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HUMBOLDT / English / ENGL 325 / What are the three types of tales in canterbury tales?

What are the three types of tales in canterbury tales?

What are the three types of tales in canterbury tales?


School: Humboldt State University
Department: English
Course: History of the English Language
Professor: Kathleen doty
Term: Fall 2016
Cost: 50
Name: Eng 325 Exam 1 Study Guide
Description: Indo-European, Old English, Middle English
Uploaded: 10/06/2016
6 Pages 128 Views 1 Unlocks

Exam 1 Study Guide Eng 325 History of the English Language

What are the three types of tales in canterbury tales?

Backgrounds and Indo-European

External causes of language change 

1. Geography: migration, language contact (often the powerful impose their language on the weak) 2. Events: social, political, cultural, new items and ideas

3. Imperfect learning by speakers new to a language

4. Social prestige: certain language forms are associated with higher class and are adopted to increase  status

Indo-European language family branches 

1. Germanic (German)

2. Armenian (Armenian)

3. Albanian (Albanian)

4. Italic (French)

5. Celtic (Irish)

When did julius caesar invades britain ?

6. Hellenic (Greek)

7. Slavic (Russian)

8. Baltic (Lithuanian)

9. Iranic (Persian)

10. Indic (Hindustani)

Non Indo-European language families 

1. Semitic (Hebrew)

2. Altaic (Turkish)


Related words of common origin but belonging to different languages

 example: English: winter

 Swedish: vinter

Grimm's Law (Germanic Consonant Shift) 

-How Proto-Indo-European developed into the Germanic  

-shifts were fairly regular rather than random and finished instead of circling back around  1. Indo European stops modified into the Germanic stops:  

What are the types of riddles?

If you want to learn more check out What is chondrichytes?

-bh, dh, gh became b,d,g 

-p, t, k became f, þ, x 

-b, d, g became p, t, k

Verbs: Past Tense 

1. Dental Suffix 

- the dental suffix t or d developed for the past tense

-verbs with this suffix were called 'weak' but are now known as 'regular'

 examples: talk/talked, dance/danced, bag/bagged

 2. Vowel Changes 

-vowels changed within verbs to indicate past tense

-such verbs were called known 'strong' and are now 'irregular'Don't forget about the age old question of What is the difference between external motivation and internal motivation?

 examples: sat, sang, ran are the past tense forms of sit, sing, run because of the vowel changes

3. Verbs with both 

-some verbs have both the dental suffix and the vowel change

 examples: bring/brought, seek/sought

4. Adjectives 

-declension system in which adjectives were 'weak' if they had pronouns or demonstratives in front of  them

 examples: se micela guma

 þa micelan guman

5. Stress 

-stress was in the first syllable of words

 example: mōdor

6. Vowels 

-vowels changed

 example: 'o' became 'a'  

7. Verbs 

-verb tense and aspect were simplified to a two-tense system: present and past, which were indicated in  the verbs rather than in a change of the verb suffixes.

 examples: ic dō (present for 'I do')

 ic dyde (past for 'I did')

Old English

Inhabitants of British Isles before coming of the English 

The Celts. They spoke the four Celtic languages, including Irish and Welsh.  

Dates Don't forget about the age old question of What are carbanions?

55 BCE Julius Caesar invades Britain

43 CE Emperor Claudius invades Britain, which is Romanized

410 CE Romans withdraw from Britain (fall of Roman Empire)

449 CE Germanic (Jutes, Angles, Saxons) tribes invade Britain, destroying Roman   fixtures such as road, water, and heating systems, baths, mosaic floors, walls,   etc. Remnants of these features remain in Britain today

787 CE Scandinavian invasions start--first Viking conquest

878 CE King Alfred defeats the Danes, Wessex attains prosperity and enlightenment 899 CE King Alfred dies Don't forget about the age old question of Define oxidation.
Don't forget about the age old question of What are the types of responses?

Influence of Germanic tribes on people and kingdoms in Britain 

-When the Germanic tribes invaded in 449 CE, they rid Britain of Roman features and imposed  Germanic language and culture on the nation.

Old English compounding 

-ear + hring = earhring (earring)

Old English grammatical gender 

-3 genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter

-noun and demonstrative article agree

example: pes wifmann (this woman, masculine)

 peos hlaefdige (this lady, feminine)

 pis wif (this woman, neuter)

Noun declension 


singular genitive: deores

plural genitive: deora

Remnants in Modern English of Old English noun declension system 

-Now, plurality is marked with an 's' and possession with 's or s' rather than by case -However, Modern English still has plural forms without an 's': deer, sheep, feet, mice. These words are from the Anglo-Saxon

-The only survivor of the 'en' ending is 'oxen'

Weak verbs (regular) 

-Had the dental suffix t or d for the past tense Don't forget about the age old question of What are the cognitive structures that help us?

 examples: talk/talked, dance/danced, bag/bagged

Strong verbs (irregular) 

-Vowels changed within verbs to indicate past tense

 examples: sat, sang, ran are the past tense forms of sit, sing, run because of the vowel changes

Strong and weak adjectives 

Strong: the adjective has no pronoun or demonstrative before it

 example: gōd wif (good wife)

Weak: the adjective is preceded by a demonstrative or possessive pronoun. 'An' was a   common ending.

 example: se goda mann (the good man)

Modern comparative and superlative adjectives 

-Comparative: older

 from 'heardra' 

-Superlative: oldest

 from 'heardost' 

Word order 

-Free because word function in sentences was determined by case ending and not location  example: se aeppel þaet leafes hit is gōd (the apple's leaf is good)

 -the leaf is being possessed, so 'leafes' has the 'es' genitive (possessive)   ending rather than the apple as in modern English.

