Hist-English-lnks – 1/11/06
A set of web links to information on the history of the English language and its development by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon. Includes also some links for Old Icelandic and Old Scotts.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
From: aoife at scatoday.net
Subject: [Aoife-Links] Links: From Whence our English language hails
Date: October 29, 2004 7:49:54 AM CDT
To: aoife-links at scatoday.net
Greetings, my Faithful Readers!
This edition of the Links list was the brainchild of Iustinos Tekton (Called
Justin), publisher of SCAtoday. He sent me a post by someone named Jen on
the SCA-Bards list (the topic was alliteration), and a Links List was born.
In fact, the first few links are Jen's, so Jen, wherever you are, THANKS!
Please enjoy this list on the origins of the Modern English Language (which
is really a Germanic Language at it's roots). If English word history isn't
your bag, however, scroll down to the end where you will find dictionaries
for both Old Icelandic and Old Scotts.
As always, please feel free to forward this list wherever it will find
interest, but please remove my email address first. I have put my address
below in a sort of non-readable format for those machines that crawl
webmessages looking for valid addresses. On this new address I have already
received my first virus disguised as a bounced message---so let's try to
keep a good thing going and NOT spread germs :)
aoife at scatoday dot net
Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon
Canton of Riverouge
Barony of the Endless Hills
Kingdom of Aethelmearc
A TABLE ALPHABETICAL (1604)
an old-spelling edition of STC 4884 (An Early Dictionary)
(Site Excerpt) Robert Cawdrey's Table Alphabeticall, first printed in 1604,
is generally regarded to be the first fully developed representative of the
monolingual dictionary in English. For each of the 2543 headwords contained
in its first edition, Cawdrey provided a concise definition -- the standard
entry rarely exceeded more than a few words, usually synonyms -- and he
marked those words thought to be of French or Greek origin; in some cases,
he also marked those words which were a "kind of" a larger group.
Bartleby.com: Changes in the Language to the Days of Chaucer. 11. Words
adopted from French.
(Site Excerpt) In the Peterborough Chronicle written about 1154, the French
words amount to nearly a score. Their character is significant. They include
emperice empress, cuntesse countess (of Anjou), curt court (king Henry II
"held mycel curt" at London in 1154), dubbian to dub a knight, prison,
privilege, rente, tenserie (the name of an impost). We are told that king
Henry II "dide god iustice and makede pais (peace)."
Word Origins: A (Very) Brief History of the English Language
(Site Excerpt--and a note that we shouldn't forget "fadir" in Old Norse :)
The influence of the original Indo-European language, designated
proto-Indo-European, can be seen today, even though no written record of it
exists. The word for father, for example, is vater in German, pater in
Latin, and pitr in Sanskrit. These words are all cognates, similar words in
different languages that share the same root.
Martha Barnette's Funwords (the origin of words--note the link is to the
alphabetical list of word and their origins)
(Site Excerpt) accismus (ak-SIZZ-muss) The pretended refusal of something
that is actually desired very much. Experts in the art of rhetoric use
accismus to refer to a statement that feigns disinterest. There's a famous
instance of accismus early in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," when Caesar
gives the impression that he's reluctant to accept the crown. A more
everyday example might be: "Why no, I couldn't possibly have that last bite
of your fallen chocolate souffle with hot fudge sauce." It's from the Greek
akkismos, which means "coyness," or "affectation." "Really now, Gerald,
your accismus is hardly persuasive."
Old English at the University of Virginia
See Escespially the practice sentences link (with sound files) at:
(Site Excerpt) This site contains resources for students of Old English at
the University of Virginia and elsewhere, including texts and exercises,
information about Introduction to Old English, the new textbook by the
creator of this web site (with a link to the free on-line version), and
links to a selection of on-line resources. Students everywhere are invited
to make free use of these pages.
Georgetown University: Old English
(Site Excerpt) An index to electronic editions of Old English texts,
translations, and images of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts available on the Web.
AWRITAN ON ENGLISC (SUNY Rochester)
An e-list for composition in Old English.
