Download e-book for kindle: Irregularities in Modern English by Hans Frede Nielsen, Erik W. Hansen

By Hans Frede Nielsen, Erik W. Hansen

ISBN-10: 8776742555

ISBN-13: 9788776742553

This publication, which seemed first in a Danish model in 1980 and as a result in an English translation in 1986, reverses the historical past of the English language: it takes present-day English ‘irregularities’ in grammar and spelling as its aspect of departure, supplying old reasons simply to the level that they illustrate glossy varieties. a couple of comparisons with advancements in different Germanic languages are given, not just with Danish phenomena as within the unique Danish variation, but additionally with Dutch and German ones. The authors think that such comparisons make clear English language historical past in addition to give a contribution to make the ebook extra fascinating additionally to scholars of different Germanic languages.

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Additional resources for Irregularities in Modern English

Example text

This -r-ending corresponds to plural -r- in Latin: genus – genera, tempus – tempora. In Scots a few more -n-nouns have survived: ee ‘eye’ – een ‘eyes’; shoe -shune, and r-plurals could until recently also be heard: breer ‘eye-brows’ and caur, kaur ‘calves’ (Millar 2007:66). 6. Some very frequently used nouns show vowel variation in their stems between the singular and the plural: foot ‑ feet, tooth ‑ teeth, goose ‑ geese, mouse ‑ mice, louse ‑ lice, man ‑ men.  OE lus – lys come from PreOE *lus- – *lusi-.

8. The fact that numeral nouns like dozen, score, gross, hundred, thousand and million exhibit unchanged plurals after numerals, might be attributed to the redundancy which co-occurrence of numeral and plural ending would represent. There are comparable examples in other languages, cp. ). 9. 1. the plural form of nouns ModE. ), and the following noun to which it was attached was therefore a genitive (of description). With the regular ME weakening of the final -a (> -e) and the subsequent loss of this schwa sound [-\] such nouns became endingless.

Danish stundom ‘sometimes’), while whilom is obsolete today. 17. This variation is similar to the variation seen in Danish infinitives: [ri:ð\] and [ri:ð], depending on speech tempo and the following sound. 8. 2. 18 In comparison to what happened in the other Germanic languages it is not unreasonable to interpret these vocalic and nasal developments as entailing a breakdown of the old predominantly synthetic structure of English, which was accompanied by some restructuring on the basis of available material.

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Irregularities in Modern English by Hans Frede Nielsen, Erik W. Hansen

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