Spræc Englisclæden

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steewi
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Spræc Englisclæden

Postby steewi » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:01 am UTC

Her we englisclæden sprecaþ. Hwæt hycgest þu abutan leorniendes englisces? Arædst þu þa gaderung englisces?
Ic eom niwan leorniende englisclæden, and ic wille þa eow min hilpaþ mid mine læstena grammaticræftes.

Translation: Here we speak Old English. What do you think of learning Old English? Do you read Old English texts?
I ame newly learning Old English, and I want you to help me with my sins of grammar.

I'm much better at reading, I swear. Unfortunately, I'm very new to Anglo-Saxon composition (as in I started just a couple of minutes ago). I'd love some more practice. I'm going through the Anglo-Saxon chronicle with my reading group at the moment. We've previously done bits of Beowulf, Ælfric's Colloquy, Wulfstan's Address, and a couple of other little bits. I won't personally object if the thread leaks into Middle English a bit, but my liking's as much for Old.

For want of something else to do, perhaps I could post some quotes from PubDom sites (wikisource has a bunch), and have some collaborative translation.

Some helpful links:
http://www.jrrvf.com/~glaemscrafu/texts/eadigbeothu-a.htm Tolkien's Anglo-Saxon poetry (and other languages' poetry)
http://www.heorot.dk/beo-links.html (lots of broken links, some very good ones)
http://www8.georgetown.edu/departments/medieval/labyrinth/display.cfm?Action=View&Category=English,%20Old
http://home.comcast.net/~modean52/ (dictionary - Bosworth and Toller + extras MnE<-->OE)
http://www.kuroyumes-developmentzone.com/appleyard/nasc/nasc.htm (The New Anglo-Saxon Chronicle)
http://www.tha-engliscan-gesithas.org.uk/ (basic stuff with a slightly Pagan angle)
http://ang.wikipedia.org/ Anglo-Saxon wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_english_language Wiki on Anglo-Saxon, has more links.

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby ZLVT » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:12 am UTC

What I don;t get is how you conjugate the verb to be, from what I saw it was a bastard mix of the German (Sein: bin bist ist sind seid sind), Dutch (wezen: wees wees wees wezen) and English (am art is etc)
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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:02 pm UTC

Well the German is already a bastardized mix between the b- root and the is- root, so you can hardly blame that weirdness on English.
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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby ZLVT » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:03 pm UTC

I'm not laying blame, I just want to understand it. Did English use all three verbs separately or was it one mish-mash paradigm, and if so, where can I find a copy?
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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby goofy » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:22 pm UTC

Old English "to be" was wesan, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂wes- "to live, dwell" and the source of was and were.

ic eom
þū eart
hēo is
wē sindon
ȝē sindon
hīe sindon

The inflected forms are from Proto-Indo-European *h₁es- "to be":

eom (am) from the Proto-Indo-European athematic first person singular *h₁es-mi- (Greek εἰμί, Sanskrit अस्मि asmi).

is from the PIE athematic third person singular *h₁es-ti- (German ist, Latin est, Russian есть, Persian است āst).

sindon is from the PIE athematic third person plural *h₁s-énti- (Latin sunt, Sanskrit सन्ति santi).

PIE *bʰeuH- "to be, exist, grow" is the source of another Old English verb, bēon "to be", and which survives in be, been and being.

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby Felstaff » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:46 pm UTC

Read JRR Tolkien's lecture on Beowulf, if you haven't done so already! I read mine on Athens or JSTOR or through Google Scholar, back when you could actually read essays like this... so students & scholars, get a-crackin'

Edit: also it's interesting to study Seamus Heaney's anti-colonial standpoint on translating Old English to the new, in re of Beowulf
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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby ZLVT » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:38 pm UTC

goofy wrote:Old English "to be" was wesan, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂wes- "to live, dwell" and the source of was and were.

ic eom
þū eart
hēo is
wē sindon
ȝē sindon
hīe sindon

The inflected forms are from Proto-Indo-European *h₁es- "to be":

eom (am) from the Proto-Indo-European athematic first person singular *h₁es-mi- (Greek εἰμί, Sanskrit अस्मि asmi).

is from the PIE athematic third person singular *h₁es-ti- (German ist, Latin est, Russian есть, Persian است āst).

sindon is from the PIE athematic third person plural *h₁s-énti- (Latin sunt, Sanskrit सन्ति santi).

