto-Germanic Proto-Germanic (abbreviated PGmc; also called Common Germanic) is the reconstructed Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new ...
also had the meaning of 'narrow', referring to the shallow waters near the coast. That word ultimately goes back to Proto-Indo-European ', also meaning 'narrow'. Another theory is that the derivation of 'narrow' is the more likely connection to
angling Angling is a method of fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in this definition ...
(as in
fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, ...

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 Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, ...

fishing
people or were originally descended from such, and therefore England would mean 'land of the
fishermen A fisher or fisherman is someone who captures fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. They form a sister group to the tunicates, together forming t ...

fishermen
', and English would be 'the fishermen's language'.


History

Old English was not static, and its usage covered a period of 700 years, from the
Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain is the process which changed the language and culture of most of what became England from Romano-British to Germanic peoples, Germanic. The Germanic-speakers in Britain, themselves of diverse origins, even ...
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 inflections, a
synthetic language A synthetic language uses inflection In linguistic morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeology), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts * Morphology (astronomy ...
. Perhaps around 85% of Old English words are no longer in use, but those that survived are the basic elements of
Modern English Modern English (sometimes New English or NE (ME) as opposed to Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th cen ...

Modern English
vocabulary. Old English is a West Germanic language, and developed out of
Ingvaeonic North Sea Germanic, also known as Ingvaeonic , is a postulated grouping of the northern West Germanic languages that consists of Old Frisian Old Frisian is a West Germanic language spoken between the 8th and 16th centuries in the area between ...
(also known as North Sea Germanic) dialects from the 5th century. It came to be spoken over most of the territory of the
Anglo-Saxon kingdoms The Heptarchy is a collective name applied to the seven king King is the title given to a male in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is , which title is also given to the of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiqui ...

Anglo-Saxon kingdoms
which became the
Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (: ''Regnum Anglorum'', "Kingdom of the English") was a on the island of from 12 July 927, when it emerged from various kingdoms, until 1 May 1707, when it united with to form the . The Kingdom of England was among ...

Kingdom of England
. This included most of present-day England, as well as part of what is now southeastern
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
, which for several centuries belonged to the
kingdom of Northumbria Northumbria (; ang, Norþanhymbra Rīċe; la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum) was an early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom in what is now Northern England and Lothian, south-east Scotland. The name derives from the Old English meaning "the people o ...

kingdom of Northumbria
. Other parts of the island continued to use
Celtic languages The Celtic languages ( , ) are a group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic The Proto-Celtic language, also called Common Celtic, is the ancestral proto-language In the tree model In historical linguistics Historica ...
(
Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Whe ...
- and perhaps some
Pictish Pictish is the extinct language An extinct language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer ...
- in most of Scotland, Medieval Cornish all over
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw, Kernow ) is a Historic counties of England, historic county and Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations, and is the homeland of the Cornish people ...

Cornwall
and in adjacent parts of
Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Ch ...

Devon
,
Cumbric Cumbric was a variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equation ...
perhaps to the 12th century in parts of
Cumbria Cumbria ( ) is a ceremonial A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a ...

Cumbria
, and
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
in
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign ...

Wales
and possibly also on the English side of the
Anglo-Welsh border Anglo-Welsh literature and Welsh writing in English are terms used to describe works written in the English language by Welsh people, Welsh writers. It has been recognised as a distinctive entity only since the 20th century. The need for a separat ...
); except in the areas of Scandinavian settlements, where
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
was spoken and
Danish law Private law * The governs labour law concerning salary, salaried employees. The governs vacation time for employees. * The governs consumer law. * The governs landlord–tenant law. * Privacy law in Denmark Public law * The is the criminal c ...
applied. Old English literacy developed after
Christianisation Christianization (American and British English spelling differences#-ise.2C -ize .28-isation.2C -ization.29, or Christianisation) was the Conversion to Christianity, conversion of societies to Christianity beginning in late antiquity in the Rom ...
in the late 7th century. The oldest surviving work of
Old English literature Old English literature, or Anglo-Saxon literature, encompasses literature written in Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germ ...
is '' Cædmon's Hymn'', which was composed between 658 and 680 but not written down until the early 8th century. There is a limited corpus of
runic inscriptions A runic inscription is an inscription Epigraphy ( grc, ἐπιγραφή, "inscription") is the study of inscriptions, or epigraphs, as writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language wit ...
from the 5th to 7th centuries, but the oldest coherent runic texts (notably the inscriptions on the
Franks Casket The Franks Casket (or the Auzon Casket) is a small Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a who inhabited . They traced their origins to the 5th century settlement of incomers to Britain, who migrated to the island from the coastlands of . How ...

