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2019 | 28/2 | 25-45

Article title

Possible Solutions for Long-Standing Problems Involving Old English Verbs


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Solutions based on “equivalence interference” are proposed for various problems involving OE verbs. WG verbs with 1SG /-ͻͻmi/ were modeled on Celtic verbs with /-aami/. Pre-OE eode is from /eiͻͻde/, analogical to 1SG /eiͻͻmi/ from /eimi/. OE dyd- is from reinterpretation of peasant /dïd-/, from low-stressed /ded-/ used as a non-emphatic periphrastic, as noble /düd-/. WG /bii-/ ‘be’ was modeled on Celtic /bii-/ ‘(habitual-future) be’. Habitual-future /bi-/ (lost on the continent) re-developed in OE on the model of habitual-future /bi-/ in Brittonic. The English rule that non-indicative forms of BE are /b/-forms is from Brittonic. 3PL bi(o)đon was modeled on Brittonic /biđont/. Pre-OE /ist/ and /im/ were influenced by Brittonic /is/ and /æm/. Loss of distinct endings before 1PL and 2PL subject pronouns and loss of distinct preterit subjunctive endings were both modeled on their analogues in Brittonic.


  • Independent scholar, Ph.D., UT Austin


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