ENG367Y: Quiz 2
Basically English: one of you noted the native –ing inflection on the otherwise rather latinate verbs "Ponderyng, expendyng, and revolutyng".
But this passage contains very Latinate vocabulary, characteristic of Early Modern English.
Latin was one of the main sources of new vocabulary as the vernacular was expanding in function in the early modern period.
Latin was mined because it was statusful.
And because it was statusful the excessive use of it here seems to have been attributed to a pretentious social climber.
The passage shows different ways of adapting Latin words: different adjectives formed from the same Latin word, ingent and ingenious, for instance.
Or verbs formed from the participle rather than the present stem: "revolutyng" rather than "revolving".
The lexicon hasn’t been standardized yet, and the passage contains redundancies: ingent and ingenious.
The passage contains words that have survived: "ingenious", "celebrate".
And some that have but with shifts in meaning: "your magnificall dexteritee" has a different sense of the noun than PDE does.
But also words that haven’t: "ingent", "magnificall".
And words that have survived only as other parts of speech: "adepted" is a verb here, but an adjective in PDE, and "illustrate" is an adjective here, but a verb in PDE.2.
Do isn’t used here in questions: "What meanes your Lordship?"
Do isn’t used here in negative sentences: "I loued you not."
Do does seem to convey emphasis in "I did loue you once", or else is being used as a (now-redundant) past tense marker.
The passage shows variation between you and the more emotional thou for singular reference: "Get thee to a Nunnerie. Why would’st thou be a breeder of sinners?"
The passage uses the simple object form thee as a reflexive pronoun: we’d say "Get thyself..."
The passage contains the verb inflection that goes with thou: -st.
The passage contains the subjunctive form of be (redundantly, with the conjunction "if"): "if you be honest and faire".
The possessive form of the neuter pronoun seems still to be his: "the force of Honestie can translate Beautie into his likenesse."
There are differences in prepositional idiom: "we shall rellish (of) it"3.
/r/ was lost before /s/ early enough for the forms ass and hoss and cuss to be found in North America.
This change was apparently reversed in formal usage: North American English certainly also has horse and curse.
The r-less forms are retained in informal language, and (in the case of curse) with a somewhat different meaning (one of you rightly noted that a curse was more frightening than a cuss).4.
See Millward 256-257.
A PDE <ea> spelling, as in great and meat and creature, suggests an original (pre-GVS) pronunciation of / /.
The GVS raised some words like great to /e/, other words like meat through /e/ to /i/.
Because spelling is conservative, we now have words with the same spelling pronounced differently.
A PDE <ee> spelling suggests a pre-GVS pronunciation of /e/, as in meet.
The GVS raised /e/ to /i/, so meet joined meat on its way up to /i/. They’re now homophones, but (because of orthographical conservatism) still spelled differently (a few of you noted that the spelling helps differentiate the words).
We can assume that creature rhymed with nature on /e/ before the GVS raised it to /i/.5.
Herb is among the words borrowed from Latin or French with an etymological /h/ that was no longer pronounced and that was not necessarily consistently represented in spelling until the Renaissance, when etymological respelling became particularly prevalent.
In many words spelled with an unpronounced initial h, the prestige and authority of written language was sometimes responsible for "spelling pronunciation", the reintroduction of /h/.
This wasn’t consistent: it didn’t happen in some words (heir) or in some dialects. The /h/ was reintroduced in Britain, but not in North America. However, more recently it has been: a number of you do pronounce the /h/ and/or have noticed variation.
And, of course, postvocalic /r/ was lost in some British dialects but not in most North American dialects.
Note the use of this variety for writing about literature!
Non-standard orthography is closer to pronunciation than PDE.
Velar nasals in PDE correspond to alveolar ones here: "why she talkin English".
Interdental fricatives in PDE correspond to stops, voiced ("odder", "dem", "da", "widdout") and voiceless ("wit", "tink").
But there are interdental fricatives! "the line between dem who say ..." and "people wit authority".
Loss of /t/ and /d/ in (some) syllable-final consonant clusters: "She wan you tuh tink", "before anyone lissenup"; "what kina English", "politicians an schoolteachers".
But: "dem who say dey speak "correct" English", "is just da line between ...", "tuh remind us", "in da first place"
Copula deletion: "why she talkin English", "She smart".
No verb inflection: "She wan you tuh tink", "she use a refrain"7.
Unidiomatic use (or not) of articles: indefinite ("He is officer") and definite ("the Aspro", "in State Bank").
Unidiomatic use of progressive: "We are always discussing about politics" rather than present habitual "We always discuss politics".
Unidiomatic use of prepositions: "discussing about politics".
In questions, no use of do or inversion: "What you opine?"
Pompous vocabulary: "opine"
See Millward 251.
PDE <gh> usually corresponds to OE <h> (the postvocalic allophone of /h/).
After a vowel, OE <h> represented either a voiceless palatal [ç] or velar [x] fricative depending upon whether the vowel it followed was front or back).
After OE it was spelled <gh>.
The OE voiceless fricative either changed to a voiceless labiodental fricative, as in cough,
or disappeared altogether, as in knight,
but spelling is conservative, so the letters remained.
Once <ight> could represent the sounds /it/ or /ayt/, that sound in the non-OE word delit got respelled <delight> by analogy.