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Author Topic: “The” Peterborough Chronicles  (Read 8584 times)

David

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“The” Peterborough Chronicles
« on: March 23, 2013, 04:06:52 PM »
 
I thought the first scribe in the Peterborough Chronicles wrote in standard West Saxon Old English. However he seems to consistently use þet where I thought the standard was þæt and þæt is used in the other chronicles. Can someone enlighten me on this?
 
I understand that a later scribe in the Peterborough Chronicles wrote in the local dialect with Middle English tendencies. In my version of the chronicles it has ðat for ðæt. Is that the Middle English word or just the local dialect. However I understand that in the original he did not write ðat but the shorthand “ð”. I have come across the crossed thorn used as a short hand for that but was the eth and normal thorn generally used. I also wondered why my copy of the Peterborough Chronicles expanded “ð” to ðat but is full of “7” not expanded to and. Can anyone enlighten me on any of this?

peter horn

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Re: “The” Peterborough Chronicles
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 03:15:37 PM »
 
I thought the first scribe in the Peterborough Chronicles wrote in standard West Saxon Old English. However he seems to consistently use þet where I thought the standard was þæt and þæt is used in the other chronicles. Can someone enlighten me on this?
 
I understand that a later scribe in the Peterborough Chronicles wrote in the local dialect with Middle English tendencies. In my version of the chronicles it has ðat for ðæt. Is that the Middle English word or just the local dialect. However I understand that in the original he did not write ðat but the shorthand “ð”. I have come across the crossed thorn used as a short hand for that but was the eth and normal thorn generally used. I also wondered why my copy of the Peterborough Chronicles expanded “ð” to ðat but is full of “7” not expanded to and. Can anyone enlighten me on any of this?


It doesnt entirely answer your queries, but,
I think we should bear in mind that rules regarding spelling came into force much later than the AS period. There is the oft quoted fact that Shakesper spelt his own name in various ways.  There is, I seem to remember reading, no rule as regards the use  of eth and thorn, which I find a bit annoying.
Ic ∂ær ær wæs
Ic ∂æt ær dyde

Jayson

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Re: “The” Peterborough Chronicles
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 03:57:32 PM »
---about eth and thorn, when I was first thinking of learning Anglo-Saxon (sorry, Old English!), I contacted a Professor of the language in Cambridge.   Amongst other tips she gave me, she said that eth was 'this and that' while thorn was 'thick and thin'.
Wessex Woman

Deoran

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Re: “The” Peterborough Chronicles
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 08:41:58 PM »
The decision to use eth or thorn in a given circumstance seemed to have been largely personal preference; something that becomes clear when reading OE pieces by different authors! I think there were some general tendencies, but it doesn't seem like there were many absolutes. Given that OE spelling was far less standardised than that in modern English, as Peter observes, this would have been true, to varying extents, of many words with spelling variants. I have certainly found this to be true when reading long passages of OE even by one author, who will flip between different spellings from page to page. Although I think it's always important to remember that in amongst all this fluidity, spelling was far more consistent in OE than an "anything goes" approach.

Launching into a bit of speculation, although modern OE scholars have noted obvious broad dialectical (and temporal) variants, the learned individuals who produced OE literature must surely have been familiar with variants outside their own time and place, and perhaps used those they liked to add a bit of spice to their writing - particularly as OE prose is notably prone to repetition and recapitulation! - which might result in what we perceive as inconsistencies in our post hoc classifications? Also, much OE writing survives as copies produced by later medieval scribes, who may have consciously or unconsciously substituted letters here and there, based on their own preferences and background? There's a brief section related to this in David Crystal's excellent “The Stories of English”, where he examines variations between multiple copies of the same manuscript, although I think they were all AS in date.

leofwin

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Re: “The” Peterborough Chronicles
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 10:43:57 AM »
'eth' and 'thorn'...
It would be nice if one represented the voiced sound (this and that), and other represented the unvoiced sound (thick and thin), but the evidence just doesn't bear this out. The same words, by the same author, frequently appear spelt first with an 'eth', then with a 'thorn'.

peter horn

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Re: “The” Peterborough Chronicles
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 11:36:05 AM »
Thinketh  (not OE)


∂inke∂  seems to me to require the thorn as the first letter and the eth at the end.


(Unfortunately I cant produce a thorn on my mac, and the eth isnt very good either)
Ic ∂ær ær wæs
Ic ∂æt ær dyde

Horsa

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Re: “The” Peterborough Chronicles
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 09:39:56 PM »
I've said this a few times, but I feel compelled to say this again. I think if you're going to mess with the orthography of Old English to make it easier to read - writing standardized old English, substituting w for wynn, expanding the crossed thorn and other short forms, replacing the tironian nota with 'and/ond', indicating vowel length with macrons - you might as well use the eth and thorn according to the Modern Icelandic practice in order to aid the reader/learner with the postulated pronunciation. Otherwise, why not just print the text in Beowulf font with the 'accents' where the manuscript has them.

peter horn

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Re: “The” Peterborough Chronicles
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 12:14:38 PM »
I've said this a few times, but I feel compelled to say this again. I think if you're going to mess with the orthography of Old English to make it easier to read - writing standardized old English, substituting w for wynn, expanding the crossed thorn and other short forms, replacing the tironian nota with 'and/ond', indicating vowel length with macrons - you might as well use the eth and thorn according to the Modern Icelandic practice in order to aid the reader/learner with the postulated pronunciation. Otherwise, why not just print the text in Beowulf font with the 'accents' where the manuscript has them.


That's a very good point, we are not consistant in our picking and choosing.
Ic ∂ær ær wæs
Ic ∂æt ær dyde

Jayson

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Re: “The” Peterborough Chronicles
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 01:44:50 PM »
---may I mention another pronunciation where there seems to be some confusion?   How sure are we that c followed by e or i is always a ch?   For instance, starting with an ash, aecer  is acre and marcet is market.  In both cases the c followed by an e is pronounced k in modern English so how likely is it that the sound has chanbge?   And it seems the same with ascian which we pronounce as ask and not asc.
Wessex Woman

Jayson

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Re: “The” Peterborough Chronicles
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2013, 07:09:49 PM »
PS  --  and I've thought of something else.   BoGa.   I understand that this eventually became pronounced as BoWa but it would have made an easier transition if the G was originally pronounced as a Y sound.  So, would some Gs followed by a,o.u, etc. have been pronounced as if they were followed by an i or e?   What I'm wondering is whether these rules of pronunciation were not set in stone but varied, just as ours do.
 
 
 
Wessex Woman