Franks Casket
) date to the early 8th century. The
Old English Latin alphabetThe Old English Latin alphabet ( ang, Læden stæfrof) generally consisted of 24 letters, and was used for writing Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germa ...
was introduced around the 8th century. With the unification of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (outside the
Danelaw The Danelaw (, also known as the Danelagh; ang, Dena lagu; da, Danelagen) was the part of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and ...
) by
Alfred the Great Alfred the Great (848/49 – 26 October 899) was king of the West Saxons This is a list of monarchs of Wessex until 886 AD. For later monarchs, see the List of English monarchs. While the details of the later monarchs are confirmed by a numbe ...

Alfred the Great
in the later 9th century, the language of government and literature became standardised around the
West Saxon dialect West Saxon was one of four distinct dialects of Old English. The three others were Kentish dialect (Old English), Kentish, Mercian dialect, Mercian and Northumbrian Old English, Northumbrian (the latter two were similar and are known as the Angli ...
(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 Pope Gregory I ( la, Gregorius I; – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally ent ...

Pope Gregory I
's treatise ''
Pastoral Care Pastoral care is an ancient model of emotion Emotions are biological states associated with all of the nerve systems brought on by neurophysiological changes variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioural responses, and a degree of ...

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 Ælfric of Eynsham ( ang, Ælfrīc; la, Alfricus, Elphricus; ) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, e ...
("the Grammarian"). This form of the language is known as the "
Winchester Winchester is a cathedral city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It ...

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 Linguistic reconstruction is the practice of establishing the features of an unattested ancestor language of one or more given languages. There are two kinds of reconstruction: * Internal reconstruction Internal reconstruction is a method of rec ...
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 Cædmon (; ''fl. c.'' 657 – 684) is the earliest English poet whose name is known. A Northumbria Northumbria (; ang, Norþanhymbra Rīċe; la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum) was an early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom in what is now Northern Eng ...
,
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sanc ...

Bede
,
Cynewulf Cynewulf (, ; also spelled Cynwulf or Kynewulf) is one of twelve Old English poets known by name, and one of four whose work is known to survive today. He presumably flourished in the 9th century, with possible dates extending into the late 8th ...
and
Aldhelm Aldhelm ( ang, Ealdhelm, la, Aldhelmus Malmesberiensis) (c. 63925 May 709), Abbot of Malmesbury Abbey, Bishop of Sherborne, and a writer and scholar of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
. *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 Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. English language underwent distinct variations and developments following the O ...
. The Old English period is followed by
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments following ...
(12th to 15th century),
Early Modern English Early Modern English or Early New English (sometimes abbreviated EModE, EMnE, or EME) is the stage of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient th ...
(c. 1480 to 1650) and finally
Modern English Modern English (sometimes New English or NE (ME) as opposed to Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th cen ...

Modern English
(after 1650), and in Scotland
Early Scots Early Scots was the emerging literary language of the Northern Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History ...
(before 1450),
Middle Scots Middle Scots was the Anglic language The Anglo-Frisian languages are the West Germanic languages which include Anglic ( English and Scots) and Frisian varieties. The Northumbrian Language Society also considers Northumbrian an Anglic langua ...
(c. 1450 to 1700) and
Modern Scots Modern Scots comprises the varieties of Scots traditionally spoken in Lowland in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United State ...
(after 1700).


Dialects

Just as
Modern English Modern English (sometimes New English or NE (ME) as opposed to Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th cen ...

