OLD ENGLISH (_Ænglisc, Anglisc, Englisc_) or ANGLO-SAXON is the
earliest historical form of the
English language , spoken in England
and southern and eastern
Scotland in the early
Middle Ages . It was
Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably 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, as during this period the English language
was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known
Middle English .
Old English developed from a set of Anglo-Frisian or North Sea
Germanic dialects originally spoken by Germanic tribes traditionally
known as the
Saxons , and
Jutes . As the Anglo-
dominant in England, their language replaced the languages of Roman
Common Brittonic , a Celtic language , and
Latin , brought
to Britain by Roman invasion .
Old English had four main dialects,
associated with particular 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 would develop
mainly from Mercian. The speech of eastern and northern parts of
England was subject to strong
Old Norse influence due to Scandinavian
rule and settlement beginning in the 9th century.
Old English is one of the West
Germanic languages , and its closest
Old Frisian and
Old Saxon . Like other old Germanic
languages, it is very different from
Modern English and difficult for
Modern English speakers to understand without study. Old English
grammar is quite similar to that of modern German : nouns, adjectives,
pronouns, and verbs have many inflectional endings and forms, and word
order is much freer. The oldest
Old English inscriptions were written
using a runic system , but from about the
9th century this was
replaced by a version of the
Latin alphabet .
* 1 Terminology
* 2 History
* 3 Dialects
* 4 Influence of other languages
* 5 Phonology
* 5.1 Sound changes
* 6 Grammar
* 6.1 Morphology
* 7 Orthography
* 8 Literature
* 8.1 _Beowulf_
* 8.2 The Lord\'s Prayer
* 8.3 Charter of
* 9 Revivals
* 10 See also
* 11 Notes
* 12 Bibliography
* 13 External links
_Englisc_, which the term _English_ is derived from , means
'pertaining to the Angles'. In Old English, this word was derived
from _Angles_ (the
Germanic tribe who conquered the island 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
Denmark ) resembled a fishhook .
Proto-Germanic _*anguz_ 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 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'.
History of the English language The
distribution of the primary Germanic dialect groups in Europe in
around AD 1: North Germanic NORTH SEA GERMANIC , or INGVAEONIC
Weser-Rhine Germanic , or Istvaeonic
Elbe Germanic , or Irminonic
Old English was not static, and its usage covered a period of 700
years, from the
Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain
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
inflections, a synthetic language . Perhaps around 85 per cent of Old
English words are no longer in use, but those that survived are basic
Modern English vocabulary.
Old English is a
West Germanic language , developing out of
Ingvaeonic (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 which became the Kingdom of
England . This
included most of present-day England, as well as part of what is now
Scotland , which for several centuries belonged to the
Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria . Other parts of the island –
Wales and most of
Scotland – continued to use
Celtic languages ,
except in the areas of Scandinavian settlements where
Old Norse was
spoken. Celtic speech also remained established in certain parts of
England: Medieval Cornish was spoken all over
Cornwall and in adjacent
Devon , while Cumbric survived perhaps to the 12th century in
Cumbria , and Welsh may have been spoken on the English side
of the Anglo-Welsh border . Norse was also widely spoken in the parts
England which fell under Danish law .
Anglo-Saxon literacy developed after Christianisation in the late 7th
century. The oldest surviving text of
Old English literature is
_Cædmon\'s Hymn _, composed between 658 and 680. There is a limited
corpus of runic inscriptions from the 5th to 7th centuries, but the
oldest coherent runic texts (notably the
Franks Casket ) date to the
8th century. The
Old English Latin alphabet was introduced around the
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great statue in
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
Alfred the Great
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 King
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great (871 to 901) chiefly inspired the
growth of prose.
A later literary standard, dating from the later 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 ("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
The history of
Old English can be subdivided into:
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 bloc of languages, spoken by the Angles, Saxons, and
Jutes, and pre-dating documented
Old English or Anglo-Saxon, has also
been called Primitive Old English.
Old English (c. 650 to 900), the period of the oldest
manuscript traditions, with authors such as
Bede , Cynewulf
Old English (c. 900 to 1066), the final stage of the language
leading up to the Norman conquest of
England and the subsequent
transition to Early
Middle English .
