MIDDLE dischargen, discomforten, enablen,enclosen, NE enlist, nrich, inhuman,
MIDDLE ENGLISH AND NEW ENGLISH VOCABULARY The vocabulary in the ME period shows great instability and constant and rapid changes.
Many words became obsolete; a lot of them reflected the ever-changing life of the speakers and were under the influence of contacts with other nations. 1. Internal means of enriching vocabulary. Internal sources of vocabulary growth became less important in ME. It might have been due to great expansion of foreign words (especially French). Beginning with the 15 century up the 17 c. the role of internal sources became more important though the stream of words from other languages continued.
As before, the word formation fell into two types: word derivation and word composition. Word derivation Under word derivation we mean affixation which could be of two types: suffixation and prefixation. The majority of OE suffixes was still preserved in ME but they were becoming less productive.
The development of prefixes was uneven. In ME many of them fell into disuse ( such as a-, ? e-, to ), in the 15th. And 16th c. the use of native prefixes grew again (such as negative mis-, un- : e. g. ME mislayen- NE mislay; especially with foreign stems e.
g. NE misjudge, mispronounce).Some prefixes developed from OE adverbs and prepositions: – ut >out NE outcome, outlook – ofer>over overload, overlook – under>under underfeed, undermine Early NE prefixes could come from foreign sources, French Latin, Greek. French words with re- came into E: ME redressen, reformen. Since the 16th c. re- was applied as a means of word derivation: regret, refill, readjust reopen, reattack.
Among other borrowed prefixes there were – de-, dis-en/in (im-, il, ir,, non-) of the Franco-Roman origin: ME destructuctive, dischargen, discomforten, enablen,enclosen, NE enlist, nrich, inhuman, non-Germanic. Among OE noun suffixes there were some new items, which had developed from root-morphemes: -dom, had (NE hood) scipe: churchdom, brotherhood, courtship. In Late ME and Early NE there came into use several borrowed suffixes: – the native -estre was replaced by the French ess: goddess, princess, authoress; – -ee: employee, addressee; – -or: collector, refrigerator; – -ist: capitalist, structuralist – -ance / ence: -age, , ment, -ism, tion/sion: Among borrowed adjective suffixes were: – – able / ible: capable, eatable – -ous: tremendous; – -al,ic,ive: economical, atomic,detectiveThe ME language witnessed other means of word differentiation such as sound interchange, word stress and there developed a specifically English way of word derivation – conversion which has developed into a productive way of creating new words. Sound interchange New vowel alterations in the root could arise as a) a result of qualitative changes of vowels in Early ME: wise – wisdom, clean – cleanse, wild – wilder (????????? ? ????, ??????? ? ?????, ????????????),bewildered (?????? ? ?????) wilderness( ????? ?????????, ??????????? ???????) b) as a result of weakening and loss of many suffixes and grammatical endings. If these elements were dropped, sound interchange turned out to be the only means of distinction between some pairs of words: OE ME NE son? – sin? an song – singen song – to sing full – fyllan full – fillen full – to fill talu – tellan tale – tellen tale –to tell In the absence of ending there were cases of consonant interchange: OE ME NE hus – husanhous – housenhouse haus – to house hauz mu? – mu? anmouth – mouthenmouth s –to mouth z Word stressThe weakening and loss of final syllables also caused the growth of role of stress in word-building in ME. The shifting of word-stress was commonly used in derivatives of borrowed words: Early NE: con’fide – ‘confidence, pre’fer – ‘preference, pre’cede – ‘precedence It is in full accordance with OE practice, when verb prefixes were not stressed, while the corresponding nouns took the stress on the first syllable. This distinction was important in words having no other differences: ‘export – to ex’port, ‘conduct – to con’duct, ‘increase – to in’crease Of course it didn’t always happen: neglect n,v; comment n,vConversion Conversion was a new means of word derivation which arose in Late ME and grew into a most productive, specifically English way of creating new words.
The word is transformed into another part of speech with an identical initial form: NE house – to house. The growth of conversion is accounted for by grammatical and lexical changes during the ME period: reduction of endings and suffixes and simplification of the morphological structure of the word. After the loss of endings and suffixes a large number of English verbs and nouns became identical in form: OE ME NE ufu n – lufian vlove n – love(n) vlove n – love v In Late ME this pattern began to be applied by analogy in creating new words, mainly verbs from nouns.
In present-day English conversion has grown into one of the most productive ways of word-building. Their part of speech belonging is determined by their syntactical position. Word composition Many compound words recorded in OE texts went out of use in ME. In ME word compounding was less productive than in OE, but in Early NE its productivity grew (together with other means of word formation. As before, compounding was more characteristic of nouns and adjectives than of verbs.In ME in some compounds, especially nouns, the order of the components resembles that of free groups, e. g.
