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История английского языка -englishman

1. Basic features of GLs

Subdivision of the GLs

ENG belongs to a group of related languages, which have descended from common Germanic, or Proto-Germanic as a distinct brunch of IE family of languages. 

Ethnic and linguistic disintegration resulted in division into 3 subgroups of GLs

East Germanic: Gothic, Vandalic, Bourgundian. All are dead.

North-Germanic: Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish

West-Germanic: ENG, DE, Friesian, Afrikaans

Inspite this subdivision GLs make a distinct group with the IE linguistic family due to their common features in: 1) phonetics; 2) grammar; 3) vocabulary.

These features were either inherited from the Proto-Germanic parent language or developed parallely in separate GLs later due to their mutual source. 

Specific features of GLs in Phonetics

An essential feature of GLs separating them from other IE languages is their consonantal system, which developed from the original IE system. These regular correspondences between the consonants of GLs and IELs were discovered and systemized by . Called Grimm’s Law, or the 1st consonant shift.


Instead of an expected voiceless stop in some word would appear a voiced stop. These was explained by Karl Verner

Verners Law: unstressed vowel+voiceless stop voiceless fricative voiced fricative  voiced stop

/t/ → /þ/ → /ð/ → /d/ 

//in the Gr word patěr the voiceless stop /t/ was preceded by an unstressed root vowel. Under these conditions the voiceless fricative /þ/ which had developed from it in accordance with the 1st consonant shift became a voiced fricative /ð/ and finally it developed into the voiced stop /d/, i.e. Lat patěr→ OE fæder

/k/ → /h/ → /ɣ






The consonant pairs involved in grammatical alternation were f/b, þ/d, h/g, hw/w, s/r.

The stress system in GLs

In Proto-Germanic the stress was musical as in other ancient IELs. It was free and could fall at any syllable. In each word it was of course fixed. 

After the 1st consonant shift it became tonic and was fixed on the root-syllable. Verner’s Law however shows that the root vowel in GLs might be unstressed and this lead to the conclusion that originally GLs has a free stress system. 

This was later changed with the appearance of loans form Romanic languages as Чахоян + Иванова write.

Vowels of the GLs

GLs also had some specific features in the system of vowels. 

IE /ŏ/ and /ǎ/correspond to GLs /ǎ/

//Greek octō - Goth ahtau

// RU ночь - DE nacht

IE /ō/ and  to GLs /ō/

// Lat frāter – Goth brōþar

// Lat flōs – OE blōma (цветок)

/ŏ/ & /ā/ appeared in GLs from inner sources

Germanic fracture

In GLs the quality of a stressed vowel in some cases depended on the type of the sound that followed. This dependence is reflected in the notion of fracture. The fracture concerns two pairs of vowels: /e/ & /i/, /u/ & /o/.


In Goth the distribution of /e/ & /i/, /u/ & /o/ was influenced by the following consonants. Before /r/, /h/, /hw/ i→e, u→o

Vowel gradation, or Ablaut]

Vowel gradations was inherited by GLs from ancient IE family of languages. There are distinguished 2 kinds of gradation: qualitative & quantative

Qualitative gradation.

Different vowels appear alternatively in various forms of one and the same word. 

In IE /e/ and /o/

In GL /i/ and /a/

// везу – воз, беру – сбор

// Goth hilpan – halp (preterit sg)

// OE bindan – bånd (preterit sg)

Quantitative gradation 

is represented by the alternation of a short vowel with the corresponding long one and also alternation of a short vowel with the zero of the vowel

// беру – брать

// OE findan P2 fnden → fundan

The origin of gradation 

has been a matter of discussion for more than a 100 years. The prevailing theory is that it might be caused by different stressed conditions.

the full stress brings the high degree /o/

the weakened stress caused the medium degree /e/

the unstressed position results in the zero of a vowel

Of all spheres of its application in GLs vowel gradation was used most constantly in deriving grammatical forms of strong verbs. 

Basic grammatical features of GLs


Originally in GLs as in other IELs there were 3 essential structural parts of the substantive: root, stem suffix, case inflection.

This kind of a substantive structure can be seen most clearly in Gothic, while in other GLs it was obscured by later phonetic and grammatical changes


vocalic stems a, o, i, u formed strong declension

n-stem formed the paradigm of weak delension

s/r stems

root-stem nouns which had never had any stem suffix, the root and the stem in these words always coinsice.

In OE, as well as in other GLs, except Gothic, the substantives had 2 essential parts, because of the stem-suffix having lost its own meaning and united with the case inflexion and could be no longer identified.


In GLs adj declension is represented by

strong declension which is a combination of substentival and pronominal endings

weak declenstion  which reflected the declension of n-stem substantives

Adj declension in all GLs have no parallel with other IE languages


The system of verbs of all GLs consisted of 3 types

the main mass – strong verbs

weak verbs

united preterit-present verbs

Strong verbs used vowel gradation to derive their preterit and P2.