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 Late West Saxon, in speech Old English continued to exhibit much local and regional variation, which remained in Middle English and to some extent . The four main dialectal forms of Old English were Mercian, Northumbrian, Kentish, 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 River Thames, 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. The term ''West Saxon'' actually is represented by two different dialects: Early West Saxon and Late West Saxon. Hogg has suggested that these two dialects would be more appropriately named ''Alfredian Saxon'' and ''Æthelwoldian Saxon,'' respectively, so that the naive reader would not assume that they are chronologically related. Each of these four dialects was associated with an independent kingdom on the island. Of these, Northumbria south of the River Tyne, Tyne, and most of Mercia, were Viking invasion of Britain, overrun by the Vikings during the 9th century. The portion of Mercia that was successfully defended, and all of Kingdom of Kent, Kent, were then integrated into Wessex under
Alfred the Great Alfred the Great (848/49 – 26 October 899) was king of the West Saxons This is a list of monarchs of Wessex until 886 AD. For later monarchs, see the List of English monarchs. While the details of the later monarchs are confirmed by a numbe ...

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, 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 tended to become monophthongised to in EWS, but to 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 language, 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 West Country dialects#History and origins, dialect of Somerset. For details of the sound differences between the dialects, see .


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 Celtic language-death in England, 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 aspect, progressive construction and Analytic language, analytic word order, as well as the eventual development of the periphrastic auxiliary verb "Do-support, do". These ideas have generally not received widespread support from linguists, particularly as many of the theorized Brittonicisms in English, 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 Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

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 The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli; german: Angeln) were one of the main Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditionally ...

Angles
and Saxon people, Saxons left continental Europe for Britain. More entered the language when the Anglo-Saxons were Christianization of England, 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 #Orthography, 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 Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments following ...
rather than the Old English period. Another source of loanwords was
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
, which came into contact with Old English via the Scandinavian rulers and settlers in the
Danelaw The Danelaw (, also known as the Danelagh; ang, Dena lagu; da, Danelagen) was the part of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and ...
from the late 9th century, and during the rule of Cnut and other Danish kings in the early 11th century. Many toponym, 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 West Saxon was one of four distinct dialects of Old English. The three others were Kentish dialect (Old English), Kentish, Mercian dialect, Mercian and Northumbrian Old English, Northumbrian (the latter two were similar and are known as the Angli ...
, 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 Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments following ...
texts, which are more often based on eastern dialects, a strong Norse influence becomes apparent. Modern English contains 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 A synthetic language uses inflection In linguistic morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeology), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts * Morphology (astronomy ...
along the continuum to a more Analytic language, analytic word order, and
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
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".


Phonology

The inventory of Early West Saxon surface phone (phonetics), phones is as follows. The sounds enclosed in parentheses in the chart above are not considered to be phonemes: * is an allophone of occurring after and when gemination, geminated (doubled). * is an allophone of occurring before [k] and [ɡ]. * are voiced allophones of respectively, occurring between vowels or voiced consonants when the preceding sound was stressed. * are allophones of occurring at the beginning of a word or after a front vowel, respectively. * is an allophone of occurring after or when doubled. At some point before the Middle English period, also became the pronunciation word-initially. *the Sonorant#Voiceless, voiceless sonorants occur after [h] in the sequences . The above system is largely similar to English phonology#Consonants, that of Modern English, except that (and for English wh, most speakers) have generally been lost, while the voiced affricate and fricatives (now also including ) have become independent phonemes, as has . The open back rounded vowel 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 , spelled ⟨œ⟩, which had emerged from i-umlaut of . In West Saxon and Kentish, it had already merged with before the first written prose. Other dialects had different systems of diphthongs. For example, the Northumbrian dialect retained , which had merged with in West Saxon. For more on dialectal differences, see Phonological history of Old English#Dialects, Phonological history of Old English (dialects).


Sound changes

Some of the principal sound changes occurring in the pre-history and history of Old English were the following: *Fronting of to except when nasal vowel, 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 , and modification of remaining diphthongs to the height-harmonic type. *Diphthongisation of long and short front vowels in certain positions ("breaking"). *Palatalisation of velars to in certain front-vowel environments. *The process known as Germanic umlaut#I-mutation in Old English, 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 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.