Old English period is followed by
Middle English (12th to 15th
Early Modern English
Early Modern English (c. 1480 to 1650) and finally Modern
English (after 1650).
"Her swutelað seo gecwydrædnes ðe"
Old English inscription over the arch of the south porticus in the
10th-century St Mary\'s parish church, Breamore ,
Old English should not be regarded as a single monolithic entity,
Modern English is also not monolithic. It emerged over time
out of the many dialects and languages of the colonising tribes, and
it is perhaps only towards the later Anglo-Saxon period that these can
be considered to have constituted a single national language. Even
Old English continued to exhibit much local and regional
variation, remnants of which remain in
Modern English dialects .
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 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 scantiest literary
Each of these four dialects was associated with an independent
kingdom on the island. Of these, Northumbria south of the Tyne , and
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
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-Wessex 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 .
For details of the sound differences between the dialects, see
Phonological history of Old English (dialects) .
INFLUENCE OF OTHER LANGUAGES
Celtic influence in English ,
Latin influence in
English , and
Scandinavian influence in English
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. 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."
Old English contained a certain number of loanwords from
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
Germanic languages before the ancestral
Angles and Saxons
left continental Europe for Britain. More entered the language when
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
Old English via the Scandinavian rulers and settlers in the
Danelaw from the late 9th century, and during the rule of
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 ,
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 southern 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 change to Old
Old Norse was substantive, pervasive, and of a democratic
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.”
Old English phonology
The inventory of classical
Old English (
Late West Saxon ) surface
phones , as usually reconstructed, is as follows.
(n̥ ) n
tʃ (dʒ )
f (v )
θ (ð )
s (z )
(x ɣ )
(l̥ ) l
(ʍ ) w
(r̥ ) r
The sounds enclosed in parentheses in the chart above are not
considered to be phonemes :
* is an allophone of /j/ occurring after /n/ and when geminated
* is an allophone of /n/ occurring before /k/ and /ɡ/.
* are voiced allophones of /f, θ, s/ respectively, occurring
between vowels or voiced consonants .
* are allophones of /h/ occurring in coda position after front and
back vowels respectively.
* is an allophone of /ɡ/ occurring after a vowel, and, at an
earlier stage of the language, in the syllable onset.
* the voiceless sonorants are analysed as realizing the sequences
/hw, hl, hn, hr/.
The above system is largely similar to that of
Modern English ,
except that (and 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 mid front rounded vowels /ø(ː)/ had merged into unrounded
/e(ː)/ before the
Late West Saxon period. During the 11th century
such vowels arose again, as monophthongisations of the diphthongs
/e(ː)o/, but quickly merged again with /e(ː)/ in most dialects.
(monomoraic ) Long
The exact pronunciation of the West Saxon close diphthongs, spelt
⟨ie⟩, is disputed; it may have been /i(ː)y/ or /i(ː)e/. Other
dialects may have had different systems of diphthongs; for example,
Anglian dialects retained /i(ː)u/, which had merged with /e(ː)o/ in
For more on dialectal differences, see Phonological history of Old
English (dialects) .
Phonological history of Old English
Some of the principal sound changes occurring in the pre-history and
Old English were the following:
* Fronting of to 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 , and modification of
remaining diphthongs to the height-harmonic type.
* Diphthongisation of long and short front vowels in certain
* Palatalisation of velars , , , to , , , in certain front-vowel
* 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,
and of medial ; reduction of remaining unstressed vowels.
* Diphthongisation of certain vowels before certain consonants when
preceding a back vowel ("back mutation").
* Loss of /h/ 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
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 .
Old English grammar
Nouns decline for 5 cases : nominative , accusative , genitive ,
dative , instrumental ; 3 genders : masculine, feminine, neuter; 2
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 . Only pronouns and strong
adjectives retain separate instrumental forms. There is also sparse
early Northumbrian evidence of a sixth case; the locative . Adjectives
agree with nouns in case , gender , number , and strong, or weak
forms. Pronouns and sometimes participles agree in case , gender , and
number . First 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
are _þes_ ("this"), and _ġeon_ ("yon"). These words inflect for
gender , number and case . Adjectives have both strong and weak sets
of endings, weak ones being used when a definite or possessive
determiner is also present.
