History of English

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Lecture Classes 1-2: Old English Phonetics
Historical background.
Pre-Germanic Britain. Celts. Branches of Celtic languages.
Germanic settlement in Britain.
Historical events between 5th and 11th centuries.
The linguistic situation in Britain before and after the Germanic settlement. Old English (OE) dialects.
OE written records.
Runic inscriptions
OE manuscripts. OE poetry. OE prose.
OE Alphabet and Pronunciation. Word Stress in OE.
Changes of stressed vowels in Early OE. Development of Monophthongs and Diphthongs in OE. Breaking and Diphthongization.
Palatal Mutation. Changes of Unstressed Vowels in Early OE.
OE Consonants.
Treatment of fricatives. Hardening.
Rhotacism.
Voicing and devoicing.
West Germanic Gemination of Consonants. Velar Consonants in Early OE. Loss of consonants in some positions. Lecture Classes 3-4: Old English grammar.
The Noun in OE
Grammatical categories of the noun. The use of cases.
Morphological classification of nouns. Declensions.
The Pronoun in OE.
Personal pronouns. Declension of personal pronouns.
Demonstrative pronouns. Declension of demonstrative pronouns. Other classes of Pronouns.
The Adjective.
Grammatical categories.
Weak and strong declension.
Degrees of Comparison.
The Verb.
Grammatical categories of the Finite Verb.
Conjugation of Verbs in OE.
Morphological Classification of Verbs. Strong Verbs.
Morphological Classification of Verbs. Weak Verbs. Minor Groups of Verbs. Grammatical categories of the Verbal.
The Infinitive
The Participle
Syntax.
The Simple Sentence
Compound and Complex Sentences
Word Order
Lecture Classes 5-6: Development of the Grammatical System (11th-18th centuries) The Noun
Decay of Noun declensions
Grammatical Categories of the Noun
The Pronoun
Personal and Possessive Pronouns
Demonstrative Pronouns. Development of Articles
Other Classes of Pronouns
The Adjective
Decay of Declensions and Grammatical Categories
Degrees of Comparison
The Verb
Simplifying Changes of the Verb Conjugation
Verbals. The Infinitive and the Participle.
Development of the Gerund.
Changes in the Morphological Classes of Verbs
Strong Verbs
Weak Verbs
Minor groups of Verbs
Growth of New Forms within the Existing Grammatical Categories The Future Tense
New Forms of the Subjunctive Mood
Interrogative and Negatives Forms with do
Development of New Grammatical Categories
Passive Forms. Category of Voice
Perfect Forms. Category of Time-Correlation
Continuous Forms. Category of Aspect

Lecture 1. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH

Pre-Roman Britain

Man lived in what we now call the British Isles long before it broke away from the continent of Europe, long before the great seas covered the land bridge that is now known as the English Channel, that body of water that protected this island for so long, and that by its very nature, was to keep it out of the maelstrom that became medieval Europe. Thus England's peculiar character as an island nation came about through its very isolation. Early man came, settled, farmed and built. His remains tell us much about his lifestyle and his habits. Of course, the land was not then known as England, nor would it be until long after the Romans had departed. We know of the island's early inhabitants from what they left behind on such sites as Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, and Swanscombe in Kent, gravel pits, the exploration of which opened up a whole new way of seeing our ancient ancestors dating back to the lower Paleolithic (early Stone Age). Here were deposited not only fine tools made of flint, including hand-axes, but also a fossilized skull of a young woman as well as bones of elephants, rhinoceroses, cave-bears, lions, horses, deer, giant oxen, wolves and hares. From the remains, we can assume that man lived at the same time as these animals which have long disappeared from the English landscape. So we know that a thriving culture existed around 8,000 years ago in the misty,...
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