The history of Old English and its development — страница 8

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bóca            gósa            músa             burga D  mannum fótum     tóþum          | hnutum       bócum         gósum          músum          burgum A  menn      fét         

téþ              | hnyte          béc             gés               mýs               byrig The general rule is the so-called i-mutation, which changes the vowel. The conversion table looks as follows and never fails - it is universally right both for verbs and nouns. The table of i-mutation changes remains above.   Examples: fem. - wífman (a woman), ác (an oak), gát (a goat), bróc (breeches), wlóh

(seam), dung (a dungeon), furh (a furrow), sulh (a plough), grut (gruel), lús (a louse), þrul (a basket), éa (water), niht (a night),  mæ'gþ (a girl), scrúd (clothes). There are still some other types of declension, but not too important fro understanding the general image. For example, r-stems denoted the family relatives (dohtor 'a daughter', módor 'a mother' and several others), es-stems usually meant children and cubs (cild 'a child', cealf 'a calf'). The most intriguing question that arises from the picture of the Old English declension is "How to define which words is which kind of stems?". I am sure you are always thinking of this question, the same as I thought myself when first studying Old English. The answer

is "I don't know"; because of the loss of many endings all genders, all stems and therefore all nouns mixed in the language, and one has just to learn how to decline this or that word. This mixture was the decisive step of the following transfer of English to the analytic language - when endings are not used, people forget genders and cases. In any solid dictionary you will be given a noun with its gender and kind of stem. But in general, the declension is similar for all stems. One of the most stable differences of masculine and feminine is the -es (masc.) or -e in genitive singular of the Strong declension. Now I am giving another table, the general declension system of Old English nouns. Here '-' means a zero ending. Strong declension (a, ja, wa, у, jу, wу, i

-stems). Masculine Neutral Feminine Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Nominative - -as - -u (-) - -a Genitive -es -a -es -a -e -a Dative -e -um -e -um -e -um Accustive - -as - -u (-) -e -a Weak declension  u-stems Singular Plural Singular Plural Nominative - -an - -a Genitive -an -ena -a -a Dative -an -um -a -um Accustive -an -an - -a   The Old English Adjective. In all historical Indo-European languages adjectives possess practically the same morphological features as the nouns, the the sequence of these two parts of speech is an ordinary thing in Indo-European. However, the Nostratic theory (the one which unites Altaic, Uralic, Semitic, Dravidian and Indo-European language families into one Nostratic super-family, once speaking a common Proto-Nostratic

language) represented by Illych-Svitych and many other famous linguists, states that adjectives in this Proto-Nostratic tongue were morphologically closer to the verbs than to the nouns. This theory is quite interesting, because even in Proto-Indo-European, a language which was spoken much later than Proto-Nostratic, there are some proofs of the former predicative function of the adjectives. In other families of the super-family this function is even more clear. In Altaic languages, and also in Korean and Japanese, which are originally Altaic, the adjective plays the part of the predicate, and in Korean, for example, the majority of adjectives are predicative. It means that though they always denote the quality of the noun, they act the same way as verbs which denote action.