The OE noun phrase: noun classes/declensions

PDE nouns

OE noun declensions

They slew then at once with swords edge

Hi ofslogon a sona mid swurdes ecge:


Main OE noun classes:

Strong or a-stem (*Gmc root + a + inflection)

-Masculine

-Neuter

-Feminine:

       so brycg, a brycga; [GS6] wr his wunda

Weak or consonantal or n-stem (*Gmc root + n + inflection, like Latin homo, hominis)

       source of PDE -en

o      masculine: s blinda; s nama, a nama

o      neuter: t eage eye, a eagan

o      feminine: so cyrice church, a cyrican

       cant tell gender in plural: [GS1] on sceaan

Mutated plurals or root consonant stem

       se t the tooth, a t the teeth


OE: grammatical gender

       predicts correlation of nouns with (e.g.) pronouns: My sister lost her marbles; shes mad.

   doesnt always correspond with biological gender

o      grammatically masculine: s mann, s wfmann, se diacon, se leorning-cniht, s ppel, se bam, s m

o      biologically female: s wfmann, so hlfdige, t wf

Sg     Acc  M          He loves the woman          one wifmann / hine

                    F          He loves the queen          cwn / h

                    N          He loves the maiden          t mgden / hit

       not usually evident from the form of the noun

o     gst (m.), rest (f.), dst (n.)

o      stn, m (m.), bn, wf (n.), rd (f.)  

       predicts/indicated by the form of the pronoun (e.g. personal, demonstrative) or adjective accompanying it

Hi forbrndon a a burh & t e binnan hyre ws

They burned then the city &  that which within it was

lc treow is be his wstme oncnawen

Each tree is by its fruit known

Ga nu ... & lda ut t wif, e eowrum life geheolp

Go now   & lead  out  that woman who your life helped

& a e hyre to locia, lda of isre byrig

& those who belong to her, lead from this town

       can be variable within OE : t wf ... hyre is biological gender!


OE pronouns

Many grammar words are more familiar than you think, e.g.

Hwylc ra rora: which of the three...

Personal pronouns

       number (sg./pl.): I/we; she/they

o     not in second person

       person (1, 2, 3): I; you; he

o     speaker; addressee

       gender (f.,m.,n.): she, he, it

o     only in third person singular

       case (subject, possessive, object): we, our, us

o     object:

       after a verb, e.g. introduced us

       after a preposition, e.g. to us.

Clause

element

Identifying it

Example (with a personal pronoun)

Subject

Usually appears before the verb.

OE: nominative case.

We are getting married.

Object:

Direct

Usually follows SV. Typically refers to some person or thing directly affected by the action expressed by the verb.

OE: accusative case.

Our friend introduced us

Object:

indirect

Typically refers to an animate being which is the recipient of the action.

OE: dative case.

My grandmother gave us her car. / gave her car to us.


OE and PDE first person pronouns:

First person sg.

OE

PDE

First person pl.

OE

PDE

Nominative

ic

I

Nominative

w

we

Genitive

mn

my, mine

Genitive

re

our(s)

Accusative Dative

m

me

[Objects:]

Accusative

Dative

s

us

OE and PDE second person pronouns

 

OE 2 sg.

OE 2 pl.

PDE 2nd

(sg., pl.)

Nominative

g

you

Genitive

n

ower

your, yours

Accusative, Dative

ow

you

OE and PDE second person pronouns

       unlike PDE, OE distinguished number

       OE 2 pl. > PDE pl. and sg.:

o      Hwt sgst , fugelere?

o        What  say    you  bird-er?

o      PDE compensations: yall, youse, you guys

       OE 2 pl. object form has generalized into the subject:

o      forwhi sw geornlice leorni g?

o      why        so    eagerly   study you?

OE 1st and 2nd person pronouns

       progressive: already had one form for accusative and dative functions

       conservative: had dual gender as well as plural

o     marked even in OE: wit the two of us

o     Abram cw t Lothe: Wit sind gebrru.


OE and PDE third person pronouns


Third person

Neut.

Masc.

Fem.

