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НазваWritings in Middle English (реферат)
РозділІноземна мова, реферати англійською, німецькою
ФорматWord Doc
Тип документуРеферат
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Реферат на тему:


Writings in Middle English




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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