Roots of English An Etymological Dictionary by Prof. Eugene Cotter, Seton
(Site Excerpt) Roots of English is a free software package developed by Dr.
at Seton Hall University. The software was created using Asymetrix's
Toolbook, but it is self-contained and packages as a simple, standard
Windows Installation program for the PC. (sorry, no Mac version).
The software will help you find the Greek and Latin roots of thousands
of words in the English language, and the hypertext links make it fast
and easy to use. The Dictionary also contains background on the history
of English and details on the sources of individual words.
The Forest of Rhetoric
(Site Excerpt) This online rhetoric, provided by Dr. Gideon Burton of
Brigham Young University, is a guide to the terms of classical and
renaissance rhetoric. Sometimes it is difficult to see the forest (the big
picture) of rhetoric because of the trees (the hundreds of Greek and Latin
terms naming figures of speech, etc.) within rhetoric.
English 419 (History of English)
(Site Excerpt) Old English (OE) is the general term linguists apply to the
Germanic language spoken by the Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of Britain from
roughly the time they conquered the island in the fifth century to the time
they were themselves conquered (by the French-speaking Normans) in the
eleventh century. As with all languages which are no longer spoken, Old
English is known only from written sources and from what we are able to
deduce about it from other languages, both related tongues like Old High
German (OHG), Old Norse (ON), and Gothic (Go), and more recent descendants,
such as Middle English (ME) and Modern English (ModE). Old English is
usually taught as a foreign language nowadays; it is different enough from
the language we speak to be completely unintelligible, most of the time.
Old English Riddles
by Prof. Andrew Orchard
Some resources for the class (alas, no riddles!)
Instant Old English--a phrasebook
(Site Excerpt) Ic grete þe.[I greet you (sing.).]
Ic þe þancas doThank you [I give you (sing.) thanks]
Old English in Context
(Site Excerpt) Hw¾t! This is the first word of Beowulf, where translators
render it variously as Lo, Listen, Hear me, and Yes. There is in fact no
translation equivalent in Modern English, and using a dictionary isn't much
help. To understand this word, you must see how it is used in a number of
contexts: i.e., in Old English texts. It is the premise of the present book
that all words in another language ought to be learned in context, and that
they can be learned in this way.
The Dictionary of Old English
Centre for Medieval Studies
University of Toronto
(Site Excerpt--Word of the Week--note there is a link to download a font
that is old-english compatible) geomor-frod ---sad in (one's) old age, sad
A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue
from the twelfth century to the end of the seventeenth
(Site Excerpt) The Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) is a
comprehensive dictionary of Older Scots, the language of Lowland Scotland
from the early Middle Ages to the seventeenth century. It was inspired by
Sir William Craigie who was its first editor. From 1955 to 1983 his work was
continued and greatly expanded by Professor A.J.Aitken as Senior Editor and
from 1983 to 1985 by Dr J.A.C.Stevenson. Together with the Scottish National
Dictionary, whose period of coverage is 1700 to the present day, DOST
completes the record of Scots from its beginnings to modern times. It is
based on upwards of 1,000,000 quotations excerpted by 80 volunteers from
more than 2000 printed and manuscript sources.
A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic (1910, 551 pp), by Geir T. Zo‘ga
This site is an electrnic image index of Old Icelandic Words, from an
original publication (print). CLicking on a letter takes you to a list of
words. Clicking in a word will take you to an image of the page upon which
the word appears int he publication.
A Register of Written Sources Used by Anglo-Saxon Authors
(Site Excerpt) Fontes Anglo-Saxonici: A Register of Written Sources Used by
Authors in Anglo-Saxon England is intended to identify all written sources
which were incorporated, quoted, translated or adapted anywhere in English
or Latin texts which were written in Anglo-Saxon England (i.e. England to
1066), or by Anglo-Saxons in other countries.
Anonymous Old English Homilies: A Preliminary Bibliography of Source
Studies, Richard Rawlinson Center for Anglo-Saxon Studies and Manuscript
Research, Medieval Institute
Western Michigan University
(Site Excerpt) This monograph is the first in a series of bibliographies to
be prepared as part of the Fontes Anglo-Saxonici project. The primary
purpose of the series is to aid the compilers of the 'Register of Written
Sources used by Authors in Anglo-Saxon England,' by providing details of
potentially relevant publications already in the public domain.