328 Study Questions: Baugh Chapter Four: "Foreign
Influences on Old English"
Old English, toponym, i-umlaut, loanwords,
palatal diphongization, Treaty of Wedmore, Danelaw, Viking,
Abbreviations: OE, OED
4.53 During the first seven hundred years
of Old English's existence, it was brought into contact
with what other three languages?
4.54 Rather than being completely
exterminated, what happened to large numbers of those Celtic
peoples who stayed in England rather than fleeing into Wales,
Scotland, and Brittany?
4.55 Where does the primary evidence survive
for Celtic contact with the Anglo-Saxons? I.e., what sort
of term was most likely to be adapted and survive into Modern
English? (click here if
you need a hint)
How did St. Columba and his Irish monks in 563 play a
central part in spreading certain Celtic terms into at least
partial use in Old English?
Why does Baugh think that the Anglo-Saxons were more likely
to borrow loanwords from Latin civilization rather than
Celtic civilization? Do you buy this argument?
What three occasions did the Anglo-Saxons have to come
into contact with Roman / Latin civilization and borrow
Latin loanwords before the end of the Anglo-Saxon period?
4.57 What three types of evidence can
scholars use to assert confidently when a word must have
been in use chronologically?
While the appearance of a word in literature shows us that
a word must have existed by the time the text was produced,
what can it NOT reveal?
How does the "character" (i.e., what physical
or social thing the word signifies) help provide clues about
when a word appeared in a language?
How can phonetics help us determine when a word first appeared
in a language?
Explain how i-umlaut caused the odd modern plural
form of "mice" for the singular word "mouse."
What term explains the change to the diphthong sound in modern
"cheese," when the word originally comes from
caseus in Latin?
4.58 During the "zero" period
of Latin influence, when did Latin loanwords probably first
enter Germanic languages? (i.e., in what general historical
period or during the rule of what famous empire?)
What sort of occupations were very likely to adopt Roman
words during this "zero period" of Latin influence
on the ancient Germanic tribes on the continent?
Give an example of either a Roman technology or a Roman
foodstuff that introduced a new word to the Germanic tribes
unfamiliar with that technology or foodstuff.
4.59 The "first period" of Latin
transmission is the period in which Latin influence may
have come through Celtic transmission. Why is that influence
4.60 The "second period" of
Latin transmission involves what religious change in England?
What year did this process officially begin in a systematic
way in England-or at least in Kent?
What was the name of the first major missionary to come
to England? What Pope sent this missionary to England along
with forty monks?
Relate briefly the story of how Pope Gregory decided to
send missionaries to England--including any of the multi-lingual
puns associated with the legend.
4.61 What language was spoken in the monasteries,
the schools, and the churches?
What did the Venerable Bede write that has been the most
important record of Early English history?
When did Bede write this?
Who was Bede's "spiritual grandson" at the York
monastery (according to Baugh) who was later called by Emperor
Charlemagne to be head of his famous palace school at Aachan?.
4.62 The second period of the Latin influence
generally involves the adaptation of what sorts of vocabulary
(a) military and fighting terms, (b) strong verbs and neuter
nouns, (c) weak verbs and masculine nouns, (d) religious
and educational/learning terms?
4.63 What event in the end of the eighth
century signaled or brought about a decline in Latin influence
throughout England and the church?
What are some of the steps King Alfred took to halt the
decline in the church and in education generally?
4.64 What did Dunstan of Canterbury, Athelwold
of Winchester and Oswald of Worcester bring about with King
What was the goal or purpose of the regulation known as
the Concordia Regularis?
The Benedictine or Cluniac reforms were designed to cure
what sorts of problems in the medieval church?
4.65 When it came to religious terminology,
what did Anglo-Saxon speakers tend to do when their own
language already possessed a word with a similar concept
to that found in a Latin word?
4.66 What are some of the signs (according
to Baugh) that an originally non-native word has been fully
assimilated into a new language rather than merely being
a somewhat exotic addition that still would seem "foreign"
to native speakers?
4.67 After Celtic and Latin influences,
what was the third major foreign influence on Old English
near the end of the Old English Period?