Verbs conjugate for 3 persons : first, second, third; 2 numbers :
singular, plural; 2 tenses : present, and past; 3 moods : indicative ,
subjunctive , and imperative ; and are strong(exhibiting ablaut) or
weak(exhibiting a dental suffix). Verbs have 2 infinitive forms: bare,
and bound; and 2 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 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
Remnants of the
Old English case system in
Modern English are in the
forms of a few pronouns (such as _I/me/mine_, _she/her_,
_who/whom/whose_ ) and in the 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
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
_wīf_, 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_ and _worked_.
Old English syntax is similar to that of modern English . Some
differences are consequences of the greater level of nominal and
verbal inflection, allowing freer word order .
* Default word order is verb-second in main clauses , and verb-final
in subordinate clauses , being more like modern German than modern
* No _do_-support in questions and negatives. Questions were usually
formed by inverting subject and finite verb , and negatives by placing
_ne_ before the finite verb, regardless what 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
* 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_.
Anglo-Saxon runes and
Old English Latin alphabet
The runic alphabet used to write
Old English before the introduction
Latin alphabet .
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 9th
century, the runic system came to be supplanted by a (minuscule)
half-uncial script of the
Latin alphabet introduced by 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.
Latin alphabet of the time still lacked the letters ⟨j⟩ and
⟨w⟩, and there was no ⟨v⟩ as distinct from ⟨u⟩; moreover
Old English spellings did not use ⟨k⟩, ⟨q⟩ or ⟨z⟩.
The remaining 20
Latin letters were supplemented by four more: ⟨æ
⟩ (_æsc_, 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_, and a thorn with a crossbar through the ascender
for the pronoun _þæt_. 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 ⟨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 palatal ⟨c⟩
and ⟨g⟩ by placing dots above the palatals: ⟨ċ⟩, ⟨ġ⟩.
The letter wynn ⟨ƿ⟩ is usually replaced with ⟨w⟩, but _æsc_,
eth and thorn are normally retained (except when eth is replaced by
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 section above.
DESCRIPTION AND NOTES
Spelling variations like ⟨land⟩ ~ ⟨lond⟩ ("land") suggest
the short vowel may have had a rounded allophone before in some
Used in modern editions to distinguish from short /ɑ/.
Formerly the digraph ⟨ae⟩ was used; ⟨æ⟩ became more common
during the 8th century, and was standard after 800. In 9th-century
Kentish manuscripts, a form of ⟨æ⟩ that was missing the upper
hook of the ⟨a⟩ part was used; it is not clear whether this
represented /æ/ or /e/. See also ę.
Used in modern editions to distinguish from short /æ/.
(an allophone of /f/)
Used in this way in early texts (before 800). For example, the word
"sheaves" is spelled _scēabas_ in an early text, but later (and more
commonly) as _scēafas_.
The /tʃ/ pronunciation is sometimes written with a diacritic by
modern editors: most commonly ⟨ċ⟩, sometimes ⟨č⟩ or
⟨ç⟩. Before a consonant letter the pronunciation is always /k/;
word-finally after ⟨i⟩ it is always /tʃ/. Otherwise, a knowledge
of the history of the word is needed to predict the pronunciation.
(For details, see
Phonological history of Old English §
Palatalization .) See also the digraphs CG, SC.
(the phonetic realization of geminate /jj/)
In the earliest texts it also represented /θ/ (see þ).
/θ/, including its allophone
Called _ðæt_ in Old English; now called eth or edh. Derived from
the insular form of ⟨d⟩ with the addition of a cross-bar. See also
A modern editorial substitution for the modified Kentish form of
⟨æ⟩ (see æ). Compare e caudata , ę .
Used in modern editions to distinguish from short /e/.
Sometimes stands for /æ/, /æː/ or /ɑ/ after ⟨ċ⟩, ⟨ġ⟩
(see palatal diphthongization ).
Used in modern editions to distinguish from short /æɑ/. Sometimes
stands for /æː/ after ⟨ċ⟩, ⟨ġ⟩.