PIE *bʰeuH- "to be, exist, grow" is the source of another Old English verb, bēon "to be", and which survives in be, been and being.


Coupled with billy joel, that is one of the most beautiful and pedantic things I've ever seen [wipes tear]. Thou wouldn't happen to have any literature on PIE?
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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby goofy » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:52 pm UTC

Pedantic? Well, maybe, but in a beautiful way.

Calvert Watkins is a good place to start. Here's Watkins' list of PIE roots. Not all Indo-Europeanists agree with his analyses.

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby Asleep or Wrong » Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:00 am UTC

n.b. I'm but a layman so I can't much vouch for accuracy, but The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World by Mallory and Adams is a pretty enjoyable read if you're into tables of comparison of verb forms in protogermanic, avestan and tocharian &c. Also covers a bunch of other stuff about location and religion and such.

So how did you all pick up old english? Any particularly illuminating texts on the langauge?

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby steewi » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:23 am UTC

WRT Indo-European, Benjamin Fortson's Indo-European Language and Culture is good.

One of the biggest books for Old English is Mitchell and Robinson, A Guide to Old Language. I also have "The Web of Words" by Bernard Felix Huppe and G L Brook's Introduction to Old English.

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:59 pm UTC

For PIE, the Cambridge introduction is pretty good, with kinship charts, timelines, etc.
I'm learning Old English from the Baker introduction.
Often I'll ask people if they "Anglisc spræceþ", and they'll say "no", to which I always respond "You don't speak English?"...
good times.
Spoiler:
tesseraktik wrote: of course you need to gornax your frifftop to a proper taibou (which, as the construction of this tempered tutatu suggests, consists of two bed.pans joined by a haiku), or else angry zubat are going to flork off your penis.'

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby Felstaff » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:56 am UTC

vaguelyhumanoid wrote:Often I'll ask people if they "Anglisc spræceþ", and they'll say "no", to which I always respond "You don't speak English?"...
good times.

án assa ymbsprecan hwæt?
What?
I said "án assa ymbsprecan hwæt?"
What?
Exactly.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:57 am UTC

Guess we have to watch out for men in dark hats, then...
Spoiler:
tesseraktik wrote: of course you need to gornax your frifftop to a proper taibou (which, as the construction of this tempered tutatu suggests, consists of two bed.pans joined by a haiku), or else angry zubat are going to flork off your penis.'

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby Marywoeste » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:00 pm UTC

Hello!

So, I'm going to be studying linguistics next year, with an emphasis in German. I don't know if I'll get the chance to study Anglo Saxon, but I find the topic incredibly interesting, so I'm going to join this thread as a starting point. How do you pronounce the words? Are those spellings the original spellings, or is that a modern transliteration using the international phonetic alphabet? The similarities with German are rather noticeable, at least along the lines of conjugation, and that really piques my curiosity - I want to learn more about the etymological relationship between English and German.

Thanks for the help! =D
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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby Aiwendil42 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:41 pm UTC

Marywoeste wrote:So, I'm going to be studying linguistics next year, with an emphasis in German. I don't know if I'll get the chance to study Anglo Saxon, but I find the topic incredibly interesting


Anglo-Saxon is a fun language! I would say that if you study German and, obviously, know modern English, that will stand you in good stead in terms of Anglo-Saxon - it probably would not be too difficult for you to study it on your own if you don't get a chance to do so formally. I'd recommend A Guide to Old English by Mitchell & Robinson for independent study. I've also used Introduction to Old English by Peter Baker, which is a little more elementary and reader-friendly, and Old English Grammar and Reader, which is not as pedagogical but has a pretty good selection of readings.

How do you pronounce the words?


Basically, the vowels have their 'continental' values, so 'a' is /a/, 'e' is /e/, 'i' is /i/, 'o' is /o/, and 'u' is /u/. The vowel 'æ' is the near-open front vowel /æ/, the usual 'short a' sound if you're an American (as in 'cat'); 'y' is the rounded high, front vowel /y/, like German 'ü'. The diphthong 'ea' is /æɑ/ or /eɑ/, and at least for me is something like the vowel in 'can' or 'ham'. The diphthong 'eo' is /eo/ or /eʊ/ - this sounds a little bit like the /æʊ/ in 'loud', if that helps, though it's not exactly the same. There is some debate over the sound written 'ie'; some interpret it as a diphthong, /iy/ or /ie/, while others claim it was a simple vowel, something like /ɪ/ (the short 'i' sound in 'sit').