// OE bindan (inf) - bånd (preterit sg) – bundum (pret pl) – bundans (p2)

Weak verbs derived the same forms with the help of dental suffix d. It’s phonetic variants were /t/, /d/, /Ɵ/

// OE styrian – styrede – styredon – styred (ModE stir – шевелить)

Preterit-present verbs used vowel gradation to derive the forms of the present tense while their form of the preterit was build with the help of the dental suffix. 

// OE wītan (inf) - wāt (pres sg) – wĭton (pres pl)  – wiste (pret sg) – wiston (pret pl) - ʓewiten (P2) знать

Germanic alphabets

Through the history of their development GLs used 3 diff-nt alphabets, which partly succeeded each other in time. 

Runic alphabet.

 Letters – runes. It is supposed that the runic ABC is based on the Latin or some other Italic alphabet, close to Latin in writing. But the material and technique of writing used by Germanic tribes used in their early times caused considerable modifications of Latin in the Runic ABC.

Runes        Latin





It is supposes that the Runic ABC originated in the 2-3 AD on the banks of the Rhine or the Danuble were Germanic tribes could come into contact with Roman culture

Since the Runic ABC was used by diff-nt Germanic tribes (Goths, A-Saxons, Scandinavians) it was adapted to the needs of each of these languages. New letters were added into in, some of the original fell out


Ulphila’s Gothic ABC originated in the 4th century. It is based on the Greek ABC but has some Latin and Runic letters. This is the ABC of Ulphila’s gothic translation of the Bible. But in modern editions of Goth text a Latin transcription of the Gothic ABC is used. 

Latin alphabet

It began to be used when a new technique of writing was introduced. That is spreading of color, paint on a surface instead of cutting and engraving the letters. 

Introduction of the Latin ABC was stimulated by the spread of Christianity, as Christian religious texts were written in Latin.

The Latin ABC was also modified to the peculiar needs of the separate GLs.

2. Beginning of English

The A-S Invasion

The history of the EL begins with the invasion of the German tribes in the 4 century AD. At that time the Br. Isles were inhabited by Celts, they spoke celtic and didn’t belong to GLs. Celts – tribal society made up by kins, klans and tribes. They practiced primitive agriculture.

Беда Достопочтенный writes the invasion of german tribes began 449. 3 strong races of Germany: Saxons, angles, jutes. 

Not all relay Bede. Rastorgueva thinks judes were a Frankish tribe, they were Frisians. 

The 1st to come were Judes, or Frisians. South-East of the Isles. Formed the kingdom of Kent. Isle of Wight was also their territory.

The 2d were Saxons. Located on the bank of the Themes and to the South: Wesex, Essex, Sussex. Wessex was the most influential

The last – Angles. Vast territory between the Wash and the Humbar, and to the North of the Humbar: East Anglia, Mercia, Nothambria. Their population called themselves anglekan. This word widened the meaning, denoted an inhabitant of the Br. Isles. “England” originated from this word.

A, S, J intermixed with Celts and blended into a single people. As far as language is concernt, the invaidors prevailed, their linguistic domination was complete.

West German dialects began to be spoken all over Britain, except Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, where celts were in majority.

Being cut off form the related continental GLs the West Germanic dialect spoken by the invader developed into the EL. 

Periods in the history of the EL

Language is a variable social phenomenon. It changes through the time. It is a slow uninterrupted process. Changes are not evenly distributed in time: periods of intensive and vast changes may be followed by the periods of relative stability. Consequently, some changes may effect and even reconstruct the whole gr. type of a language, while others are contributing gradually to the trends existing in a language.

Taking in consideration the state of grammar H. Sweet subdivided the history of the EL into 3 periods:

the period of full endings


the period of leveled endings


the period of lost endings


However, being a soc. phenomenon, serving for communication, language in its development is effected not only by its inner laws and principles, but by the changes in the society, by social life of the language community. History of the language can’t and mustn’t be separated from the history of the country, people. 

RUS scholars take into consideration both extralinguistic and intralinguistic aspects. Ильиш the boundaries are attached to the dates of history

OE period (5 – 11 cent.)

germ. settlement of A, S, J. – 4 AD. or with the beginning of writing in the 7th century. Ends with the Norman conquest 1066


Norman conquest – end of the was of Roses in the end of the 14th century. 15th century introduction of a printed book.

2.a EMidE 12-13

2.b.LMidE 14-15

ModE 15 – nowardays

EModE 1500-1700

LModE since 1700

some modern linguists distinguish Present day E., influenced by AE

The EModE was a time of great historical importance

OE dialects and writings

At its earliest stage ENG was represented by a number of disunited dialects. 

With the growth of the feudal system tribal dialects → local, regional dialects

During the OE period there were 4 main dialects

Nothambrian – spoken by Angles living north of Humba

Marcian – spoken by Angles between the Hamba and the Themes

West-Saxon – Saxons south of the Themes

Kentish – Jutes in the South-East of the Br. Isles

Each of the dialects represented by a number of written records

runic texts of the “Ruthwell Cross”, “Frank’s Cuscet”, translations of the gospels, “Bede’s dying song”

translation of the Psalter (9th century), religious hymns

King Alfred’s words (original & translations), A-S Chronicle, Work of Abbat Alfred (10 c.), Sermons of Wolfsten (early 11 c.)

