Home Page Button Syllabus / Policies Button Composition Button Grammar Button Rhetoric Button Rhetoric Button Literature button poetry button classical button medieval button Renaissance Button Vocabulary Button



328 Study Questions: Baugh Chapter Three: "Old English"

Vocabulary: Old English, Middle English, Modern English, Anglo-Saxon, Goidelic, Brythonic, chronicle, wergild, compurgation, declension, synthetic language, analytic language, dual, strong verb, weak verb, dental suffix, dialect, thorn, eth, ash, inflection, nominative, genitive, dative, ablative, affix, prefix, suffix, syntax, compounding, kenning, elegy, saint's lives

Identification: The Venerable Bede, Julius Caesar, Emperor Claudius, Boadicea, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, eorls, cheorls, King Egbert, King Alfred

Abbreviations: OE (Old English) ME (Middle English), MnE (Modern English) A-S (Anglo-Saxon)

3.29 How long have the British islands been occupied by prehistoric man according to moderate estimates?
About what date, according to Baugh, marks the end of the Stone Age in Britain?
When did iron tools displace bronze ones in England?
The Stone Age is typically divided into what two periods meaning "Old Stone Age" and "New Stone Age"?
About what rough date did the Neolithic period begin in Britain?
What ethnic group in the Spanish Pyrenees possibly represents the last remnant of the dark-haired "Mediterranean" Neolithic tribes that once dwelled throughout Europe and Britain?
What is the first race living in England that has left us any knowledge of their language?
3.30 What famous Roman general, after conquering the Celts of Gaul (modern France and Germany) decided to conquer the Celts living in Britain during the summer of 55 BCE? How successful was this first Roman invasion?
3.31 What Emperor actually succeeded in conquering the Celts living in modern-day England? What two regions of Britain were the Romans never able to conquer?
3.32 What engineering advantages and civilized advantages did the Romans import to conquered Celtic lands?
By the third century, what new religious movement had members in London and York?
3.33 Did Latin replace Celtic languages in Britain? Why or why not? [How does this contrast with Gaul?]
In the year 410, who or what left the British isles officially? How do you suppose this is connected to the Germanic invasions that later occurred in 449 and later?
3.34 What happened in 449 that must have caused some political upheaval in Britain? Where does this tradition date for the event come from (i.e., what two historical works?)
Excluding the Frisians, what three Germanic tribes composed the primary waves of invaders?
What peninsula was originally the home for the Angles and Jutes? What part of Germany was the original homeland of the Saxons?
What fatal agreement did the Celtic ruler Vortigern strike up with the Jutes?
What Germanic tribe invaded the island yet again in 477 and 495?
In 547, what Germanic tribe established an Anglican kingdom north of the Umber? (Hint: etymology may be helpful here if you've forgotten the answer!)
3.35 When the Celts were driven out of England, to what regions did they flee seeking refuge?
What is the difference between an eorl and a cheorl?
What is the legal practice of wergild and compurgation among Anglo-Saxon and Germanic tribes?
3.36 Where do the words English and England come from?
3.37 English comes from which branch of the Germanic languages?
In Old English, weak or regular verbs indicate the past tense and past participle by adding what suffix to the end of the verb?
Where does the stress tend to fall in an English word--much like in other Germanic languages?
Did English go through the Second Sound Shift the way High German did? What evidence reveals the truth one way or another?
3.38 What are the three main periods of English history? List one characteristic of each.
3.39 What are the four dialects of Old English?
Anglian is a collective term for what two dialects of Old English?
What is the only dialect of Old English for which we have an extensive collection of written texts?
What dialect became a sort of literary standard over time?
3.40 In terms of pronunciation, what is the biggest difference in Old English? (i.e., what sort of phonetic sound has undergone the most considerable modification?)
What are some examples of letters used in Old English that are no longer used in Modern English?
In terms of etymology, what type of words are conspicuously absent in Old English that form a large part of our current vocabulary?
What is the difference between an analytic language and a synthetic language? How does an analytic language establish who is doing what in a sentence? How does a synthetic language provide that information?
Is Modern English analytic or synthetic?
Is Old English analytic or synthetic?
Old English grammar strongly resembles what modern language? Why is this unsurprising, given the derivation of English?
Lecture: Give two examples of an analytic language.
Give two examples of a synthetic language.
Lecture: Important Note!! The Old English noun only has four cases. Today, nouns only inflect to show number (one cow, two cows), possession (the cow's horn), and very rarely, some nouns inflect to show gender (actor, actress). What sort of inflections did Old English have in the distant past? In general, was the inflection of nouns more or less complicated than the inflections we currently use in Modern English?

3.42 How many grammatical genders did Old English have? Was this based on natural gender or grammatical convention alone?
3.43 Old English had two declensions for adjectives--a strong and weak declension. When was each type of declension used?
3.44 How many inflections does modern English have for the definite article (i.e., the word the)? How is this different in Old English, i.e.,--how many inflections does it have? (see the chart in your textbook and count for both singular and plural). Note that on a test, it is acceptable here to simply write that Old English has a fully inflected definite article for all three genders.
Where does the modern demonstrative pronoun that come from?
3.45 According to Baugh, what part of speech is always likely to preserve a fairly complete system of inflections even after other inflections die out?
In addition to singular and plural personal pronouns, Old English had a third category for number. What was that third category?
3.46 Old English had only two tenses for verbs--what are these two tenses? How does this explain the joke among Anglo-Saxonists who tell their students, "There is no future in Anglo-Saxon studies"?
Old English verbs fall into two classes--weak and strong verbs. What are these types usually called in Modern English grammar books?
Give an example of a Modern English verb that comes from a strong verb.
Give an example of a Modern English verb that comes from a weak verb.
Suppose a child asked you, "Why do we say 'I swim, I swam, and I have swum' rather than 'I swim, I swimmed, and I have swimmed?'" How would you explain this given your knowledge of Old English verbs?
About how many Old English verbs fall into the "strong verb" category?
What is a dental suffix?
Which verb form, the weak or the strong conjugation, has become dominant in our language today?

3.48 Old English had a much smaller vocabulary than Modern English. How does Baugh suggest that Old English overcame this limitation?
3.49 Germanic languages like Old English tend to make new words by using what method?
Give an example of this process in Modern English.
3.50 For the Old English speakers, how was the use of prefixes and suffixes helpful in creating new words?
Lecture: Explain the use of compounding to create poetic kennings.
3.51 What does Baugh see as the greatest work of Anglo-Saxon literature? How many lines long is this poem approximately (to the nearest thousand)?
Given Baugh's descriptions and summaries of Anglo-Saxon poetry, which of the following topics is one the Anglo-Saxons tend not to deal with? (a) violent combat, (b) the transitory nature of life, (c) monsters, (d) love and sexuality, (e) Christian topics and saint's lives.
What "great" ruler personally translated or ordered his scholars to translate Latin works into Old English for his subjects, bringing about the first formal state educational system in England since the fall of the Roman Empire?



To Home Page
Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler 1998-2017. Permission is granted for non-profit, educational, and student reproduction. Last updated January 5, 2017. Contact: kwheeler@cn.edu Please e-mail corrections, suggestions, or comments to help me improve this site. Click here for credits, thanks, and additional copyright information.