Реферат на тему:
Writings in Middle English
CHANGES IN THE SPELLING SYSTEM
During several centuries after the Norman conquest the business of
writing was in the hands of French scribes. They introduced into English
some peculiarities of French graphic habits. Traces of French traditions
in writing have stayed on in English to the present day.
First of all we must note some changes in the alphabet. Several letters
typical of OE gradually came out of use, and some new ones were
introduced: The alphabet of the 14th century is basically the same that
is in use in our days.
The letter , which was used in OE to denote several distinct consonant
phonemes is gradually replaced by the letters g and y. Thus, OE now
appears as god, and the OE as .
The ligature also comes into disuse in ME. This change accompanies
the phonetic change of short into a , and that of long into e.
The new letters introduced during the ME period are all consonantal. The
letter g (as hinted above) is introduced to denote the sound [ ] as in
god and also, the sound [ ] as in singe
The sound [ ] is also denoted (in words of French origin) by the
letter j, as in joy, judge, June.
The letter v is introduced to denote the consonant [v], which in ME
became a separate phoneme. However, this letter soon came to be treated
as an allograph of the letter 11, which had been in use since the
earliest OE times. The allographs u and v became interchangeable. Thus,
we can find the "following spellings in ME MSS: over, ouer; use, vse;
love, loue, etc.
The letter q, always accompanied by, is introduced to denote either the
consonant [k], as in quay, or the cluster [kw], as in quarter or queen.
In the latter case it replaces OE cw.
The letter z is introduced to denote the consonant [z], which in ME
became a separate phoneme. However, the letter z is not used
systematically, it does appear m such words as zel 'zeal', Zephyrus,
'Zephir', but the sound [z] is still spelt s in chesen 'choose', losen
'lose' and in many others.
289. Next we come to changes in spelling habits. In the sphere of vowels
French influence made itself felt in the following points:
1. The sound [u:], which was represented by the letter u in Old
English, came to be spelt ou, the way it was spelt in French. This
French spelling was due to the fact that in Old French the diphthong
[ou] had changed into [u:] but the spelling had remained the same. From
borrowed French words such as trouble, couch, this spelling was
transferred to native English words: hous (OE has); out (OE ut); loud
(OE hind), etc. In final position, and occasionally in medial position
as well, instead of ou the spelling ow was introduced: cow (OE cu);
how(OE hu); down (OE dun), etc.
2. The vowel [u] is often represented by the letter o. In many
modern grammars this o is accompanied by a tack: o. This spelling is
probably partly due to graphic considerations. The letter o denoting [u]
is found mainly in the neighbourhood of such letters as u (v), n, in,
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