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Old English Verbs

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I have Campbell's OE grammar but no help as of yet. As for the morphology book tip, thanks for this too. They are expensive. I probably wouldn't mind paying but without seeing them it's a bit of a gamble whether I will get what I want.

Perhaps I will 'park' the problem for now and continue until I come across the answer in the future.


I'm new to the group, and an no expert on OE verbs, but I will briefly comment because this is something I´ve thought about.  I don't know of an exhaustive list of all or the most often used verbs fully conjugated. It would be great to find one something like the Greek and Latin verb handbooks that are extant in several versions.  The best tabular treatment of OE strong verbs I've seen is in one of the appendices to Mitchell and Robinson's A Guide to Old English.  It gives a couple hundred strong verbs with the principle parts, including the 3s indicative. Also, the on-line version of Bosworth and Toler sometimes gives the principle parts of strong verbs it defines. As you say, you should be able to deduce the full conjugation from the principle parts.  I wonder whether the reason we see so many forms in the texts that don't seem to fit is that, unlike the Greek and Latin texts that modern students read, the OE texts are not standardized.  Did Cicero really write perfectly regular Latin?  Or does it seem that way because his style has been adopted at the standard for classical Latin?  I have come the the conclusion that you need to be able to recognize odd verb forms in reading the OE texts, especially if you are reading something that is not printed in a primer or reader with notes and a glossary to help.  As for writing, I am content to use the predicted form of the strong verbs. In the end, if OE is to be used to write modern prose and verse, someone with the credentials to do it should propose a "classical" form.  If anybody asked me to suggest a form (and there's no good reason anybody should) I would suggest using Ælfric´s original prose (not his translations, which sometimes awkwardly use Latin syntax) as the model.   

Ælfric, are you promoting your work after a thousand years.

Þyldigness is eallu.


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