terça-feira, 29 de março de 2011

The Canterbury Tales' curiosities

Hey Guys, here are some of the curiosities found by me concerning Chaucer's most famous work: The Canterbury Tales. I've found on internet some information about the language use in this work. If you guys find anything else, please post it here!

....." The language of The Canterbury Tales is Middle English, spoken and written in Britain between 1100 and 1500. Middle English followed Old English (450 to 1100), the first period in the development of the English language, and preceded Modern English (1500 to the present). "

 "During the Middle English period, rules of pronunciation and inflection were flexible, allowing the language to evolve. A notable characteristic of Middle English as used by Chaucer was the presence of a final -e in words that today are written without a final -e. Generally, the final -e of a word was pronounced if it preceded a word beginning with a vowel. Although midway through the Middle English period speakers were beginning to cease pronouncing the final -e before a vowel, Chaucer usually retained its pronunciation in The Canterbury Tales. It was pronounced like the a in coma and the second a in papa. (Note: A sounded e inside a word was generally pronounced like the modern long a. Thus, the first e in the word swete, the Middle English equivalent of sweet, was pronounced like the a in mate.)."

"Another characteristic of Middle English was the use of the letter y (pronounced as a long e) followed by a hyphen and a verb to indicate the past tense of that verb. Examples from The Canterbury Tales are y-draw (drawn), y-know (known), y-shave (shaven), y-beat (beaten), y-hold (held), y-do (done), y-take (took), y-go (gone), y-crow (crowed), y-fall (fallen), y-grave (engraved), and y-run (ran). Sometimes the y and hyphen preceded verbs already in the past tense in modern English, as in y-bought (bought), y-told (told), and y-nourished (nourished). The use of y- before a verb continued until about 1600. [...]"

Following are examples of words ending in e in lines 1-30 of the general prologue as presented in many popular editions of The Canterbury Tales

Extracted from: http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides3/Canterbury.html
(Posted by Diogo Oliveira)


3 comentários:

  1. hi Diogo!

    I'm having troubles to connect onn this blog, how can I make it?
    I guess I wrote the wrong login and password

    can u help me?

    Thanks! Charon (charonbosca@hotmail.com)

  2. It's poesiadalinguainglesa@gmail.com
    password: alunosufba.

    Was it you wanted to know?