Sometimes stands for /o/ after ⟨ċ⟩, ⟨ġ⟩ (see palatal
Used in modern editions, to distinguish from short /eo/.
/f/, including its allophone (but see B).
/ɡ/, including its allophone ; or /j/, including its allophone ,
which occurs after ⟨n⟩.
Old English manuscripts, this letter usually took its insular
form ⟨ᵹ⟩ (see also: yogh ). The and pronunciations are
sometimes written ⟨ġ⟩ in modern editions. Before a consonant
letter the pronunciation is always (word-initially) or (after a
vowel). Word-finally after ⟨i⟩ it is always . Otherwise a
knowledge of the history of the word in question is needed to predict
the pronunciation. (For details, see Phonological history of Old
English § Palatalization .)
/h/, including its allophones
In the combinations ⟨hl⟩, ⟨hr⟩, ⟨hn⟩, ⟨hw⟩, the
realization may have been a devoiced version of the second consonant.
Used in modern editions to distinguish from short /i/.
Only occurs sometimes in this sense and appears after ⟨ċ⟩,
⟨ġ⟩ (see palatal diphthongization ).
Used in modern editions, to distinguish from short /iy/. Sometimes
stands for /eː/ after ⟨ċ⟩, ⟨ġ⟩ .
Occurs in dialects that had such diphthongs. Not present in Late
West Saxon. The long variant may be shown in modern editions as _īo_.
Rarely used; this sound is normally represented by ⟨c⟩.
Probably velarised (as in Modern English) when in coda position.
/n/, including its allophone (before /k/, /g/).
See also A.
Used in modern editions, to distinguish from short /o/.
/ø/, /øː/ (in dialects having that sound).
Used in modern editions, to distinguish from short /ø/.
A rare spelling of /kw/, which was usually written as ⟨cƿ⟩
(⟨cw⟩ in modern editions).
The exact nature of
Old English /r/ is not known; it may have been
an alveolar approximant as in most modern English, an alveolar flap ,
or an alveolar trill .
/s/, including its allophone .
/ʃ/ or occasionally /sk/.
Represented /θ/ in the earliest texts (see þ).
/θ/, including its allophone
Called thorn and derived from the rune of the same name . In the
earliest texts ⟨d⟩ or ⟨th⟩ was used for this phoneme, but
these were later replaced in this function by eth ⟨ð⟩ and thorn
Eth was first attested (in definitely dated materials) in
the 7th century, and thorn in the 8th.
Eth was more common than thorn
before Alfred 's time. From then onward, thorn was used increasingly
often at the start of words, while eth was normal in the middle and at
the end of words, although usage varied in both cases. Some modern
editions use only thorn. See also
Pronunciation of English ⟨th⟩ .
/u/, /uː/. Also sometimes /w/ (see ƿ, below).
Sometimes used for /w/ (see ƿ, below).
Used for /uː/ in modern editions, to distinguish from short /u/.
A modern substitution for ⟨ƿ⟩.
Called wynn and derived from the rune of the same name. In earlier
texts by continental scribes, and also later in the north, /w/ was
represented by ⟨u⟩ or ⟨uu⟩. In modern editions, wynn is
replaced by ⟨w⟩, to prevent confusion with ⟨p⟩.
/ks/ ( according to some authors).
Used in modern editions to distinguish from short /y/.
A rare spelling for /ts/; e.g. _betst_ ("best") is occasionally
Doubled consonants are geminated ; the geminate fricatives
⟨ðð⟩/⟨þþ⟩, ⟨ff⟩ and ⟨ss⟩ cannot be voiced.
The first page of the
Beowulf manuscript with its opening
Hƿæt ƿē Gārde/na ingēar dagum þēod cyninga / þrym ge
"Listen! We of the Spear-Danes from days of yore have heard of the
glory of the folk-kings..." Main article:
Old English literature
Old English literature, though more abundant than literature of the
continent before AD 1000, is nonetheless scant. 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
Some of the most important surviving works of
Old English literature
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 and Cædmon
. Cædmon, the earliest English poet we know 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
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
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.
