LANGUAGE VARIATION AND CHANGE IN ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL EUROPE: Old & Middle English - Old High German - Old Norse - Old Romance - Ancient Greek

DONKA MINKOVA: OLD AND MIDDLE ENGLISH PHONOLOGY

Donka Minkova

(University of California, Los Angeles)

This course will survey the main segmental and prosodic features of earlier stages of the language with emphasis on the ways in which such features can be tested in the poetic texts. Previous familiarity with the sound structure, prosody, and metrical tradition of earlier English will not be assumed. The goal will be to help students achieve a level of analytical competence in historical phonology and prosody that will enable them to identify similarities and differences between the phonological structure of the older stages of English and Present-Day English.

Class time will be split evenly between description of the various phonological and prosodic features of Old and Middle English (instructor’s job) and discussion and analysis of the evidential value of selected poetic passages (students’ job).

Class schedule (preliminary)

The vowels of Old English: inheritance, innovation, unsolved problems. Prosodic issues: syllable structure and stress.

The sound-spelling correspondences in Old English: inheritance, innovation, unsolved problems regarding the consonant system.

The vowels of Middle English: inheritance, innovation, unsolved problems. Prosodic issues: syllable structure and stress.

The sound-spelling correspondences in Middle English: inheritance, innovation, unsolved problems regarding the consonant system.

The evolution of the Old and Middle English verse in the context of sound change

 

ECLASS: free.openeclass.org/courses/ENG226