Which time span does this grammar intend to cover?[ādihtan fruman]
As far as I understand, the Englisc is covering a fairly long period, from the oldest attested Anglo-Saxon texts and up to the start of the Middle English period. Is this right? If so, the language, including details of the grammar, should be rather varying, not only in the classical different regions (like Northumbrian or Kentish variants), but also over time.
Is this grammar referring to some specific time and region; or is it more a kind of 'consensus grammar'?
Now, I ask mainly since I happen to own a rather old Anglo-Saxon grammar (Angelsächsische Grammatik, Eduard Sievers, dritte Auflage, Halle, 1898); old enough to be free. Sievers often comments on dialectal differences, as well as developments in time. Sievers state that Anglo-Saxon covers "the language of the Germanic inhabitants of England from start to the middle or end of the eleventh century". E.g., there, the 1.p.sg. ind. of dón is given as dó (Wessex) and dóm (Northumberan; Psalms), and it also works with six cases (including vocative and instrumental) in its nominal paradigms. (There are few differences between the dative and the instrumental, except in the strong adjective declination and in the oldest language. However, I think that the vocative without exceptions coincides with the nominative everywhere.) I could possibly copy some of the paradigms to the article; but should I? (I would then also need the Englisc term for the instrumental case.)
Sievers analyses diacronically, and classifies with references to the common comparative germanistics; which makes it much easier to compare with other books written in the same manner (as Norrøn gramatikk by Ragnar Iversen, about Old Norse). Personnaly, I often prefer older books as working more in the way I use to think; more in patterns and deviations from patterns than in terms of enumeration of all variants, forinstance. On the other hand, even if I'm prejudiced, I admit that there may have been some progress within this linguistic field in the last 118 years:-). I'll give an example of the way Sivers explains matters, by translating the entire § 356.
- Originally, the 2. sing. ind. pres. of all verb, as well as the 2. sing. ind. pret. of the weak verbs, ended in -s; thus forms like pres. bindes, démes (cf. Goth. bindis, dômeis) or lócas (cf. Goth. salbôs), pret. neredes, démdes (cf. Goth. nasidês, dômides).
- These forms in -s often prevail almost exclusively in the older sources; later they were replaced with forms in -st.
- Note 1. The forms in -st first were established in the monosyllabic forms of the verba contracta (§ 373 ff.) and in the verba in -mi (§ 427 ff.); thus, already in Corp. an ondést appears. Already in the whole Ps. the -st dominates for these verbis, although they occur rather seldom there. In North. the st' at least are more frequent among the monosyllabic than among the polysyllabic present tense forms. In L and Rit., the pret. moreover shows a greater preference for the -st than the present tense. In R1 has the -st in all cases gained the supremacy.
- Of the southernly dialects, the Kent. clings to the s-forms considerably longer than the Ws. While the -s in e.g. kGl still is frequent, the Cura past. has such almost exclusively int the pret., and even there fairly rarely; thus -st rules everywhere, or -sð by §&nbst;196, 1, as in hǽtst, sihst, eardast besides spriecsð, siehsð, eardasð, etc.
- Note 2. in North. (probably due to the confusion about s and ð in the 3. sg., § 357), sometimes the -ð of the 3. sg. also invades the 2. sg.; thus, forms as the 2. sg. <o>a</o>weceð, wycrað R2, ȝeléfeð, stænað L, ȝiseleð, ȝiléfeð, rícsað Rit. (see § 358, note 2, about the a); thus also once in R1 hæfęþ.
- Note 3. Sometimes, the 2. sg. is merged with the 2. person pronoun, namely, often in the fixed forms wén(e)stu, wénsðu of wénan, to thank.
To repeat, I do not suggest that Sivers's whole grammar be translated into Englisc. I just wanted to give an impression of his style, and of the types of problem you may encounter, if you try to make a really complete grammar. I think it would be senseless to give every variant appearing for each form of each verb or noun; but there may be some sense in informing the reader that forms did vary.
In the paradigms themselves, Sivers mostly present one or sometimes two forms, and relegates further discussion to shorter or longer notes. E.g., his first declination paradigm (for pure -o stems), is given thus. (I omit the comments and notes.)
§ 238. Paradigm for masculina: dóm, for neutra: hof and word:
|Sing.||N. V. A.||dóm||hof||word|
|Pl.||N. V. A.||dómas||hofu, -o||word|
'Lūcend' for Article / Interesting Derivations[ādihtan fruman]
I am interested in how thou made the Old English grammatical terms. I know 'forenama' and 'binama' were original, but I intend to know the origin or method of the others. I suggest, that thou discuss it here.
Also, may I suggest 'lūcend' for 'article'? -Claegtun3 11/3/2018