ME swete metes> NE sweetmeat (‘mete’ the kind of food) also sweetheart. The most productive type of building compound nouns were: N + N: godmother, football, snowdrop Verbal N or Gerund + N: working-day, reading-room, N+N-er: baby-sitter, fortune-teller The most productive type of building compound adjective were: N+A: world-wide, stone-dead N + Part: heart-broken, hand-written Semantic changes in the vocabulary Semantic changes are commonly divided into widening and narrowing of meaning and into metaphoric and metonymic shifts.Sometimes semantic changes are combined with formal changes. Instances of narrowing: OE deer (animal) > NE deer (?????); OE mete ’food’ > NE meat (????) Instances of widening: OE slo? an (a battle cry of Scottish clans) > slogan (??????) OFr.
journee related to ‘jour (‘day’)– a day’s journey > journey (???????????) 2. External means of enriching vocabulary The principal means of enriching vocabulary in ME and NE are not internal, but external – borrowings. Two languages in succession enriched the vocabulary of the English language of the time – the Scandinavian language and the French language. –– Scandinavian borrowings The constant contacts and intermixture of the English and the Scandinavians brought about many changes in different spheres of the English language: phonetics, grammar and wordstock. The relative ease of the mutual penetration of the languages was conditioned by their common origin. Due to contacts between the Scandinavians and the English speaking people many words were borrowed from the Scandinavian language, for ex. : Nouns: law, fellow, sky, skirt, skill, skin, egg, anger, guest, wing, loan, race .
Adjectives: big, week, wrong, ugly, twinVerbs:call, cast, take, happen, scare, want, bask Pronouns:they, them, their The conditions and consequences of various borrowing were different. 1. Sometimes the English language borrowed a word for which it had no synonym.
These words were simply added to the vocabulary,for ex. : law, fellow 2. The English synonym was ousted by the borrowing. The Scandinavian taken and callen ousted the English synonyms niman and clypian, respectively. 3.
In several cases the English and the corresponding Scandinavian words were preserved, but they became different in meaning. NativeScandinavianheavenskystarve die 4.Sometimes a borrowed word and an English word became etymological doublets, as words originating from the same source in Common Germanic. NativeScandinavian shirtskirt shatterscatter raiserearrie ?????????,?????????, 5. Sometimes an English word and its Scandinavian doublet were the same in meaning but slightly different phonetically, and the phonetic form of the Scandinavian borrowing was preserved in the English language, having ousted the English counterpart. For, ex, Modern English to give, to get come from the Scandinavian gefa, geta, which ousted the English ? ievan and ? ietan, respectively.
Similar ME words: gift, forget, guilt, gate, again. 6. There may be a shift of meaning. Thus, the word dream originally meant “joy, pleasure”; under the influence of the related Scandinavian word it developed ite modern meaning. ––– French borrowings It stands to reason that the Norman Conquest left deep traces in the English language, mainly in the form of borrowing. Most of them were connected with such spheres of social and political activities where French speaking Normans had occupied for a long time all places of importance. For ex.
: – government and legislature: government, noble, baron ? , prince, duke, court, justice, judge, crime, – military life:army, battle, peace, banner, victory, general, colonel ? :, lieutenantlef’’tenent, major – religion:religion, sermon, prey, saint, charity – city crafts: painter, tailor, carpenter (the country occupations remained English: shepherd, smith) – pleasure and entertainment:music, art, feast, pleasure, leisure, supper, dinner, pork, beef mutton (but corresponding names of domestic animals remained English: pig, cow, sheep) – words of everyday life: air, place, river, large, age, boil, branch, brush, catch, chain, chair, table, cry, relationship:aunt, uncle, nephew, cousinThe place of the French borrowings within the English language was different: 1. A word may be borrowed from the French language to denote notions unknown to the English up to that time: government, parliament, general, colonel 2. The English synonym is ousted by the French borrowing: EnglishFrench micellarge herearmy e? ariver 3. Both words are preserved, but they are stylistically different: EnglishFrench to beginto commence to workto labour to leaveto abandon lifeexistence lookregard shipvesselAs we see, the French borrowing is generally more literary or even bookish, the English word – a common one; but sometimes the English word is more literary, cf.
: foe (native, English) –– enemy (French borrowing) 4. Sometimes French suffixes entered the system of word-building means of the English language, and they began to be added to English words, thus forming English-French hybrids. For instance, the suffix –ment entered the language within such words as government, parliament, agreement, but later there appeared such English-French hybrids as fulfilment, amazement.
The suffix –ance/-ence, which was an element of such borrowed words as innocence, ignorance, now also forms word-hybrids, such as hindrance (??????, ??????). A similar thing: French borrowings admirable, tolerable, reasonable , but also readable, eatable, unbearable. One of the consequences of the borrowings from French was the appearance of etimological doublets: nativeborrowed fatherlypaternal ( from Common I-E) yardgarden (from Common Germanic) wardguard choosechoice mintmoney (from Latin) inchounce (????? 28,3 ?)