Translation of Psalm (L-XX) and old Charters (хартии)

As to the dialect of the OE poems “Beowolf”, “Genesis”, “Exodus”, “Judith” and poems by the monk Synowolf it is difficult to define their locality (anglian and saxon forms). Ильиш thinks thez were written in the anglian dialect in the period of saxon supremacy. 

West-Saxon dialect in the 9th c. became the dominating literary language.

OE alphabet and pronunciation

OE scribes used Lat ABC but some letters were modified to reflect the peculiarities. Latin enriched by several runes

þ (thorn) was used alongside the crossed ð. 

 (woon) /w/

Some runes were used not as letters but symbols for the words, which were their names 



3. Historical development of the system of English vowels

Origin of the OE vowels

OE vowels made a symmetrical system where short monophthongs were opposed to long ones, and short diphthong were opposed to long diphthongs


OE vowels had regular correspondence in other GLs which can be reflected in the following table


As it is seen from the table, OE shows certain phonological development of its own compared with other GLs. Thus, OE has stān and hām where Gothic has stains (stone) and haims (home).

In prehistoric OE a number of combinative sound changes had taken place after which phonemic and phonetic peculiarity of ENG increased considerably. 

In general the length of OE vowels was their phonemic feature, but in few cases it could develop as a result of positional change of sounds.

the dropping of nasals: m, n were dropped before h, f, s, θ which caused lengthening of the preceeding vowel by compensation

// Goth uns – OE ūs; fimf – fīf

contraction: dropping of /h/ in the intervocal position

// *fohan → fōn; *hohan → hōn

Quite often contraction might produce a long diphthong

// *slahan → *sleahan → sēān; *sehan → *seohan → sēān; *tihan → *teohan →tēōn

nasalisation: narrowing of a vowel before the following nasal, which characteristic of Wers Saxon dialect

// land → lond; mann → monn (also lånd, månn as graphical variants)


But among the OE combinative sound changes there was one with far reaching effects – front mutation, or I-mutation

This  was a series of changes of vowels which took place when there was i, ī, j in the following syllable. i, ī disappeared or changed into e, but it’s original presence can be established by examining the cognate words in other languages. 

It was a kind of assimilation: the effected vowel being moved to the place of articulation nearer to that of the following vowel, either ī or i, or j

It is impossible to state the exact time of I-mutation. Still taking into consideration the fact that no traces of I-mutation could be found in Gothic texts (4th c. AD), but its results were reflected in the earliest OE texts (7 AD). Thus, we may suppose that I-mutation might have taken place in the period between 4-7 centuries. If we take into consideration that the history of the EL begins in the middle of the 5th century, we could restrict the periodasatoion of I-mutation.

The essence of I-mutation is the fronting and narrowing of the root vowel under the influence of i/j in the immediately following syllable. 

Since these sounds are very common in suffixes and word endings, I-mutation was a frequent and a systematic change. It effected the whole system of OE vowels. But for the narrowest ī and ē, both long and short vowels diphthongs and monophthongs were effected by this change. s

Short monophtongs

a→æ→e    //*taljan→tæljan→tellan

o→oe→e    //*ofstian→efstan (спешить)

u→y         //*fuljan→fyllan (наполнять)

Long monophthongs

ā → æ2        //*lārian → lǣrian (учить)

ō → oe: → ē        //*fōri → foet → fēt (нога)

ū → ÿ             //*ontūnjan → ontÿnan (открывать)

Short diphthongs

ea → ia         //*hleahian → hliehhan (смеяться)

eo → ie        //*heordija → hierde (пастух)

Long diphthongs

ea: → ie:        //*ʒelēāfian → ʒeliefan (верить)

io → ie:        //*ʒetreowe → ʒetriewe (правдивый)

As it can be seen from certain examples, under certain conditions I-mutation effected not only the root vowel, but the following consonant too.

If the root vowel was short,  the following consonant was doubled.

//*cnusian → cnyssan (толкать)

// *framian → fremman 


the root vowel was long

it was followed by a cluster of consonants

it was followed by a r. In this case i was preserved too.

// Goth dōmjan -  OE dēman (судить)

// Goth sandjan – OE sendan (посылать)

// Goth ga-sturian – OE styrian (шевелиться)

In general, I-mutation enriched the system of OE vowels, /y/ and /ÿ. being new phonemes in it. As to /oe/, /oe:/, they turned to be very unstable and soon merged with /e/ and /e:/ respectively. 

Short diphthongs and their phonemic status

OE long diphthongs /eo:/, /ea:/ had a proto-germanic source and regular correspondences in other Germanic languages. 

While the short diphthongs /eo/, /ea/ are of the ENG origin, they appeared as a result of positional changes of vowels.

There were 3 essential sources of short diphthongs in OE

1. OE breaking

eeo или æea 

IF 1) followed by r, l, h + consonant

or 2) h in the final position

//*ærm – earm (рука); *æhta → eahta (восемь); æld → eald (старый)

The OE breaking was a phonemic change, characteristic of the W-Saxon dialect while in the Anglean dialects (Mercian and Nothambrian) cases of it were rare.