4.68 The Scandinavian invasions can be
divided into three general periods. During the first period
of early raids (787-830), what was the goal of the Vikings?
During the second stage of Viking attacks (830-878), what
activities or behavior of the Vikings was different than
in the earlier stage? What political agreement marks the
end of this stage?
The third stage of the Viking incursions covers 878-1042.
What are some of the traits or events associated with this
period? What two kings or rulers gave the invasions an
In 991, what famous battle became immortalized in an Old
What did Svein Forkbeard and his son Cnut do to Aethelred,
the English King?
4.69 How many place-names in England bear
In the later days of the Danelaw, how were the Scandinavian
settlers who interacted with the local English populace
different than the original Viking raiders?
4.70 Earlier, we learned how the Anglo-Saxons
basically engulfed or drove out the Celtic inhabitants when
they settled the land. How was the Danish invasions different
How do we know that a large number of Scandinavians accepted
Christianity and intermixed with the English settlers?
4.71 What was constantly renewing the
Scandinavian language in England up to the time of the Norman
4.72 What are some of the common traits
or similarities the Scandinavian language had with Anglo-Saxon?
If you see a common Modern English word beginning with
<sk>, it was probably a loan-word from what language?
the words scatter and shatter. Both come from the same proto-Germanic
root. Based upon phonological evidence, which one is an actual
Anglo-Saxon word native to the Anglo-Saxons, and which one
is a loanword introduced by the Vikings?
What is the difference between the pronunciation of <k>
and <g> in Scandinavian loan-word and native Anglo-Saxon
When a word exists in both Old English and Scandinavian
forms, how does meaning help modern philologists determine
which one came down to survive in Modern English?
4.73 What does the toponym ending -by
mean? From what language does it descend? What does the
toponym ending -thorp mean? What does the toponym ending
-waite mean? From
what language does it descend? What does the toponym ending
-toft mean? From what language does it descend?
What does the Scandinavian patronym -son
mean (if that question isn't too obvious...)? What is the
original Old English equivalent?
4.74 The largest single group of early
borrowings from Scandinavian in Old English deal with what
skill or subject? Why does that make sense, given the nature
of the Vikings' early "visits" to England? Why
do you suppose these words tended to die out later in English?
The second wave of borrowings deal with what sort of subject?
Why does this make sense, given that these words were introduced
during a time of settlement rather than pillage? Why do
you suppose these words died out after the Norman Conquest?
4.75 The Scandinavian words that tended
to last and survive up to the modern day are described by
Baugh as dealing with the "give-and-take" of everyday
life. Provide three examples of these words.
4.76 If two words meaning roughly the
same thing--one Anglo-Saxon and one Scandinavian--were being
used simultaneously, then several possible outcomes would
- The two words would blur together if their forms were
similar to each other
- The Scandinavians would start using the native Old
English word, and the foreign term would die out.
- The Anglo-Saxons would start using the Scandinavian
loanword, and the Old Englsih term would die out.
- Both words would survive--but each would become more
specialized in its meaning.
- The English word might survive, but its pronunciation
might change to match more closely the corresponding
Of these possible outcomes, which one is most likely to
enrich the vocabulary of English?
4.77 What modern pronouns ultimately come
Bonus Question: What pronouns did
the Anglo-Saxons use before adopting these Scandinavian
Where does the phrase "to and fro" come from?
Where does the present plural form of the modern verb to
be come from? What was the original Anglo-Saxon present
plural form of this word in West Saxon before the Danes
4.78 Besides standard speech, where else
do Scandinavian turns of phrase appear?
4.79 According to Baugh, how likely is
it that inflections are transferred from one languge to
In English, the -s
of the third person singular present indicative of verbs
is an import from what foreign language's influence?
In Middle English and Old English, the present participle
suffix -ande (or -end/-ind), comes from Scandinavian influence.
What modern suffix has replaced this?
What caused (or what made it so easy) for Old English to
lose its inflections--thus vastly simplifying English grammar?
What caused Old English syntax to "gel" or solidify
in a standard way for phrases and clauses? (I.e., why
syntax suddenly become much more important?)
Where does the Middle English distinction between shall
and will come from?
4.80 (no questions)