Major types of word formation in OE.

I. Derivation sound interchanges (always combined with suf –n);

1. –vowel gradation (inherited from PG and IE). Eg: rīdan – rād, singan – song;

–i-mutation: fōd – fēdan (food – feed);

breaking: beran – bearn (bear – born).

2. word stress: differentiate between words: parts of speech. Eg: ond swarian (v) – ond swaru (n);

3. prefixation (a productive way); Eg: gān – go; ā – gān – go away; be – gān – go round. Most productive – ā, be, for, ge, un.

4. suffixation (the most productive mean):

- suf of ‘agent nouns’ – some dead suf –s: -a (hunta); -end (fīend) > ere (IE) scōlere.

- suf of abstract nouns:

stem۸-t (dead):meaht(might)

-oþ,uþ (huntoþ - hunting)

-ung(ing(from verbs)

-suf.from root-morphemes:

dōm(meant judjment):wīsdom

hād(cīldhād - childhood)


--adj-s: iз(modiз-proud)




II.Word-composition(highky productive)

1. noun+noun:


2. noun+adj.:

e.g.зōd-dæ‾d(good deed)

3. verb+noun

e.g.bæc-hūs(baking house)

4. formed with several methods:


un-negative pref.


dōm-noun-st.sturning into ۸

Nominal part of speech could be turned with the help of word-composition.

Italian loans in English.

Vast majority of words related to art,music and literature(the consequence of fact that Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance movement&of the revival of interest in art).In the 14th c. Italian words ducato,million,florin,pistol.Musical terms:aria,bass,concerto,piano,solo,sonata,soprano,tenor.Culture:balcony,design,fresco,gallery,studio,parapet.Literature:replica,sonnet.Many words in general use don’t differ fromEng.words in sounds or spelling&cannot be distinguished from native words without special study:medal,canteen,pilot.These borrowings were imported at an earlier date&have lost their foreign flavour.

Celtic loans in English.

Celtic borrowings – from the celtic inhabitans of Britain&Irish missionaries. They’re few: bin, down, Leeds, Thames, York.-comb(‘deepvalley’): Batcombe, Duncombe,-torr(high rock):Torr,Trcross,-llan(church):Llan dalf,-pill(creek) =100borrowings.

Main peculiarities of OE poetry.Beowulf.

1.namees of the poets are unknown(exc.Ceolmon and Cynewulf)

2.mainly3 subj-s:


-lyricalpoems(the Wanderer)

-religious poems(paraphrase the Bible)

3.number of syllables in a line is free;only the number of stressed syllables is fixed.

4.metaphorical phrases:e.g.heapu-swat

5.many synonyms:e.g.hero:rine,secj

OE poetic words went out of use.