Consequently in many W-S words containing a short diphthong Anglean dialects had a short monophthong in the same words.

WS        Merc

eachte    æhte

eald        ald (старый)

seoh        seh (увидел)

2. Palatal diphthongization

The diphthongization is caused by the preceding consonant

After /k/, /sk/, /Ɣ/

eie        // ʒefan → ʒiefan (давать)

æea    // *ʒæf → ʒeaf (дал)

aea    // *scacan → sceaco



NB// The consonants /k’/ and /Ɣ’/ influenced only the front vowels, while the cluster /sk’/ effected also back vowels /o/, /a/.

Like OE Breaking, this change was characteristic of the WS dialect, while in the Anglean dialects, as a rule, the same words had monophthongs

WS         Merc

ʒiefan        ʒefan (давать)

ceaster    cæster (замок)

sceal        scæl (должен)

scield        sceld (щит)


3. Back mutation=Velar mutation

The essence of back mutation: the articulation of the back vowel is anticipated in the preceeding front vowel which accordingly develops into a diphthong.

Influence of back /a/, /o/, /u

front vowels break into a diphthong:




Unlike the OE breaking and palatal diphthongizatioin back mutation was more popular in the Anglean dialects than in the WS


Аллофоны или самостоятельные фонемы?

The OE short diphthongs /ea/, /eo/, /io/ appeared in the language as a result of positional changes of vowels. 

This caused linguistic discussion about their phonemic status. American descriptors consider them allophones of short monophtongs from which they had developed /a/>/ea/, /e/>/eo/, /i/>/io/.

Majority of RUS scholars treat them as phonemic counter parts of corresponding long diphthongs that are independent phonemes. The argument in favor of this point of view is put forward by Irina Ivanova.

Во-первых, allophones are usually restricted. The variety of contexts in which OE short diphthongs occurred was considerable. They could be found before the clusters of which the 1st was a sonorant, after palatal consonants, in the syllables preceding velar vowels. 

Во-вторых, OE short diphthongs as opposed to short diphthongs served as means of meaning differentiation

ærn (дом)        earn (орел)

bern (амбар)        beorn (герой)

fer (поездка)        feorr (удаленный)

В-третьих, allophones as a rule are not reflected in spelling, since speakers do not identify them as specific sounds, while OE short diphthongs were reflected regulary in the earliest OE written records. 


The conclusion. OE short diphthongs represented independent phonemes but not allophones of short vowel. As counter part of the corresponding long diphthongs they conformed the leading principle of the OE vocalic system based on the symmetry of short and long phonemes. After the series of combinative changes described above the OE vowel system developed a number of peculiar phonological features as compared with the other Germanic languages. 


4. Vowel changes during the MidE period

MidE dialects

During the MidE period the whole system of OE vowel suffered considerable changes, either quantitative or qualitative. Quite often these changes had dialectal peculiarities and to reflect them it is necessary to describe the subdivision of the MidE dialects.

In MidE OE dialects regrouped in accordance with the geographical principle. There were the following essential groups

The Northern dialect 

It had developed from the OE Northumbrian dialects; in MidE they also comprised the dialects of Yorkshire and Lancashire.

The Midland (Central) dialects

It had developed from the OE Mercian dialect; in MidE this group was represented by two main areas – West Midland and East Midland

The Southern dialects

They comprised the OE Kentish, WS and East Saxon dialects. The latter was not significant in OE but became more important in EMidE since it made part of the London dialect, which during MidE gradually established its priority over other dialects. 

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Lec 6. History of consonant changes in OE period

The system of OE consonants

In the history of the EL consonants turned out to be far more stable than vowels and some of them remained unchanged through the whole period of their existence 

// hand, call, foam

OE consonants can be described on the following grounds

place of articulation

labial /p, b, m, f, v/

dental /t, d, þ, ð, n, s, r, l/

media-lingual /k’, g’, Ɣ’, x’/

back-lingual (velar) /k, g, x, Ɣ/

pharyngeal /h/

the manner of articulation

stops /p, b, t, d, k, g, k’…./

fricatives /f, v, θ, ð, s, z, x, x’, Ɣ’, Ɣ…/


voiced /b, d, g, ð, v, z…/

voiceless /p, t, k, θ, f, s…/


short (single) consonants /s, t, f, g…/

long consonants (geminates) /ss, ff, tt, gg/


In the system of stops voiced consonants are opposed to the voiceless ones, which means that voice made a phonemic feature of stops: p-b, t-d, k-g etc.

In the system of fricatives voiced and voiceless consonants were in the relations of complementary distribution, that is in allophonic relations

System of geminates is a peculiar feature of OE consonants. Doubled cons-ts vere opposed in the length to the single cons-ts.

Among stops there existed both voiced and voiceless geminates while among fricatives only voiceless geminates were resisted. 

Being opposed to single cons-ts geminates participated in meaning distinguishing which proves their phonemic status in OE

// scota – шотландец, scotta – человек

The main sourse of geminates in OE was I-mutation. 

ссылка // Under certain conditions I-mutation effected not only the root vowel, but the following consonant too. If the root vowel was short,  the following consonant was doubled.