Grammar


Morphology

Nouns declension, decline for five grammatical case, cases: nominative case, nominative, accusative case, accusative, genitive case, genitive, dative case, dative, instrumental case, instrumental; three grammatical gender, genders: masculine, feminine, neuter; and two grammatical number, numbers: singular, and plural; and are strong or weak. The instrumental is vestigial and only used with the masculine and neuter singular and often replaced by the dative case, dative. Only pronouns and strong adjectives retain separate instrumental case, instrumental forms. There is also sparse early Northumbrian evidence of a sixth case: the locative case, locative. The evidence comes from Northumbrian Runic alphabet, Runic texts (e.g., ''on rodi'' "on the Cross"). 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-grammatical person, person personal pronouns occasionally distinguish dual (grammatical number), dual-number forms. The article (grammar)#Definite article, definite article and its
inflection In linguistic morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeology), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts * Morphology (astronomy), study of the shape of astronomical obj ...
s serve as a article (grammar)#Definite article, definite article ("the"), a demonstrative adjective ("that"), and Pronoun#Demonstrative, demonstrative pronoun. Other demonstratives are ("this"), and ("that over there"). These words inflection, 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. Verbs Grammatical conjugation, conjugate for three grammatical person, persons: first, second, and third; two numbers: singular, plural; two grammatical tense, tenses: present, and past; three grammatical mood, moods: grammatical mood#indicative, indicative, subjunctive mood, subjunctive, and imperative mood, 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 subject (grammar), subjects in person and number. The future tense, passive voice, and other grammatical aspect, aspects are formed with compounds. Preposition and postposition, Adpositions are mostly before but are often after their object. If the object (grammar), 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 English personal pronouns, forms of a few pronouns (such as ''I/me/mine'', ''she/her'', Who (pronoun), ''who/whom/whose'') and in the English possessive, possessive ending ''-'s'', which derives from the masculine and neuter genitive ending ''-es''. The modern English plural ending ''-(e)s'' 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 , a neuter noun referring to a female person. In Old English's verbal compound constructions are the beginnings of the Uses of English verb forms, compound tenses of Modern English. Old English verbs include Germanic strong verb, strong verbs, which form the past tense by altering the root vowel, and Germanic weak verb, weak verbs, which use a suffix such as . 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'' and ''worked''.


Syntax

Old English syntax is similar to English grammar, that of modern English. Some differences are consequences of the greater level of nominal and verbal inflection, allowing freer
word order In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
. *Default word order is verb-second in independent clause, main clauses, and verb-final in subordinate clauses *No do-support, ''do''-support in questions and negatives. Questions were usually formed by inversion (linguistics), inverting subject (grammar), subject 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 , otherwise meaning "then" (e.g. 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 is used, often preceded by (or replaced by) the appropriate form of the article/demonstrative .


Orthography

Old English was first written in runic alphabet, runes, using the Anglo-Saxon runes, 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 Hiberno-Scottish mission, Irish Christian missionaries. 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 and , and there was no as distinct from ; moreover native Old English spellings did not use , or . The remaining 20 Latin letters were supplemented by four more: (, modern ''ash'') and (, now called eth (letter), eth or edh), which were modified Latin letters, and thorn (letter), thorn and wynn , which are borrowings from the futhorc. A few letter pairs were used as digraph (orthography), digraphs, representing a single sound. Also used was the Tironian note (a character similar to the digit 7) for the Grammatical conjunction, conjunction ''and''. A common scribal abbreviation was a thorn with stroke, thorn with a stroke , which was used for the pronoun . Macron (diacritic), Macrons 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'' or ''n''. Modern editions of Old English manuscripts generally introduce some additional conventions. The modern forms of Latin letters are used, including in place of the insular G, for long S, and others which may differ considerably from the insular script, notably , and . 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 consonant, velar and palatal consonant, palatal and by placing dots above the palatals: , . The letter wynn is usually replaced with , but , eth and thorn are normally retained (except when eth is replaced by thorn). In contrast with English orthography, Modern English orthography, that of Old English was reasonably regular spelling, 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 and were pronounced, unlike the and 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, Phonology section above. Doubled consonants are consonant length, geminated; the geminate fricatives /, and cannot be voiced.