 -'se' marks 'appel' as the subject of the sentence

 -if the word order was flipped, the meaning would be the same

OE literature 

1. Pagan

 example: Beowulf

2. Christian

 example: Caedmon's Hymn


-Formulaic beginning: "I saw/heard..."

-Formulaic ending: "What am I/ Can you guess my name?"

-Two half lines connected by alliteration with two alliterations per half line



-Subject compared to living creature like an animal, person, or plant (a cuckoo compared to an orphan) -Subject compared to an object (shield compared to a warrior)

-Double entendre riddles that have two answers, one prim and one lusty

Middle English


1066 Battle of Hastings (Normal Conquest)

-With the conquest, French became the language of prestige/power

-Norman French dialect was different from Parisian French

-King Philip spoke Parisian, so the prestige language shifted

-Many English people became bilingual, speaking Old English and Norman French   vice versa--French became bilingual as well

-Accounts for French, Italian, and Spanish words in English

1204 King Philip seizes Norman estates in England

1348 Black Death (Bubonic Plague)

 mainly affected peasants because of their living conditions

 also affected the clergy because of mingling and last rites

 commoners became more valuable as workers were scarce

 Peasants' Revolt--demands for more money for work

1331-1454 100 Years' War--French declined and became the language of the enemy 1377-99 Deposition of Richard II conducted in English as well as the abdication speech and acceptance speech of his successor, Henry IV

1476 First English book published

 printing had already taken place in England, but books were in French and Latin because those   were the languages of the aristocracy

4 Axioms that apply across eras 

-concerning the relationship of external history and changes in language

1. When social order is fluid, the lower class is more likely to behave like the upper class than when  social order is rigid.

 Fluid refers to the possibility of mobility for lower classes. Rigid means there is no opportunity for  ascent into a higher class

2. Social order becomes more fluid during social upheaval such as war, plague, conquest (Black  Plague).

3. With high population density, contact of social classes is greater than when the population is thinly  distributed.

4. Contemporary observers of a social scene are more likely to comment on the unusual than the usual.   Already known phenomena is less noteworthy than the new

Leveling of unstressed vowels 

-Reduced forms in English  

 examples: a, o, u became -e

Grammatical gender 

-Lost in Middle English due to  

 endings falling together into -e  

 'the' replacing 'se, paet, and seo'

Word order/function words 

-Word order came to determine grammatical relations instead of inflection because endings came to all  sound the same

-Particles such as prepositions and conjunctions also expressed grammatical relations  

Personal and demonstrative pronouns 

-Simplified and reduced somewhat but remained fairly complex

 examples: se and seo became simply 'pe'

 pes and peos became 'pis'


-Remained strong and weak

-Endings leveled, but there were still changes in root vowels to indicate past tense -Some verbs could be declined either way

 examples: gliden could be glod or glided

 crepen could be crep or creped


-Case endings were consolidated

 examples: -u and -a became -e

 -es became the plural indicator instead of only the genitive marker  genitive singular and plural combined

-Nouns reduced to two forms, those with the -s for plural and those without (deer, feet, oxen)


-Weak adjectives that ended in -a or -e became only -e

-Those ending in -an or -um became -en

-The five weak adjective forms reduced to one, -e

Middle English syntax 

-Middle English word order still had some differences from modern English

 examples: -verb preceding subject

 "held the king"

 -object preceding verb

 "him captured"

 -verb after adjective

 "him that sorrowful is"

 -extra pronoun

 "he sat him down"

 -double negative

 "ne haste yow nat to faste" (don't move not too fast)

Spoken and written languages during ME period 

-At the time of the Norman conquest in 1066, many English and French people became bilingual -Many English people, usually the peasants, were not bilingual, however, necessitating the issue of  Henry III's proclamation in Latin, French, and English in 1258

 -Latin was still the written language at this time, but English was gaining status as a spoken language  -Parliament also opened with a speech in English in 1362 and ordered lawsuits to be conducted using  it

-During the 100 Years' War from 1331-1454, French declined as it had become the language of the   enemy

-In 1377-99 the deposition of Richard III and the acceptance speech of his successor, Henry IV, were   conducted in English

-Until 1476, books in England were only published in French because printing was expensive and   the aristocracy read French. The first book published in English demonstrated its growing status


Three types of tales in Canterbury Tales 

1. Court romance (Knight's Tale): ritualized, stylized, stereotypical court courtship in which two men  often compete for one woman

2. Fabliau (Miller's Tale, Reeve's Tale): includes a joke or trick, usually involving the lower classes 3. Sermon (Pardoner's Tale, Priest's Tale): teach virtue and the shunning of vice/sin

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