//*cnusian → cnyssan (толкать)

// *framian → fremman 


the root vowel was long

it was followed by a cluster of consonants

it was followed by a r. In this case i was preserved too.

However geminates turned out to be rather unstable. Having appeared at the beginning of the OE period, they disintegrated at the end of it. In ModE doubling of cons-ts doesn’t indicate length of a sound. It’s rather a graphical device used to denot shortness of the preceding vowel (potter, kiss)

In OE there also was an opposition of palatal conts-ts to non-palatal ones: /k/ - /k’/; /g/ - /g’/; /x/ - /x’/; /Ɣ/ - /Ɣ’/ which disintegrated during the MidE period.

Values of consonant letters in OE

In the majority of cases each of OE cons-nt letters represented a single phoneme, but a few of them had two or even more readings

Letter C stood for /k’/ before front vowels (cild, cæt); and for /k/ in all other positions (cnāwan)

Letter ʒ stood for

a) /Ɣ’/ before or after a front vowel

b) /Ɣ/ after r or between back vowels (sorʒian, draʒan)

c) for /g/ in other positions (gān, sinʒan)

Letters þ and ð indicated both /ð/ and /θ/

Letters f, s, þ, ð in the intervocal position all indicated the corresponding fricatives /v, z, ð/ In the initial or final position they all stood for corresponding unvoiced fricatives /f, s, θ/

// lufian, cēōsan, cweðan; þis, pāp, fif

Consonant changes in the OE period

Verner’s Law 

One of the earliest consonant changes effected the voiceless fricatives /f/, /θ/, /s/, /Ɣ/. Their development is summarized in Verner’s Law.

 Verners Law: unstressed vowel+voiceless stop voiceless fricative voiced fricative  voiced stop

/t/ → /þ/ → /ð/ → /d/ 

//in the Gr word patěr the voiceless stop /t/ was preceded by an unstressed root vowel. Under these conditions the voiceless fricative /þ/ which had developed from it in accordance with the 1st consonant shift became a voiced fricative /ð/ and finally it developed into the voiced stop /d/, i.e. Lat patěr→ OE fæder

/k/ → /h/ → /ɣ/ → /g/ 

Besides under Verner’s Low – the rotacism. In West- and North-Germanic Languages /s/ → /z/ → /r/ 

Goth hausjan – OE hӯran – Germ hören

In the word-changing paradigm of notional PofS certain forms might bear the results of Verner’s Law, while others had none. 

// wesan (быть) → wæs (был) → wæron (были)

// weorþan (становиться)  → wearþ (стал) → wurdon (стали) → worden (превращенный)

The consonant pairs involved in grammatical alternation were f/b, þ/d, h/g, hw/w, s/r.

West-Germanic lengthening of consonants

This change accompanied the process of i-mutation mostly of a root vowel. If the root vowel was short,  the following consonant was doubled.

//*cnusian → cnyssan (толкать)

// *framian → fremman 


the root vowel was long

it was followed by a cluster of consonants

it was followed by a r. In this case i was preserved too.

// Goth dōmjan -  OE dēman (судить)

// Goth sandjan – OE sendan (посылать)

// Goth ga-sturian – OE styrian (шевелиться)

Dissimilation of a cluster of stops

It can be traced in the following types of clusters

a labial stop + a dental stop: p,b + t,d → ft

// ʒesceapt → ʒesceaft (творение)

a back lingual + a dental stop: k,g + t,d → ht

// *sōcte → sōhte (искал)

a dental stop + a dental stop

// *witde → wiste, wisse (знал)

Dropping of a nasal consonant (m, n) before a fricative

which caused lengthening of the preceding vowel by compensation

Goth:    tunþus – OE toþ (зуб)

    munþus – OE muþ (рот)


In general consonant changes of the OE period didn’t result in the development of new phonemes. They simply show a marked tendency for the sounds of one and the same word to assimilate and merge into closer units.


Consonant changes in the MidE period

Change in the phonemic status of fricatives

In OE voiced and voiceless fricatives were in the relation of complementary distribution: voiced fricatives /v/, /s/, /ð/ were to be found in the intervocal position, while voiceless were to be met in the initial or final position


// /fyrst/ first - /li:f/ live - /lu:vian/ love

// /θis/ this - /pa:θ/ path - /kweðan/ to say

// /seon/ to see - /kea:s/ he chose - /keozan/ to chese

The fact that quality of fricatives (voiced or voiceless) depended on their position proves their allophonic status in OE: <f – v>, <s – z>, <θ – ð>

However the state of matters changed in MidE and several important factors contributed to it. Among them is disintegration of the system of geminates at the end of the OE period. After that doubled consonants though retained in spelling came to denote short voiceless fricatives /f/, /s/, /θ/; as a result in MidE voiceless fricatives began to be found in the intervocal position, which was impossible in OE

// OE /skeθθan/ → MidE /skeoθǝn/ вредить

On the other hand in MidE after the reduction of unstressed endings voiced fricatives began to occur in the final position.

