ENG6361F: Comparing Old English with Present-Day English (20%)

27 October: instructions clarified (I hope) in bold.

Due:                 10th November 2004

Hand in:            At the beginning of class, 4:10 pm

Late?                To my mailbox at the Wetmore Hall Porter, New College

                                    Porter’s hours: off for lunch 11:30-12:30, dinner 6:30-7:30

Late penalty: 2% off for each day late; not accepted after 25 November.

Format:           1. Please use your STUDENT NUMBER ONLY and NOT YOUR NAME. You can put the student number on each page if you like.

                        2. Please don’t use flashy plastic folders: just paper and a paper clip.

This assignment is designed to demonstrate its writer’s ability to

1. Pick one of the following passages from the Millward workbook:

·        page 112: riddle 47

·        page 114, text V: first five lines, up to gelicnesse.

2. Following the model on the last page of the hard copy of this assignment, ‘transliterate’ the OE text:

3. In an essay of around 2000 words, write a description of the differences between OE and PDE that your passage happens to illustrate. (Do not write about any trend that is not exemplified in your passage, as you will not be given credit for it.) In about 500 words each, cover the following sections

As you start to work on your assignment, it will help to consider the following questions:

At some point you will need to consult some historical dictionaries. How did the OE words enter the language? What did they mean? What happened to them subsequently?

You know how to use the Oxford English Dictionary now. There are hard copies of the first and second editions around (and OE hasn’t changed much in the last ten centuries), but U of T has finally subscribed to the online constantly-updated third edition at http://www.oed.com/  There are also dictionaries of Old English around; the most accessible one for you at this point is ‘Clark-Hall’ [PE 279 H3], on short term loan (under ENG367Y).

When citing a dictionary for work in this course, please

·        In your bibliography, give a full reference to it (and to all other works consulted and cited).

·        In the text of your paper, cite it by ‘short title’, ‘headword,’ and sense number. E.g., OED, “worm”, n. I 5b.

For the spelling, morphology, and syntax, you may want to corroborate your observations with authoritative descriptions in secondary sources. Start with Millward. There are also more books, many on short-term loan for ENG367Y at Robarts library (3rd floor); many of these are listed in a slightly outdated online bibliography at


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