A Guide to Old English

A Guide to Old English

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By (author) Bruce Mitchell, By (author) Fred C. Robinson

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  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Format: Paperback | 444 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 228mm x 24mm | 640g
  • Publication date: 25 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Chicester
  • ISBN 10: 0470671076
  • ISBN 13: 9780470671078
  • Edition: 8, Revised
  • Edition statement: 8th Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, maps
  • Sales rank: 71,229

Product description

A comprehensive introduction to Old English, combining simple, clear philology with the best literary works to provide a compelling and accessible beginners' guide. Provides a comprehensive introduction to Old English Uses a practical approach suited to the needs of the beginning student Features selections from the greatest works of Old English literature, organized from simple to more challenging texts to keep pace with the reader Includes a discussion of Anglo-Saxon literature, history, and culture, and a bibliography directing readers to useful publications on the subject Updated throughout with new material including the first 25 lines from Beowulf with detailed annotation and an explanation of Grimm's and Verner's laws

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Author information

Fred C. Robinson is Douglas Tracy Smith Professor Emeritus at Yale University. He is a Fellow and past President of the Medieval Academy of America, and has received many honors. He has written extensively on Beowulf, Old English, and English and American literature and language of all periods. Bruce Mitchell is late Fellow Emeritus of St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford.

Back cover copy

"A Guide to Old English" is a detailed but accessible introduction to the Old English language for beginners. The language section offers a simple yet comprehensive language reference, including sections on orthography and pronunciation, inflexions, word formation, and syntax. The guide then provides an anthology of the best Old English literary works, with explanatory notes and a detailed glossary, which has been arranged carefully from the simplest texts to the more challenging, to facilitate students' language development.Whilst retaining many of the elements of previous editions, which have made it so attractive to teachers and students of Old English for over 50 years, the eighth edition of the "Guide" has been updated in response to feedback from users to include the following additions: facsimile of the manuscript page from the beginning of "Beowulf"the first 25 lines of "Beowulf," with an exceptionally detailed set of annotations aimed at preparing the student for a thorough study of the poeman explanation of Grimm's and Verner's Lawstext revisions throughout to make the "Guide" as accessible as possible for undergraduate readers The book also offers a discussion of Anglo-Saxon literature, history, and culture, and a bibliography directing readers to useful publications on the subject.Altogether, this is a comprehensive introduction to Old English, combining simple, clear philology with the best literary works to provide a compelling and accessible beginners' guide.