// OE /ri:zǝn/ → EMidE /’ri:zǝn/ → LMidE /ri:z/ (подниматься)

// OE /seðan/ → EMidE /seðǝn/ → LMidE /seð/ кипеть

Loaned words, mainly Fr., served as the source of voiced fricatives in the initial position

// wale, vogue, zeal, zone etc

As a result of all these changes the strict positional distribution of voiced and voiceless fricatives was destroyed. Both kinds of fricatives could now be found in the initial, final or intervocal position. That meant that each fricative became a phoneme. /f/, /v/, /s/, /z/, /θ/, /ð/

This change didn’t result in the development of new consonant sounds, but it transformed the status of those already existing ones from allophones to phonemes.

Transformation of palatal consonants

OE palatal stops /k’/, /g’g’ and /sk’/ changed their pronounciation in MidE

/k’/ → /ʧ/ OE cild → MidE child, tæc(e)an → techen

/g’g’/ → /ʤ/ OE ecʒe → MidE edge, brycʒe → bridʒe

/sk’/ → /ʃ/ OE sceal → MidE shal, scēap → sheep

All the 3 consonants were new phonemes in the languange. The sound /ʃ/ enriched the group of fricatives,/ʧ/, /ʤ/ made a new consonant type – affricates.

Linguists are not unanimous in dating this change. Iljish – MidE, Ivanova&Rastorgueva – back in the very end of the OE period. The 2nd viewpoint seems to be more convincing. The change reflected regularly in the earliest MidE texts, the change itself took place earlier.

Vocalization of fricatives

Here such pairs as /x/ - /x’/, /Ɣ/ - /Ɣ’/ were affected. After their vocalization during the MidE period the system of consonant was reduced by four sounds. 

New phoneme /ŋ/

Appeared at the end of the 15th century. Developed form the OE combination of n + velar stop /g/.

// OE /bringan/ - LMidE /briŋ/, /singan/ - /siŋ/

Simplification of the cluster of consonants


Dropping of /l/ before /ʧ/

//OE /ælc/ → EMidE  elch → LMidE ech ‘each’

// smylc → swulch → such ‘such’

Dropping of /v/ before /d/

// OE hæfde → EMidE havde → LMidE had(e) > had

Voicing of /s/>/z/, /f/>/v/ in the southern dialects

Midland sēn – South zēn (‘seen’)


In general consonant changes of the MidE period were of a phonemic character since they resulted either in the development of new phonemes or their disappearance.

Thus, OE v-f, ð-θ all got in MIdE the status of separate phonemes.

 Besides such new phones as /ʧ/, /ʤ/, /ʃ/ and the phoneme /ŋ/ enriched the system of MidE consonants. 

Vocalization of fricatives was a reverse. After two pairs x-x’ and Ɣ-Ɣ’ had disappeared.

Simplifying changes of consonants moved MidE words nearer to their modern shape.


Lec 7. Consonant changes in the EModE period

Fusing of clusters having /j/

In the EModE period there took place a change after which the phoneme /ʃ/ got its voiced counter part /ʒ/. This change is associated primarily with the phonetic assimilation of loaned words, mainly French. The process of their assimilation was accomplished by the shift of the stress from the fianal (or the last but one syllable) onto the root syllable, usually the initial one. The final syllable which thus became unstressed and weakened suffered phonetical changes. The vowels in it were reduced or dropped. And the consonant clusters tended to fuse into a single sound. 

Such combinations as 

/sj/ → /ʃ/ ancient

/tj/ → /ʧ/ nature, question, fortune

/zj/ → /ʒ/ measure, leisure, pleasure

/dj/ → /ʤ/ soldier

These changes occurred if they followed a stress vowel. If they preceded in NO fusion took slace.

// sude /sjud/, dute /djut/, mature /matjure/.

Only sure & sugar made the exception from the rule.

In a few words 2 pronunciations may be heard. issue /issju/ = /iʃju/. According to Ильиш the 2dnd variant was influenced by the spelling of these words.

As a result of this change the EL got a new phoneme /ʒ/ while the other 3 /ʧ/, /ʤ/, /ʃ/ had existed since the end of the LOE period. But now their positional occurrence widened.

As for /ʒ/ it’s occurrence on the contrary is rather limited. The most typical position of this sound – is the intervocal one // pleasure, measure// or a vowel and the following /n/ // illusion, collision//. Its initial and final positions are to be found only in loan words (genre, jalousie, beige).

Vocolization of “R”


Voicing of consonants

Systematic change. The sounds /s/, /f/, /θ/, /ʧ/ and the cluster /ks/ were affected by it in the following way

s → z         MidE /was/ - EModE /woz/ was

f → v        /ǝf/ - /ǝv/ of

θ → ð        /θis/ - /ðis/ this

ʧ → dʒ     /know’leʧ/ - /’noliʤ/ knowledge

ks → gz    /eksi’biʃn/ - / ig’zibit/ exhibit

Though the conditions for the voicing have not yet been fully clarified, the general tendency seem to have benn an unstressed precedeing vowel, due to which

Fr. ak’tif – Eng ‘active

cap’tif – Eng ‘captive

Voicing affected also a number of English function words which are not stressed in speech: is, was, the, of, that. 

