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Author Topic: Old English Verbs  (Read 714 times)

Sæbbi

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Old English Verbs
« on: February 02, 2021, 02:46:34 PM »
Eala,


Does anyone know of a good book on OE verbs? I am looking for something that is essentially a gazetteer, compendium or whatever you want to call it, that brings together in printed form all the known verbs in all their manifold forms: past, present, subjunctive, imperative, participles and so on.


I know that in theory these can be deduced, but looking at the glossary in Marsden's OE Reader, you see versions of the verb that you wouldn't expect for their class. Also, there are verbs like hieran which don't have an -e- in the 2nd pers. present singular, but then there are other weak class I verbs that do have -e-.


Also, for example, I am on Pollington's section 11.2 on the irregular weak verbs (mostly class I a), but the past endings for 2nd and 3rd sing. and pl. are not given, neither are they in other grammars as far as I can see (Mitchell/Robinson, PS Baker).


I have noted T P Snyder's book, but I am not sure whether this could really be considered authoritative. I am tempted to buy it but it will have to come from a EU Amazon depot.


Thoughts welcome


S

David

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Re: Old English Verbs
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 04:53:45 PM »
Sæbi,
 
I think that Pollington is good on verbs. You might like the translator at Old English Translator It used to have a lot of errors in the declensions and conjugations but it is much improved now.
 
I do put an “e” in the 2nd person singular of hīeran. In class I weak verbs the 2nd &3rd person singular is often affected by the i-mutation so that the “e” becomes “i” such as in beran.
 
In Old English the verbs all have the same suffix in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person plural. You have to go back to Germanic to get the variation.
 
I do not know which Snyder book you are referring to but he is very good.

Sæbbi

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Re: Old English Verbs
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2021, 05:52:08 PM »
Hi,


Thanks, I will try the translator. Pollington is OK on verbs but I still find myself clarifying matters in other grammars. Overall, however, his approach of taking bites of various grammar points and building on each one as each chapter goes on, is certainly the right one.


Thanks S

David

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Re: Old English Verbs
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2021, 06:04:08 PM »
I made an error with the i-mutation of the 2nd and 3rd person singular of the present tense. It is with the strong verbs, not the class I weak verbs. Beran is a strong verb.

David

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Re: Old English Verbs
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2021, 08:39:08 PM »
Sæbbi,
Your interest seems to be morphology. The best book I know for Old English morphology is “A Grammar of Old English  Volume 2 Morphology” by Hogg and Fulk. Volume 1 is on phonology. If you want both the phonology and morphology then Hogg and Fulk is probably the best but the two books is expensive. A cheaper alternative is Campbell’s “Old English Grammar” which is still very good but rather condense.

Sæbbi

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Re: Old English Verbs
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2021, 11:36:28 PM »
Thanks,


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.


thanks
S

Ælfric

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Re: Old English Verbs
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2021, 02:39:09 AM »
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.   

David

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Re: Old English Verbs
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2021, 08:42:38 PM »
Ælfric, are you promoting your work after a thousand years.

Ælfric

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Re: Old English Verbs
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2021, 02:02:41 AM »
Þyldigness is eallu.