Hƿæt! ƿē Gār-Dena in ġeār-dagum,
What! We of Gare-Danes (LIT. SPEAR-DANES) in yore-days,
þēod-cyninga, þrym ġefrūnon,
of thede(NATION/PEOPLE)-kings, did thrum (GLORY) frayne (LEARN
ABOUT BY ASKING),
hū ðā æþelingas Ellen fremedon.
how those athelings (NOBLEMEN) did ellen (FORTITUDE/COURAGE/ZEAL)
Oft SCyld SCēfing SCeaþena þrēatum,
Scyld Scefing of scather threats (TROOPS),
Monegum Mǣġþum, Meodosetla oftēah,
of many maegths (CLANS; CF. IRISH COGNATE MAC-), of mead-settees
Egsode EOrlas. Syððan ǣrest ƿearð
ugg (INDUCE LOATHING IN, TERRIFY; RELATED TO "UGLY") earls. Sith
(SINCE, AS OF WHEN) erst (FIRST) worthed (BECAME)
Fēasceaft Funden, hē þæs Frōfre ġebād,
fewship (DESTITUTE) found, he of this frover (COMFORT) abode,
ƿēox under ƿolcnum, ƿeorðmyndum þāh,
waxed under welkin (FIRMAMENT/CLOUDS), worthmint (HONOUR/WORSHIP)
Oðþæt him ǣġhƿylc þāra Ymbsittendra
oth that (UNTIL THAT) him each of those umsitters (THOSE "SITTING"
OR DWELLING ROUNDABOUT)
ofer Hronrāde Hȳran scolde,
over whale-road (_KENNING _ FOR "SEA") hear should,
Gomban Gyldan. Þæt ƿæs Gōd cyning!
yeme (HEED/OBEDIENCE; RELATED TO "GORMLESS") yield. That was good
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
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!
THE LORD\'S PRAYER
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 West
Saxon literary dialect, with added macrons for vowel length, markings
for probable palatalised consonants, modern punctuation, and the
replacement of the letter wynn with w.
Fæder ūre þū þe eart on heofonum,
/ˈfæ.der ˈuː.re θuː θe æɑrt on ˈheo.vo.num/
Father of ours, thou who art in heavens,
Sī þīn nama ġehālgod.
/siː θiːn ˈnɑ.mɑ je.ˈhɑɫ.ɡod/
Be thy name hallowed.
Tōbecume þīn rīċe ,
/toː.be.ˈku.me θiːn ˈriːt͡ʃe/
Come thy riche (KINGDOM),
ġewurþe þīn willa, on eorðan swā swā on heofonum.
/je.ˈwur.ðe θiːn ˈwi.lːɑ on ˈeor.ðan swɑː swɑː on
Worth (MANIFEST) thy will, on earth as also in heaven.
Ūre ġedæġhwāmlīcan hlāf syle ūs tō dæġ,
/ˈuː.re je.ˈdæj.ʍɑːm.ˌliː.kɑn l̥ɑːf ˈsy.le ˈuːs
Our daily loaf do sell (GIVE) to us today,
and forġyf ūs ūre gyltas, swā swā wē forġyfað ūrum
/ɑnd for.ˈjyf uːs ˈuː.re ɡyl.ˈtɑs swɑː swɑː weː
for.ˈjy.fɑθ uː.rum ɡyl.ˈten.dum/
And forgive us our guilts as also we forgive our guilters
And ne ġelǣd þū ūs on costnunge, ac ālȳs ūs of yfele.
/ɑnd ne je.læːd θuː uːs on kost.ˈnuŋ.ɡe ɑk ɑː.ˈlyːs
uːs of y.ˈve.le/
And do not lead thou us into temptation, but alese
(RELEASE/DELIVER) us of (FROM) evil.
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.
Cnut cyning gret his arcebiscopas and his leod-biscopas and
Þurcyl eorl and ealle his eorlas and ealne his þeodscype, twelfhynde
and twyhynde, gehadode and læwede, on Englalande freondlice.
