Old English


May 19, 2022

Old English (originally Ænglisc /'æŋ.glɪʃ/, Anglisc, Englisc) is an ancient form of English spoken by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in present-day England, south and east of Scotland from the mid-5th to the mid-12th century. The name Anglo-Saxon is also used. It belongs to the West Germanic languages, close to the Old Frisian and Old Saxon languages. Closer to modern German and Icelandic than to modern English. It had a grammatical declension - five cases (nominal, accusative, genitive, dative and instrumental), three grammatical numbers (singular, double and plural) and three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine, neuter). The duality is peculiar only to the first and second persons and belonged to the group of two. Adjectives, pronouns and sometimes adjectives agree with the noun by case, number and gender. Personal verbs agree with the subject by person and number. Nouns have numerous declensions (similar to Latin, ancient Greek or Sanskrit). Verbs have nine main conjugations (seven strong and two weak), each with numerous subtypes, and a significant proportion of irregular verbs. The main difference from other ancient Indo-European languages, including Latin, is only two types of grammatical tense (compared to the six temporal-aspect forms of Latin) and the absence of a synthetic passive state (although it is present in Gothic). The genus of nouns was purely grammatical, in contrast to the natural genus in modern English. The grammatical gender did not necessarily coincide with the gender of the person when it came to people. For example, sēo sunne (sun) belongs to the feminine, se mōna (moon) - to the masculine, and þat wīf (woman) - the middle (compare with the German counterparts die Sonne, der Mond, das Weib).


Old English was not unchanged: for 700 years of its use, from the relocation of the Anglo-Saxons to Britain in the V century and the end of the XI century, the time of the Norman Conquest, it has changed and influenced in other languages. About 85 percent of Old English words are obsolete, but the words that have survived have become the basis of modern English vocabulary. Old English belongs to the West Germanic languages, which came from the Ingwean dialects in the V century. She was talked to �