ENG367Y: Information about the term test in December


When?          Thursday December 9th, from 9am – 11am

Where?         Sid Smith, room 2102

How much?    It’s worth 15% of your final grade.

Important    The Faculty of Arts and Science has a very specific and very strict policy regarding missed term tests. Please see p. 420 of the current calendar, or



What the test covers generally


The test covers everything you’ve learned this term on language/change, phonology, Indo-European and Germanic, Old English, and Middle English. You’re responsible for the readings from Crystal (chapters 1-4) and Millward (chapters 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6), and class lecture material. But NB the emphasis on the test will be on the topics that have been emphasized in class (so, for instance, for OE phonology, you should study ‘front mutation’ but assume that you’re not responsible for the other processes that weren’t discussed in class.) Remember that I’ve linked most of the (often updated/corrected) overheads to the course home page:




Supplementary readings from Crystal will help you understand or review the concepts in Millward: chapters 14-16 deal with PDE morphology and syntax, for instance; 17 with phonology (though it is very British!). Chapter 9 has a nice review of “The sources of the lexicon” (and you might enjoy skimming 10-12 as you start to think about your ‘semantic field’ research essay).


What the test looks like specifically


The first part (24 points) asks you to match terms (there’s a list on the test paper) to definitions or examples. Hint: I used the “Important terms” lists in the corresponding chapters of the Millward Workbook when I set this part of it, and made sure that the definitions I used could be found in Millward or Crystal. So, you might match up the symbols /s/ and /ð/ to the word fricative. or /m/ and /n/ to the term nasal, or (harder) the symbols /i/ and /e/ to the term front vowel. Or, you might select the term that corresponds to the definition “the smallest meaningful unit of a language.”


The second part (40 points) consists of multiple choice questions. Some are on ‘external history’ (so you might want to be sure that you know any important dates for ‘Indo-European’, ‘Germanic’, ‘Old English’ and ‘Middle English’). Some are on ‘linguistic’ topics and might look like this:


The effects of front mutation are still evident in which of the following?

(a) tooth, teeth

(c) sought, seek

(b) food, feed

(d) all of the above


The third and fourth parts consist of very short-answer questions (5 x 2 = 10 points, no choice) and some questions that require slightly longer answers (2 x 7 = 14 points, choice).


In the fifth part (4 x 3 = 12 points), you will be asked to compare a passage of ME with a passage of OE and to talk about the significance of some specific changes in (for instance) spelling, vocabulary and semantics, word endings and word order (within categories there is some choice). The passages are in the Millward workbook, page 142 and 143: verse 14-16 of the OE (And swa swa Moyses... ece lif) and of the ME (And as Moyses ... euere lasting lyf).