¶ Cnut, king, greets his archbishops and his
lede'(PEOPLE\'S)\'-bishops and Thorkell, earl, and all his earls and
all his _PEOPLE_ship, _GREATER_ (HAVING A 1200 SHILLING WEREGILD ) and
_LESSER_ (200 SHILLING WEREGILD), hooded(ORDAINED TO PRIESTHOOD) and
And ic cyðe eow, þæt ic wylle beon hold hlaford and unswicende
to godes gerihtum and to rihtre woroldlage.
And I kithe(MAKE KNOWN/COUTH TO) you, that I will be
hold(CIVILISED) lord and unswiking(UNCHEATING) to God's rights(LAWS)
and to rights(LAWS) worldly.
¶ Ic nam me to gemynde þa gewritu and þa word, þe se arcebiscop
Lyfing me fram þam papan brohte of Rome, þæt ic scolde æghwær
godes lof upp aræran and unriht alecgan and full frið wyrcean be
ðære mihte, þe me god syllan wolde.
¶ I nam(TOOK) me to mind the writs and the word that the
Archbishop Lyfing me from the Pope brought of Rome, that I should
ayewhere(EVERYWHERE) God's love(PRAISE) uprear(PROMOTE), and
unright(OUTLAW) lies, and full frith(PEACE) work(BRING ABOUT) by the
might that me God would(WISHED) sell'(GIVE).
¶ Nu ne wandode ic na minum sceattum, þa hwile þe eow unfrið on
handa stod: nu ic mid godes fultume þæt totwæmde mid minum scattum.
¶ Now, ne went(WITHDREW/CHANGED) I not my shot(FINANCIAL
CONTRIBUTION, CF. NORSE COGNATE IN SCOT-FREE) the while that you
stood(ENDURED) unfrith(TURMOIL) on-hand: now I, mid(WITH) God's
_SUPPORT_, that totwemed(SEPARATED/DISPELLED) mid(WITH) my
Þa cydde man me, þæt us mara hearm to fundode, þonne us wel
licode: and þa for ic me sylf mid þam mannum þe me mid foron into
Denmearcon, þe eow mæst hearm of com: and þæt hæbbe mid godes
fultume forene forfangen, þæt eow næfre heonon forð þanon nan
unfrið to ne cymð, þa hwile þe ge me rihtlice healdað and min lif
Tho(THEN) man kithed(MADE KNOWN/COUTH TO) me that us more harm
_HAD_ found(COME UPON) than us well liked(EQUALLED): and tho(THEN)
fore(TRAVELLED) I, meself, mid(WITH) those men that mid(WITH) me
Denmark that you most harm came of(FROM): and
that have , mid(WITH) God's _SUPPORT_, afore(PREVIOUSLY)
forefangen(FORESTALLED) that to you never henceforth thence none
unfrith(BREACH OF PEACE) ne come the while that ye me rightly
hold(BEHOLD AS KING) and my life beeth.
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 . 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.
* History of the
Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law Anglo-Frisian nasal spirant law
* List of generic forms in place names in the United Kingdom and
List of Germanic and Latinate equivalents in English
* ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank,
Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Old English". _
Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max
Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
* ^ 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
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
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,
* ^ 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;
Middle English Literature_. London: Forum House
Publishing Company. p. 7. We do not know what languages the Jutes,
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
* ^ Shore, Thomas William (1906), _Origin of the Anglo-Saxon Race
– A Study of the Settlement of
England and the Tribal Origin of the
Old English People_ (1st ed.), London, pp. 3, 393
* ^ Origin of the Anglo-Saxon race : a study of the settlement of
England and the tribal origin of the
Old English people; Author:
William Thomas Shore; Editors TW and LE Shore; Publisher: Elliot
Stock; published 1906 p. 3
* ^ Campbell, Alistair (1959). _
Old English Grammar_. Oxford:
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press . p. 4. ISBN 0-19-811943-7 .
* ^ Hogg (1992), p. 117; but for a different interpretation of
Old English diphthongs .
* ^ Magennis (2011), pp. 56–60.
* ^ The Somersetshire dialect: its pronunciation, 2 papers (1861)
Thomas Spencer Baynes, first published 1855 ">(PDF). Archived from the
original (PDF) on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
* ^ Scott, Shay (30 January 2008). _The history of English: a
linguistic introduction_. Wardja Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-615-16817-3
. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Jespersen, Otto (1919). _Growth and Structure
of the English Language_. Leipzig, Germany: B. G. Teubner. pp.