Literature

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: 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 The Franks Casket (or the Auzon Casket) is a small Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a who inhabited . They traced their origins to the 5th century settlement of incomers to Britain, who migrated to the island from the coastlands of . How ...

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 Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sanc ...

Bede
and
Cædmon Cædmon (; ''fl. c.'' 657 – 684) is the earliest English poet whose name is known. A Northumbria Northumbria (; ang, Norþanhymbra Rīċe; la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum) was an early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom in what is now Northern Eng ...
. Cædmon, the earliest English poet known by name, served as a lay brother in the monastery at Whitby.


''Beowulf''

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 and . Vowels alliterate with any other vowel, as with and . In the text below, the letters that alliterate are bolded. Here is a natural enough Modern English translation, although the phrasing of the Old English passage has often been stylistically preserved, even though it is not usual in Modern English:


The Lord's Prayer

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. The following is a natural Modern English translation, with the overall structure of the Old English passage preserved. Note that even though "earl" is used to translate its Old English cognate "eorl", "eorl" in Old English does not correspond exactly to "earl" of the later medieval period:


Dictionaries


Early history

The earliest history of Old English lexicography lies in the Anglo-Saxon England, Anglo-Saxon period itself, when English-speaking scholars created English Gloss (annotation), glosses on Latin language, Latin texts. At first these were often marginalia, marginal or interlinear gloss, interlinear glosses, but soon came to be gathered into word-lists such as the Épinal-Erfurt glossary, Épinal-Erfurt, Leiden Glossary, Leiden and Corpus Glossary, Corpus Glossaries. Over time, these word-lists were consolidated and alphabeticised to create extensive Latin-Old English glossaries with some of the character of dictionary, dictionaries, such as the Cleopatra Glossaries, the Harley Glossary and the Brussels Glossary. In some cases, the material in these glossaries continued to be circulated and updated in
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent distinct variations and developments following ...
glossaries, such as the Durham Plant-Name Glossary and the Laud Herbal Glossary. 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'' of 1838.


Modern

In modern scholarship, the following dictionaries remain current: * Angus Cameron (academic), 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 a
https://www.doe.utoronto.ca
This generally supersedes previous dictionaries where available. As of September 2018, the dictionary covered A-I. * Joseph Bosworth, 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 a
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, includin
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 availabl
online
A thesaurus based on the definitions in Bosworth-Toller and the structure of ''Roget's Thesaurus''. Though focused on later periods, the ''Oxford English Dictionary'', ''Middle English Dictionary'', ''Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue'', and ''Historical Thesaurus of English'' all also include material relevant to Old English.


Modern legacy

Like other historical languages, Old English has been used by scholars and enthusiasts of later periods to create texts either imitating Old English literature or deliberately transferring it to a different cultural context. Examples include Alistair Campbell (academic), 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 :ang:Hēafodtramet, 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.Christina Neuland and Florian Schleburg. (2014). "A New Old English? The Chances of an Anglo-Saxon Revival on the Internet". In: S. Buschfeld et al. (Eds.), ''The Evolution of Englishes. The Dynamic Model and Beyond'' (pp. 486–504). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.


See also

*Exeter Book *Go (verb) *History of the Scots language *I-mutation *Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law Anglo-Frisian nasal spirant law *List of generic forms in place names in the United Kingdom and Ireland *List of Germanic and Latinate equivalents in English


