A Book of Middle English (3rd Edition)

This crucial heart English textbook, now in its 3rd version, introduces scholars to the big variety of literature written in England among 1150 and 1400.

New, completely revised version of this crucial center English textbook.
Introduces the language of the time, giving counsel on pronunciation, spelling, grammar, metre, vocabulary and nearby dialects.
Now contains extracts from ‘Pearl’ and Chaucer’s ‘Troilus and Criseyde’.
Bibliographic references were up-to-date throughout.
Each textual content is followed by way of distinctive notes.

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Extra resources for A Book of Middle English (3rd Edition)

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The third person singular of the indicative has the same form as the first person singular. In the South and South-West Midlands the past participle has the prefix i- or y-, derived from Old English ge-, unless there is some other prefix already present: so isi4en, ‘come’, 3/111, ybuld, ‘built’, 12/1; but bigrowe, ‘overgrown’, 2/27, already has the prefix bi-. Langland uses this y- prefix sometimes – compare ycrouned, 7a/59, with crouned, 7a/63 – but Gower rarely has it. 4 Past of Weak Verbs Weak verbs form their past tense by adding -ed(e), -d(e) or -t(e), and their past participle by adding ed, -d or -t; thus heren, ‘to hear’, past tense herde, past participle iherd; luvien, ‘to love’, past tense luvede, past participle iluvet; slepen, ‘to sleep’, past tense slepte.

We, 3e, ha subjunctive sg. ich, ku, he pl. we, 3e, ha imperative sg. pl. present participle 31 Gawain heren here here herest hereg hereg I kou he we, 3e, kay here heren I, kou, he here we, 3e, kay here(n) her hereg herinde here heres heres here(n), heres her(e) heres herande Wherever it occurs, the -en ending is gradually lost, leaving -e or no ending. The result of this development, in some dialects, is that only the indicative second and third persons singular and the present participle have distinctive endings.

Ich ku he we, 3e, ha herde herdest herde herden subjunctive sg. ich, ku, he pl. we, 3e, ha past participle herde herden iherd With the loss of -en and then of -e, the past tense is often unchanged throughout except for the -est of the second person singular of the indicative. g. second person singular Kou me herde, 8/306, past participle (with ‘unhistorical’ -e) I haf herde, 9/26. A few common verbs historically classed as weak not only add -t(e) in the past tense but also modify the stem itself.

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