* ^ BBC World News (27 December 2014). " BBC Documentary English
Birth of a Language - 35:00 to 37:20". BBC. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
* ^ Crystal, David (1995). _The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the
English Language_. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 32.
* ^ _A_ _B_ McCrum, Robert (1987). _The Story of English_. London:
Faber and Faber. pp. 70–71.
* ^ Potter, Simeon (1950). _Our Language_. Harmondsworth,
Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd. p. 33.
* ^ Lohmeier, Charlene (28 October 2012). "121028 Charlene Lohmeier
"Evolution of the English Language" - 23:40 - 25:00; 30:20 - 30:45;
45:00 - 46:00". _121028 Charlene Lohmeier "Evolution of the English
Language"_. Dutch Lichliter.
* ^ Blake (1992), pp. 42–43.
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature".
* ^ Mitchell, Bruce; Robinson, Fred C (2002). _A Guide to Old
English_. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. pp. 109–112.
* ^ Crystal, David (1987). _The Cambridge Encyclopedia of
Language_. Cambridge University Press. p. 203. ISBN 0-521-26438-3 .
* ^ C.M. Millward, Mary Hayes, _A Biography of the English
Language_, Cengage Learning 2011, p. 96.
* ^ Stephen Pollington, _First Steps in Old English_, Anglo-Saxon
Books 1997, p. 138.
* ^ Lit. a participle: "guilting" or " sinning"; cf.
* ^ 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.
* Whitelock, Dorothy , ed. (1955). _English Historical Documents_.
I: c. 500–1042. London:
Eyre & Spottiswoode .
* Baker, Peter S (2003). _Introduction to Old English_. Blackwell
Publishing . ISBN 0-631-23454-3 .
* 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.
* Campbell, A. (1959). _
Old English Grammar_. Oxford: Clarendon
* Earle, John (2005). _A Book for the Beginner in Anglo-Saxon_.
Bristol, PA: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-69-8 . (Reissue of
one of 4 eds. 1877–1902)
* Euler, Wolfram (2013). _Das Westgermanische_ (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, ISBN 978-3-9812110-7-8 .
* 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.
* Jespersen, Otto (1909–1949) _A
Modern English Grammar on
Historical Principles_. 7 vols. Heidelberg: C. Winter & Copenhagen:
* Lass, Roger (1987) _The Shape of English: structure and history_.
London: J. M. Dent & Sons
* Lass, Roger (1994). _Old English: A historical linguistic
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press . ISBN 0-521-43087-9
* Magennis, Hugh (2011). _The Cambridge Introduction to Anglo-Saxon
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press .
* Millward, Celia (1996). _A Biography of the English Language_.
Harcourt Brace . ISBN 0-15-501645-8 .
* Mitchell, Bruce; Robinson, Fred C (2001). _A Guide to Old English_
(6th ed.). Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-22636-2 .
* Quirk, Randolph; & Wrenn, CL (1957). _An
Old English Grammar_ (2nd
ed.) London: Methuen.
* Ringe, Donald R and Taylor, Ann (2014). _The Development of Old
English - A Linguistic History of English, vol. II_, 632p. ISBN
978-0199207848 . Oxford.
* Strang, Barbara M. H. (1970) _A History of English_. London:
* Robinson, Orrin W. (1992). _
Old English and Its Closest
Stanford University Press . ISBN 0-8047-2221-8 .
* Bremmer Jr, Rolf H. (2009). _An Introduction to Old Frisian.
History, Grammar, Reader, Glossary_. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John
* Stenton, FM (1971). _Anglo-Saxon England_ (3rd ed.). Oxford:
* Bourcier, Georges. (1978). _L'orthographie de l'anglais: Histoire
et situation actuelle_. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
* Elliott, Ralph WV (1959). _Runes: An introduction_. Manchester:
Manchester University Press.