In Mod E ‘of’ and ‘off’ are etymological doublets. The preposition due to its character suffered voicing of the fricative /ov/ while the corresponding post positive is stressed. So it has retained its voiced fricative /of/. In order to distinguish these 2 different words the letter ‘f’ began to be doubled in the post-positive ‘off’. 

Usually the voicing was reflected in spelling. (active, caplive, knowledge). But there are also cases when it wasn’t reflected in spelling (sandwich, Greenwich, ostriches /ʤ/). 

No voicing took place if a consonant was preceded by a stressed vowel and even a weakened secondary stress could prevent it (anxious). Besides there are some cases when voicing didn’t occur though the conditions seemed to be quite favorable. Beside, research the preceding vowel is not stressed by /s/ didn’t change into /z/. Иванова s was retained under the influence of such cognite words as side and search, which are monosyllable and stressed. So no voicing could possibly take place here. 

As for the word disobey, displease here dis- is identified as a distinct morpheme tat can be even weakly stressed which may have prevented the voicing. 

Simplification of consonant clusters

Among minor consonant changes in the EModE period. Simplification of consonant clusters. 

kn, gn lost their velar sounds k/g which however were retained in spelling in: know, knee, knight, gnat, gnaw

hw after the grafic metatheses could lose either of its two sounds

// when, why, what, where, which

// who, whos, whom

wr lost the initial sound //wreck, write, wrong

mn the second nasal sound was dropped .//column, autumn

mb the second sound dropped by retained in spelling //lamb, climb. After this simplification the final mute b began to be added to the words in which it had never been spelled or pronounced before

OE cruma – EModE crumb (крошка)

OE liomu – EModE limb (член, конечность)

stl, ftn the sound /t/ was dropped //castle, often, listen

lf, lk, lm, lv several bi-phonemic chlusters with l as there first sound were also simplified after the loss of l. In spelling l is preserved //calf, folk, halves

As a rule simplification of consonant cluster were not reflected in spelling which contributed difficulty to ENG spelling and pronunciation. 


Lec 9. Historical Morphology of English – Substantive

Substantive in OE

OE substantives had 3 gr-al cat-ry: gender, number, case. 

Gender is a lexico-grammatical cat-ry. Case and number were purely gr-al cat-ries because in OE substantives were inflected for number and case. Sg and pl. 4 cases. As for the 5th Instrumental/oblitive case which can be found with the OE pronouns or adj-vs it is not recognized with substantives, though Ильиш thinks that in coincided with Dative. We stick to the 4-case theory.

In prehistoric times in GLs there were 3 structural parts of a noun: root, stem suffix and the inflection ending. The part of the word comprising the root and the stem suffix is called stem. In prehistoric times there existed the following stems

a-stem (ja, wa variants) – m, n 

ō-stem (jo, wo variants) – f

i-stem – all 3 

u-stem – m, f

n-stem – all 3

r-stem – m,f

es-stem – n

A special type was so-called root-stem, which formed some cases not by an inflectional ending but by change of the root vowel due to mutation. 

This was the state of matters in the Prehistoric German Language


By the time of the EOE writings the stem-suffixes merged with the endings. But these types of declension are identified for the OE period as well. 

In OE strong declension – vocalic stems: a-stem, i-stem, o-sem, u-stem

weak declension – n-stem, root stems


















Root-stem words have the same endings.


Other type of consonant stem declension em-stem and r-stem are represented in OE by few case r-stem. There are few m and f words denoting relationship: faþer, mōþer, brōþer, sweaster. Dative sg. of these nouns usually has mutation.


Also relicts of s/r-stem can be found in OE. Nouns of this stem regularly show in all cases of the pl form the element r. This r comes from IE stem building suffix -es- due to rotasism.

N    lamb        lambru

G    lambes    lambra

D    lambe        lambrum

A     lamb        lambru

// kyld belonged to the pl form of which was kyldru. This r is preserved in ModE


Root-stems never had any stem-forming suffixes. So the case endings were added onto the root. In OE there is a number of nouns of all 3 genders.


Already the earliest patterns show the tendency to simplification of the OE system of declension. 

In no type of declension all the 4 cases are characterized by 4 distinct endings. Usually N & A coincide. Or all cases coincide, except for the Nom, like in o-stem sg. In the pl it is usually the Dat which has a peculiar inflection um while other inflections may coincide (in u-stem, o-stem)

There are also endings incommon for various types of declinasion. Thus, um for Dat. pl. can be found in all types of declinasion. Also a ending for the “Gen pl is quite common

I-stem was very unstable and was involved into o-stem and a-stem types of declinasion.

In general these are all features of future unification of the system of declension of nouns in ENG.

 Substantive in MidE

The historical changes in the grammatical structure of the EL form the OE to the present time is less sticking than the changing in the sound. 

Since the OE period the very grammatical structure of the language changed. English developed into an analytical language with analytical means of word connection prevailing over the synthetic ones.

In the noun the simplifying changes began already during the OE period and were intensified in EMidE. The changes of the 12-13 transformed the entire noun system.