Table of contents

Foreword to the Eighth Edition vi Map of Anglo-Saxon England vii Abbreviations and Symbols xv How to Use this Guide 1 PART ONE. 1 Preliminary Remarks on the Language ( 1-4) 11 2 Orthography and Pronunciation ( 5-9) 13 i Orthography ( 5) 13 ii Stress ( 6) 13 iii Vowels ( 7) 14 iv Diphthongs ( 8) 14 v Consonants ( 9) 15 3 Inflexions ( 10-135) 17 Introduction ( 10-14) 17 i Pronouns ( 15-21) 18 ii Nouns and Sound-Changes Relevant to Them ( 22-62) 20 Weak Nouns ( 22-25) 20 Some Technical Terms ( 26-32) 20 Strong Nouns like st a n (masc.) and scip (neut.) ( 33-44) 22 Masculine and Neuter Nouns in -e ( 45-46) 26 Strong Feminine Nouns ( 47-51) 27 i-Mutation ( 52-57) 28 Nouns Affected by i-Mutation ( 58-60) 29 u-Nouns ( 61-62) 30 iii Adjectives ( 63-76) 31 Introduction ( 63-64) 31 Weak Declension ( 65) 31 Strong Declension ( 66-67) 31 Stem Changes in Adjectives ( 68-73) 32 Comparison of Adjectives ( 74-76) 33 iv Observations on Noun, Adjective, and Pronoun Declensions ( 77-81) 34 v Numerals ( 82-86) 34 vi Strong Verbs and Sound-Changes Relevant to Them ( 87-114) 35 Introduction ( 87-89) 35 Principal Parts of the Strong Verbs ( 90-95) 36 Breaking ( 96-99) 38 Influence of Initial i , sc, h ( 100) 39 Influence of Nasals ( 101) 40 Summary of the Strong Verbs of Class III ( 102) 40 The Effects of Sound-Changes on Other Strong Verbs ( 103) 40 Strong Verbs of Class VII ( 104) 41 Grimm's Law and Verner's Law ( 105-109) 41 Conjugation of the Strong Verb ( 110-114) 43 vii Weak Verbs and Sound-Changes Relevant to Them ( 115-126) 46 Introduction ( 115) 46 Class 1 ( 116-123) 46 Class 2 ( 124-125) 49 Class 3 ( 126) 50 viii Anomalous Verbs ( 127-130) 51 B b on ( 127) 51 D d n and g a n ( 128) 51 Willan ( 129) 52 Preterite-Present Verbs ( 130) 52 ix Is a Verb Strong or Weak? To which Class does it Belong? ( 131-134) 53 x Adverbs ( 135) 54 Formation ( 135) 54 Comparison ( 135) 54 4 Word Formation ( 136-138) 55 Introduction ( 136) 55 i Compounding ( 137) 56 ii The Addition of Affixes ( 138) 57 Prefixes ( 138) 58 Suffixes ( 138) 59 5 Syntax ( 139-214) 61 Introduction ( 139-142) 61 i Word-Order ( 143-147) 63 ii Sentence Structure ( 148-153) 66 Recapitulation and Anticipation ( 148) 66 The Splitting of Heavy Groups ( 149) 67 Correlation ( 150-153) 68 iii Noun Clauses ( 154-161) 70 Introduction ( 154) 70 Dependent Statements and Desires ( 155-156) 70 Dependent Questions ( 157-160) 72 The Accusative and Infinitive ( 161) 75 iv Adjective Clauses ( 162-165) 75 Definite Adjective Clauses ( 162-163) 75 Indefinite Adjective Clauses ( 164) 79 Mood ( 165) 80 v Adverb Clauses ( 166-181) 81 Introduction ( 166-167) 81 Non-Prepositional Conjunctions ( 168) 83 Prepositional Conjunctions ( 169-171) 83 An Exercise in Analysis ( 172) 86 Clauses of Place ( 173) 87 Clauses of Time ( 174) 88 Clauses of Purpose and Result ( 175) 89 Causal Clauses ( 176) 89 Clauses of Comparison ( 177) 89 Clauses of Concession ( 178) 90 Clauses of Condition ( 179) 91 Adverb Clauses Expressing Other Relationships ( 180) 92 Other Ways of Expressing Adverbial Relationships ( 181) 93 vi Parataxis ( 182-186) 93 Introduction ( 182-183) 93 List of Conjunctions and Adverbs Commonly Used ( 184) 94 Parataxis without Conjunctions ( 185) 96 Some Special Idioms ( 186) 96 vii Concord ( 187) 97 1. Nouns, Pronouns and their Modifiers ( 187) 97 2. Pronouns and their Antecedents ( 187) 97 3. Subject and Verb ( 187) 98 viii The Uses of the Cases ( 188-192) 98 Nominative ( 188) 98 Accusative ( 189) 99 Genitive ( 190) 99 Dative ( 191) 99 Instrumental ( 192) 100 ix Articles, Pronouns, and Numerals ( 193-194) 100 Articles and Pronouns ( 193) 100 Numerals ( 194) 101 x Verbs ( 195-212) 101 The Uses of the Present and Preterite Tenses ( 195-198) 101 The Resolved Tenses ( 199-204) 103 Introduction ( 199) 103 The Verb 'to have' as an Auxiliary ( 200) 103 The Verb 'to be' as an Auxiliary of Tense ( 201) 104 The Passive ( 202-203) 104 Other Uses of the Present and Past Participles ( 204) 105 The Uses of the Infinitives ( 205) 105 The 'Modal' Auxiliaries ( 206-211) 106 Introduction ( 206) 106 Magan ( 207) 107 M d tan ( 208) 107 Cunnan ( 209) 108 Sculan ( 210) 108 Willan ( 211) 108 Impersonal Verbs ( 212) 109 xi Prepositions ( 213-214) 109 List of Prepositions ( 214) 110 6 An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon Studies ( 215-251) 111 i Some Significant Dates ( 215-216) 111 ii History ( 217-218) 111 iii Archaeology ( 219-230) 117 Introduction ( 219) 117 List of Abbreviated Titles ( 220) 118 Weapons and Warfare ( 221) 120 Life and Dress ( 222) 120 Architecture and Buildings ( 223-224) 121 Sculpture and Carving ( 225) 122 Jewellery and Metalwork ( 226) 123 Embroidery ( 227) 123 Coins ( 228) 124 Manuscripts and Runic Inscriptions ( 229) 124 The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial ( 230) 124 iv Language ( 231-235) 125 Changes in English ( 231) 125 The Danish Invasions ( 232) 126 The Norman Conquest ( 233) 127 Vocabulary ( 234) 127 Some Questions ( 235) 128 v Literature ( 236-251) 128 Introduction ( 236-246) 128 Poetry ( 247-249) 134 Prose ( 250-251) 135 7 Select Bibliography ( 252-269) 137 General ( 252) 137 Chapter 1 Preliminary Remarks on the Language ( 253) 137 Chapter 2 Orthography and Pronunciation ( 254) 138 Chapter 3 Inflexions ( 254) 138 Chapter 4 Word Formation ( 255) 138 Chapter 5 Syntax ( 256) 138 Chapter 6 Introduction to Anglo-Saxon Studies ( 257-269) 139 History ( 257) 139 Archaeology ( 258) 139 Language ( 259-261) 140 History of English Prose ( 259) 140 Vocabulary ( 260-261) 140 Word Formation 140 Changes of Meaning ( 260) 140 Borrowings ( 261) 140 Literature ( 262-269) 141 Topics Raised in 236-246 ( 262) 141 General Criticism ( 263) 141 Poetry Texts ( 264) 141 Appreciation of the Poetry ( 265) 143 The Use of Oral Formulae ( 266) 143 Metre ( 267) 143 Prose Texts ( 268) 144 Sources ( 269) 144 Appendix A Strong Verbs 146 Appendix B Some Effects of i-Mutation 154 Appendix C Metre 156 Appendix D List of Linguistic Terms Used in this Book 163 Appendix E The Moods of Old English 174 Appendix F Grimm's and Verner's Laws 175 PART TWO: PROSE AND VERSE TEXTS. 1 Practice Sentences 179 2 Two Old Testament Pieces 181 The Fall of Man 182 Abraham and Isaac 186 3 A Colloquy on the Occupations 190 4 Two Characteristic Prose Works by Aelfric 198 Preface to Genesis 198 St. Edmund, King and Martyr 203 5 Alfred the Great's Preface to his Translation of Gregory's Pastoral Care 212 6 Cynewulf and Cyneheard 216 7 Selections from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 220 8 Bede's Account of the Conversion of King Edwin 224 9 Bede's Account of the Poet Caedmon 228 10 The Goths and Boethius: Prose and Verse from the Introduction to King Alfred's Boethius Translation 234 11 (a)-(p) Riddles 239 12 The Battle of Maldon 249 13 The Ruin 261 14 The Dream of the Rood 264 15 The Wife's Lament 272 16 The Wanderer 276 17 The Seafarer 284 18 Four excerpts from Beowulf 291 Prologue 294 (a) Beowulf's Fight with Grendel 296 (b) Beowulf Consoles Hrothgar for Aeschere's Death 303 (c) The Lament of the Last Survivor 306 (d) Beowulf's Funeral 307 19 Wulf and Eadwacer 309 20 Judith 312 21 Cotton Gnomes or Maxims 325 22 Sermo Lupi ad Anglos 329 Glossary 337 Indexes to Part One 418 Index of Subjects 418 Index of Words 422