The consonants were more or less as in modern English, but there are a number of exceptions that can be somewhat difficult to master at first. The letters 'þ' and 'ð' represent the 'th' sound(s); 'f', 'þ/ð', and 's' were voiced when falling between two voiced phonemes and unvoiced otherwise. The letter 'c' is pronounced /k/ or (sometimes) /tʃ/ (like the 'ch' in 'church'); 'g' was likewise pronounced either /g/ or /j/ (the English 'y' sound in 'year') - except that between voiced sounds, /g/ becomes /ɣ/, and after 'n', /j/ becomes /ʤ/. 'Sc' was usually pronounced /ʃ/, like the 'sh' in 'ship'; but before a back vowel or, if at the end of a word, after a back vowel, it becomes /sk/. And doubled consonants must be pronounced double.

Are those spellings the original spellings, or is that a modern transliteration using the international phonetic alphabet?


The spelling of Old English was of course much less standardized than it is now, and varied both diachronically and diatopically. The spelling generally used for it today is a regularized and somewhat modernized version of later West Saxon orthography.

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:33 pm UTC

How do you pronounce the diphthongs, eo and ea?

I pronounce them as [εø] and [eɪ] or [eæ], respectively.
Spoiler:
tesseraktik wrote: of course you need to gornax your frifftop to a proper taibou (which, as the construction of this tempered tutatu suggests, consists of two bed.pans joined by a haiku), or else angry zubat are going to flork off your penis.'

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby Aiwendil42 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:29 pm UTC

On reflection, I think I pronounce 'eo' somewhere between /eʊ/ and /εʊ/ and 'ea' somewhere between /eə/ and /eæ/.

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:11 am UTC

I sometimes pronounce ea with a schwa as well.
Spoiler:
tesseraktik wrote: of course you need to gornax your frifftop to a proper taibou (which, as the construction of this tempered tutatu suggests, consists of two bed.pans joined by a haiku), or else angry zubat are going to flork off your penis.'

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:03 pm UTC

This thread deserves to be less dead. With that in mind and given the current day (and that I didn't have anywhere else sensible to post this), here's my first attempt at composing in a slightly loose version of old-english alliterative verse (I basically just kept the alliterate the first stress in the second half-line with one of those in the first half-line rule but none of the other rules. And I was a bit loose there letting scule alliterate with sigle).

rōsan ond appellēaf, rēade ond hæwen bēoþ
gelīce wīcingum blōd, on bryme gespiled
sigle ic feohtan, mid mē scule þū cuman
my pronouns are they

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby Aiwendil » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:40 pm UTC

Wes hal, eSOANEM! Glæd ic eom þæt þu eft-weahte þisne þræd.

I like your verse. As you say, the meter isn't strictly followed, but it's not that far off-model either. Personally, I might re-order the third half-line, 'blod gelice wicingum' to make the 'blod' clearly the heavier stress. Also, I'm not sure I quite get the last half-line; it sounds like what's intended is an optative 'may it be that you come with me', but with the 'scule' in the subjunctive, doesn't it mean rather 'may it be that you must come with me'? I don't know if 'sculan' can be considered a neutral marker of the future tense in this case.

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:03 pm UTC

I was aiming for the last half-line to be "you should come too/with me" and, as I understand it, the subjunctive form of sculan isn't thought to have changed its meaning much on their way to becoming modern should. Also I wasn't sure quite how free the word order was within noun phrases so tended to err on the side of ME.

The "wes hal" in your post also reminded that I'd meant to look for any "conversational" resources. I tried looking through likely looking ones in the OP but the only stuff I could find was on the english companions' site and seemed to not so much be in old english as just being an attempt at direct etymological transliteration (for instance they used "ēalā" (which bosworth-toller seems to view as an expression of suprise) as a greeting presumably due to its passing resemblance to "hello" and its similar meaning to pre-telephone "hello".
my pronouns are they

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Re: Spræc Englisclæden

Postby Aiwendil » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:00 pm UTC

Yeah, there are not a lot of conversational resources. I did once start compiling a list of useful phrases (where 'useful' is to be understood very, very loosely; they range from 'where is the bathroom?' to 'I see a large terrestrial carnivore!'). Also I've spent some time working out translations for modern English words related to the sciences (well, mainly math and physics). Which was useful when I started writing an Old English poem about dark matter. (What? Why is everyone looking at me like that? That's a normal thing to do, right?)


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