Notes


References


Bibliography

;Sources * ;General * * Baugh, Albert C; & Cable, Thomas. (1993). ''A History of the English Language'' (4th ed.). London: Routledge. * Blake, Norman (1992). ''The Cambridge History of the English Language: Vol. 2''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Alistair Campbell (academic), Campbell, A. (1959). ''Old English Grammar''. Oxford: Clarendon Press. * (Reissue of one of 4 eds. 1877–1902) * Wolfram Euler, Euler, Wolfram (2013). ''Das Westgermanische : von der Herausbildung im 3. bis zur Aufgliederung im 7. Jahrhundert; Analyse und Rekonstruktion'' (West Germanic: from its Emergence in the 3rd up until its Dissolution in the 7th century CE: Analyses and Reconstruction). 244 p., in German with English summary, London/Berlin 2013, . * Hogg, Richard M. (ed.). (1992). ''The Cambridge History of the English Language: (Vol 1): the Beginnings to 1066''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Hogg, Richard; & Denison, David (eds.) (2006) ''A History of the English Language''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Otto Jespersen, Jespersen, Otto (1909–1949) ''A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles''. 7 vols. Heidelberg: C. Winter & Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard * Lass, Roger (1987) ''The Shape of English: structure and history''. London: J. M. Dent & Sons * * * * * Quirk, Randolph; & Wrenn, CL (1957). ''An Old English Grammar'' (2nd ed.) London: Methuen. * Donald Ringe, Ringe, Donald R and Taylor, Ann (2014). ''The Development of Old English: A Linguistic History of English, vol. II'', . Oxford. * Strang, Barbara M. H. (1970) ''A History of English''. London: Methuen. ;External history * * Bremmer Jr, Rolf H. (2009). ''An Introduction to Old Frisian. History, Grammar, Reader, Glossary''. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. * Stenton, FM (1971). ''Anglo-Saxon England'' (3rd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. ;Orthography/Palaeography * Bourcier, Georges. (1978). ''L'orthographie de l'anglais: Histoire et situation actuelle''. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. * Ralph Warren Victor Elliott, Elliott, Ralph WV (1959). ''Runes: An introduction''. Manchester: Manchester University Press. * Keller, Wolfgang. (1906). ''Angelsächsische Paleographie, I: Einleitung''. Berlin: Mayer & Müller. * Neil Ker, Ker, NR (1957). ''A Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon''. Oxford: Clarendon Press. * Ker, NR (1957: 1990). ''A Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon''; with supplement prepared by Neil Ker originally published in ''Anglo-Saxon England''; 5, 1957. Oxford: Clarendon Press * Page, RI (1973).
An Introduction to English Runes
'. London: Methuen. * Scragg, Donald G (1974). ''A History of English Spelling''. Manchester: Manchester University Press. * Shaw, Philip A (2012). "Coins As Evidence". ''The Oxford Handbook of the History of English,'' Chapter 3, pp. 50–52. Edited by Terttu Nevalainen and Elizabeth Closs Traugott. * Wełna, Jerzy (1986). "The Old English Digraph Again". ''Linguistics across Historical and Geographical Boundaries: Vol 1: Linguistic Theory and Historical Linguistics'' (pp. 753–762). Edited by Dieter Kastovsky and Aleksander Szwedek. ;Phonology * Anderson, John M; & Jones, Charles. (1977). ''Phonological structure and the history of English''. North-Holland linguistics series (No. 33). Amsterdam: North-Holland. * Brunner, Karl. (1965). ''Altenglische Grammatik (nach der angelsächsischen Grammatik von Eduard Sievers neubearbeitet)'' (3rd ed.). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer. * Campbell, A. (1959). ''Old English Grammar''. Oxford: Clarendon Press. * Fausto Cercignani, Cercignani, Fausto (1983). "The Development of */k/ and */sk/ in Old English". ''Journal of English and Germanic Philology'', 82 (3): 313–323. * Girvan, Ritchie. (1931). ''Angelsaksisch Handboek''; E. L. Deuschle (transl.). (Oudgermaansche Handboeken; No. 4). Haarlem: Tjeenk Willink. * Halle, Morris; & Keyser, Samuel J. (1971). ''English Stress: its form, its growth, and its role in verse''. New York: Harper & Row. * * Hogg, Richard M. (1992). ''A Grammar of Old English, I: Phonology''. Oxford: Blackwell. * * Kuhn, Sherman M. (1970). "On the consonantal phonemes of Old English". In: J. L. Rosier (ed.) ''Philological Essays: studies in Old and Middle English language and literature in honour of Herbert Dean Merritt'' (pp. 16–49). The Hague: Mouton. * Lass, Roger; & Anderson, John M. (1975). ''Old English Phonology''. (Cambridge studies in linguistics; No. 14). