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Ceren Berk-Old English.docx - Ceren BERK – E2180075...

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Ceren BERK – E2180075LEXICOLOGYTuncer CanOLD ENGLISH (C.500-C.1100) IntroductionOld English is an early version of English spoken in areas of what is now England and SouthernScotland between the mid-fifth and mid-twelfth centuries. It is a West Germanic language and itis also closely connected to Old Frisian and Old Saxon. Also it was highly influenced by OldNorse, a member of the related North Germanic Language Group. According to the Dictionary ofOld English Corpus of the University of Toronto, the whole remaining body of Old Englishmaterial from 600 to 1150 consists of only 3,037 texts (with the exception of manuscripts withminor differences) of a mere three million words. Once the Anglo-Saxons first came to Englandfrom northern Germany (Saxia) in the fifth and sixth centuries, they brought their language withthem. It is a Germanic language and has some important parallels to Modern German. Theirdialect is generally referred to as Anglo-Saxon or Old English. Often the word Saxon is used onits own since the 'standard' established was based on the Western Saxon (or Wessex) dialect in thesouth-west of England. Writing was really, quite restricted (first text: around 700 AD), andtypically, just specially qualified scholars (generally monks) could write. Writing has only beenused for special documents. Thus, writing has appeared to have a conversational feel – there areseveral paratactic constructs in Old English texts. In addition, the down-to-earth language can beseen as representing the comparatively unsophisticated character of the Anglo-Saxons.Throughout this time period, it assimilated some features of the languages with which itinteracted, such as the Celtic languages and the two dialects of Old Norse from the Vikings, whooccupied and controlled large parts of the land in north and east England, known as the Danelaw.The most influential factor in defining Old English was its Germanic roots in terms of itsvocabulary, word form and grammar, which it associated with its sister languages in continental
Europe. Each of these factors were unique to the West Germanic language family of which OldEnglish refers, while other factors were derived from the Proto-Germanic language from whichall Germanic languages are thought to have been originated.The first significant major was Latin in Old English. A significant percentage of theknowledgeable and educated population (monks, priests, etc.) was qualified in Latin, which at thetime had been the lingua franca of Europe. There have been at least three significant periods ofLatin influence in Old English. The first happened before the ancestral Saxons fled continental

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Term
Winter
Professor
esra
Tags
Germanic languages

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