Plural

N

hit

it

h

he

ho, h, hy.  [she]

he, h, hy

[they]

G

his     

[its]

his

his

hiere, hire ]

her(s)

hiera, hira, hyra

[their(s)]

A

hit

it

hine 

[him]

he, h, h

[her]

he, h, h

[them]

D

him    

[it]

him

him

hiere, hire,

her

him

[them]

for an e heo urum rendracum arfstnysse cydde

because     ___  (to) our messengers    mercy      showed

Hy ... lddon hi of re byrig ...

They   led      her from the city

& hi syan leofodon mid sibbe betwux him

& they afterward lived with peace among them.

she    saw       him                       he    saw  her? them?

ho          geseah hine                             h geseah h

OE vs. PDE third person pronouns

       later innovations: PDE she; they, their, them

o     fem. and pl. have confusable NGA forms:

       h she? her? they? them?

o     D form confusable for masc., neut., pl.:

       him to them? to him? to it?

       sometimes the context helps

       distinct accusative and dative forms later levelled under one

       3 sg. only category to distinguish gender


Demonstrative pronouns

       PDE demonstratives this, that:

o      indicate proximity or distance from the speaker

o      indicate number: these, those

       OE: give a lot of information about case, number, and (in sg.) gender

         nom. sg.: so hlfdige (f.), s wfmann (m.), t wf (n.)

         nom. sg.: so heorte (f.), s m (m.), aet trow (n.)

       OE: eos, es, is

o      cf. PDE demonstrative this; also emphatic

       OE: so, s, t (acc. , one, t)

o      cf. PDE demonstrative that, definite the

o      cf. OE personal pronouns ho, h, hit (h, hine, hit)

ho                                 hine

so hlaefdige geseah one guman

The lady          saw          the man

 

h                         h

s guma geseah hlfdian

The man  saw    the lady

 

Đa forlt se cyng a hlaefdian so ws gehlgod him t cwne

Then abandoned the king the lady who was hallowed as his queen


Case in the noun phrasesome basics (see Problems 5.15 for more)

Nominative

       case of the subject of the sentence (activity)

Seo burh ws mid weallum ymbtrymed.

The city was with walls surrounded.

[GS3] h hine forbh

he turned (himself) away

Segst u, mg se blinda one blindan ldan?

Say thou, may a blind man lead a blind man?

Accusative

       case of the direct object of most verbs (passivity)

Hi forbrndon a a burh

[GS3] h hine forbh he turned (himself) away

Segst u, mg se blinda one blindan ldan?

Say thou, may a blind man lead a blind man?

Nis god treow e yfelne wstm de

It isnt a good tree that produces bad fruit.

       case of the object of some prepositions (or of prepositions of movement, destination)

Sacerdas bron t Godes scrin ymbe a burh.

priests bore the Gods ark around the city

h ws wi stwe

when he was at the place

hu ne fealla hi begen on one pytt?

how not-fall they both into the pit?

geldde on his lcehs

led [him] to his hospital

 

Dative

       case of the indirect object (sharing)

e him hringas geaf who gave him/them rings

es stnwyrhta geaf m stne hw.

The stonemason gave (to) the stone form

And hu miht u secgan inum breer

And how might thou say to thy brother

brhte rum dge twgen penegas, and sealde m lce

[he] brought [on] the next day two pennies, and gave [them] to the doctor

 

       case of the object of most prepositions (or of prepositions denoting stasis)

u sylf ne gesyhst one beam on inum agenum eagan

thou self seest not the beam in thine own eye

& lddon hi of re byrig; and led her from the city

mid weallum ymbtrymed          with walls surrounded

lc treow is be his wstme oncnawen Each tree is by its fruit known

yfel man of yfelum goldhorde yfel forbring from evil gold-hoard


Genitive

       often equivalent to PDE s, of (possessive and otherwise)

Đs stnes micelnes is wundorlic.

the stones size is marvellous

of s trowes wstme e is ...

of the trees fruit which is...

of the fruit of the tree which is...

of aera trowa waestme e synd ..

of the fruit of the trees which are ....

of ines broor eagan

from thy brothers eye

[GS9] Begym hys

take care of him

[GS10] Hwylc ra rora ync t s s mg

Which of the three (seems to you) that might-be that ones neighbour

 

Instrumental

       relating to the means of manner of an action

H slh one mann y stne.

He struck the man (with) the stone