12-13 centuries                14 century

N, Acc sg    stōn        nama        N, Acc sg    stōn        name

G. sg        stōnes        namen    Gen sg    stōnes        names

D.sg        stōne        namen    N, Acc pl    stōnes        names

N. Acc pl    stōnes        namen

G. pl        stone        namen

Dat pl        stones        namen

1) The main possibility of this simplification lay in the phonetic process of reduction of final unstressed endings which at 1st unified the neutral /ǝ/. It caused the development of a great number of homonymous forms. By the end of the MidE this neutral sound had been dropped and disappeared from pronunciation. 

In EMidE 2 types of declension still could be distinguished: strong vowel and weak with n-stem nouns.

In the MidE period the noun lost its grammatical cat-ry of gender after the difference of various types of declension had been lost. In MidE adj-vs and pronouns showed the gender having lost their forms of agreement. So the gender of nouns was devoted to its main formal support

The number of cases was reduced from 4 → 2 in MidE. In the LMidE period Dat lost –e ending and combined with former N, Acc and together formed the common case. Only the Gen case was kept distinctly. 

In MidE the most influential types of declension attracted the other types. In Northern and Midland dialects the most frequent endings were of the former a-stem. Nouns coming form the OE root-stem such as bōc, knytecū also joined in MidE a-stem nouns.

n-stem nouns were more stable in the South but later they were replaced by a-stem forms.

In ModE the noun ox-oxen retained n-stem declension. The noun child-children which in OE belonged to s-stem in MidE joined n-stem nouns.

In MidE there could be found such forms as eye-eyen, toe-ton, foe-fon, eare-earen but today they are regulated by a-stem declension.

By the end of the MidE only 2 cases in sg and 1 in pl are distinguished. 

Теории, почему падежей стало меньше – сами или скандинавы?

Esperson – a result of foreign influence, of Scandinavian dialects. The roots bearing the same meaning had the same endings. He was right only in marking the symmilarity of the great number of nouns in ENG and the Scandinavian languages.

Иванова rejects. The reduction of endings under foreign influence would have taken place only in the North, where Scandinavian invaders settled. While in reality it had effected all the dialects.

Our own explanation is that this rapid distraction of the case system in the MidE was prepared by the existence of ambiguous (двусмысленные) forms in OE already. In OE prepositions were used to specify meaning of this or that case, esp. the Dat. case. In MidE when inflections were reduced the system of prepositions was ready to express the same relations. Later word order began to work as an additional factor. So Ivanova explains the distraction of the case system by inner linguistic factors mainly.


In the 16th century when neutral –e in the final position is supposed to have been reduced there were put forward 2 possible explanations of what the denoted. First of all it could be used as a syple of disappearing neutral /ǝ/. Another explanation is connected with the OE construction of the type Arthur his men which was equally in meaning with Arthur’s men. In a fluent speech the initial part of the possessive pronoun his could be weakened. 

// the general his departure → the general’s departure. 

Here the could be used to denote the missing part of the possessive pronoun. 

It sould be said that ‘ came to be convenient device to distinguish such oral homonymous forms as 

// brother’s book and brothers’ book

Since 18th century it is used officially to distinguish these forms.


1.Идеология как социальный феномен, её сущность. Содержание идеологииСоциально-исторической системой представлений о мире стала идеология как система рационально- логического обоснования поведения людей, их ценностей, норм взаимоотношений, целей и т.д. Идеология как явление во многом сходна с религией и с наукой. От науки она восприняла доказательность и логичность своих постулатов, но, в отличие от науки, идеология призвана давать оценку явлениям действительности (что хорошо, что...

Политология. Универсальная шпаргалка

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1. Место политологии среди гуманитарных наук

Политология развивается в тесном взаимодействии с другими гуманитарными науками. Их всех объединяет общий объект исследования — жизнь общества во всем многообразии ее конкретных проявлений.

Сегодня невозможно изучать сложные политические процессы, не учитывая взаимодействие общественных (гуманитарных) наук.

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Математические формулы. Шпаргалка для ЕГЭ с математики

Формулы сокращенного умножения

(а+b)2 = a2 + 2ab + b2

(а-b)2 = a2 – 2ab + b2

a2 – b2 = (a-b)(a+b)

a3 – b3 = (a-b)( a2 + ab + b2)

a3 + b3 = (a+b)( a2 – ab + b2)

(a + b)3 = a3 + 3a2b+ 3ab2+ b3

(a – b)3 = a3 – 3a2b+ 3ab2- b3

Свойства степеней

a0 = 1 (a≠0)

am/n = (a≥0, n ε N, m ε N)

a- r = 1/ a r (a>0, r ε Q)


Русский язык и культура речи

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Характеризуя язык как систему, необходимо определить, из каких элементов он состоит. В большинстве языков мира выделяются следующие единицы: фонема (звук), морфема, слово, словосочетание и предложение. Единицы языка неоднородны по своему строению: простые (фонемы) и сложные (словосочетания, предложения). При этом более сложные единицы всегда состоят из более простых.

Самая простая единица языка – это фонема, неделимая и сама по себе...