* Keller, Wolfgang. (1906). _Angelsächsische Paleographie, I:
Einleitung_. Berlin: Mayer with supplement prepared by Neil Ker
originally published in _Anglo-Saxon England_; 5, 1957. Oxford:
Clarendon Press ISBN 0-19-811251-3
* Page, RI (1973). _An Introduction to English Runes_. London:
* Scragg, Donald G (1974). _A
History of English Spelling_.
Manchester: Manchester University Press.
* Anderson, John M; 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.
* Hockett, Charles F (1959). "The stressed syllabics of Old
English". _Language_. 35 (4): 575–597.
JSTOR 410597 . doi
* Hogg, Richard M. (1992). _A Grammar of Old English, I: Phonology_.
* Kuhn, Sherman M (1961). "On the Syllabic Phonemes of Old English".
_Language_. 37 (4): 522–538.
JSTOR 411354 . doi :10.2307/411354 .
* Kuhn, Sherman M. (1970). "On the consonantal phonemes of Old
English". In: J. L. Rosier (ed.) _Philological Essays: studies in Old
Middle English language and literature in honour of Herbert Dean
Merritt_ (pp. 16–49). The Hague: Mouton.
* Lass, Roger; No. 14). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* Luick, Karl. (1914–1940). _Historische Grammatik der englischen
Bernhard Tauchnitz .
* Maling, J (1971). "Sentence stress in Old English". _Linguistic
Inquiry_. 2 (3): 379–400.
JSTOR 4177642 .
* McCully, CB; Hogg, Richard M (1990). "An account of Old English
stress". _Journal of Linguistics_. 26 (2): 315–339. doi
* Moulton, WG (1972). "The
(consonants)". In: 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
* Wagner, Karl Heinz (1969). _Generative Grammatical Studies in the
Old English language_. Heidelberg: Julius Groos.
* 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
* Wagner, Karl Heinz. (1969). _Generative grammatical studies in the
Old English language_. Heidelberg: Julius Groos.
* 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,
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 & Toller, T. Northcote. (1898).
An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary _. Oxford: Clarendon Press. (Based on
Bosworth's 1838 dictionary, his papers ">BRIGHT\\'S ANGLO-SAXON
READER/AN OUTLINE OF ANGLO-SAXON GRAMMAR
Wikimedia Commons has media related to OLD ENGLISH _.
Old English Lessons (free online through the Linguistics Research
Center at UT Austin)
* Old English/
Modern English Translator
* The Electronic Introduction to Old English
Old English with Leofwin
Old English (Anglo-Saxon) alphabet
* Bosworth and Toller, _An Anglo-Saxon dictionary_
* Downloadable Bosworth and Toller, _An Anglo-Saxon dictionary
Old English Made Easy_
Old English –
Modern English dictionary
Old English Glossary
Old English Letters
* Shakespeare\'s English vs Old English
Old English keyboard for Windows and Mac
* Another downloadable keyboard for Windows computers
* Guide to using
Old English computer characters (Unicode, HTML
* The Germanic Lexicon Project
* An overview of the grammar of Old English
* The Lord\'s Prayer in
Old English from the 11th century (video
* Dictionary of Old English
History of English
* Old English
Early Modern English
Early Modern English
* low unrounded vowels
* low back vowels
* high back vowels
* high front vowels
* changes before historic /l/
* changes before historic /r/
* trisyllabic laxing
* Northern Cities
* consonant clusters
* ð (eth)
* _þ_ (thorn)
Germanic languages and philology
* _Elbe _
* _Weser-Rhine _
* _North Sea _
Germanic parent language
Middle Low German
Old High German
Middle High German
* Middle Frisian
* Old English
* Forth and Bargy
* North Frisian
* Saterland Frisian
* West Frisian
* Grimm\'s law
* Verner\'s law
* Holtzmann\'s law
* Sievers\' law
* Kluge\'s law
Germanic substrate hypothesis
Germanic substrate hypothesis
West Germanic gemination
High German consonant shift
Germanic spirant law
Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law
Germanic strong verb
Germanic weak verb
* Preterite-present verb
* English (phonology )
* Scots (phonology )
* GND : 4112501-0
* SUDOC : 027269434
* NDL : 00560256
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. , a non-profit organization.
* Cookie statement
* Mobile view