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Luick, Karl. (1914–1940). ''Historische Grammatik der englischen Sprache''. Stuttgart: Bernhard Tauchnitz. * * * Minkova, Donka (2014). ''A Historical Phonology of English.'' Edinburgh University Press. * Moulton, WG (1972). "The Proto-Germanic non-syllabics (consonants)". In: Frans Van Coetsem, F van Coetsem & HL Kufner (Eds.), ''Toward a Grammar of Proto-Germanic'' (pp. 141–173). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer. * Sievers, Eduard (1893). ''Altgermanische Metrik''. Halle: Max Niemeyer. * Wagner, Karl Heinz (1969). ''Generative Grammatical Studies in the Old English language''. Heidelberg: Julius Groos. ;Morphology * Brunner, Karl. (1965). ''Altenglische Grammatik (nach der angelsächsischen Grammatik von Eduard Sievers neubearbeitet)'' (3rd ed.). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer. * Campbell, A. (1959). ''Old English grammar''. Oxford: Clarendon Press. * Wagner, Karl Heinz. (1969). ''Generative grammatical studies in the Old English language''. Heidelberg: Julius Groos. ;Syntax * Brunner, Karl. (1962). ''Die englische Sprache: ihre geschichtliche Entwicklung'' (Vol. II). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer. * Kemenade, Ans van. (1982). ''Syntactic Case and Morphological Case in the History of English''. Dordrecht: Foris. * MacLaughlin, John C. (1983). ''Old English Syntax: a handbook''. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer. * Mitchell, Bruce. (1985). ''Old English Syntax'' (Vols. 1–2). Oxford: Clarendon Press (no more published) ** Vol.1: Concord, the parts of speech and the sentence ** Vol.2: Subordination, independent elements, and element order * Mitchell, Bruce. (1990) ''A Critical Bibliography of Old English Syntax to the end of 1984, including addenda and corrigenda to "Old English Syntax" ''. Oxford: Blackwell * Timofeeva, Olga. (2010) ''Non-finite Constructions in Old English, with Special Reference to Syntactic Borrowing from Latin'', PhD dissertation, Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki, vol. LXXX, Helsinki: Société Néophilologique. * Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. (1972). ''A History of English Syntax: a transformational approach to the history of English sentence structure''. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. * Visser, F. Th. (1963–1973). ''An Historical Syntax of the English Language'' (Vols. 1–3). Leiden: E. J. Brill. ;Lexicons * Bosworth, J; & Toller, T. Northcote. (1898). ''An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary''. Oxford: Clarendon Press. (Based on Bosworth's 1838 dictionary, his papers & additions by Toller) * Toller, T. Northcote. (1921). ''An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary: Supplement''. Oxford: Clarendon Press. * Campbell, A. (1972). ''An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary: Enlarged addenda and corrigenda''. Oxford: Clarendon Press. * Clark Hall, J. R.; & Merritt, H. D. (1969). ''A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary'' (4th ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * 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, 1983/1994. (Issued on microfiche and subsequently as a CD-ROM and on th
World Wide Web
)


External links


Old English/Modern English TranslatorOld English Letters
*
Another downloadable keyboard for Windows computers
(Unicode, HTML entities, etc.)

*
The Lord's Prayer in Old English from the 11th century
(video link) *Over 100 Old English poems are edited, annotated and linked to digital images of their manuscript pages, with modern translations, in the ''Old English Poetry in Facsimile Project''
DM
;Dictionaries
Bosworth and Toller, ''An Anglo-Saxon dictionary''
* *

;Lessons
Old English Online
by Jonathan Slocum and Winfred P. Lehmann, free online lessons at th
Linguistics Research Center
at the University of Texas at Austin * * {{Authority control English languages Medieval languages, English, Old Old English language, Old English Languages attested from the 5th century 5th-century establishments in England Languages extinct in the 13th century 13th-century disestablishments in Europe North Sea Germanic