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 Four: "Foreign Influences on Old English"

Vocabulary: Old English, toponym, i-umlaut, loanwords, palatal diphongization, Treaty of Wedmore, Danelaw, Viking, OED


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?

Bonus Question: Explain how i-umlaut caused the odd modern plural form of "mice" for the singular word "mouse."

Bonus Question: 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 so slight?

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?

Bonus Question: 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 Edgar's help?

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 "official character"?

In 991, what famous battle became immortalized in an Old English poem?

What did Svein Forkbeard and his son Cnut do to Aethelred, the English King?

4.69 How many place-names in England bear Scandinavian names?

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 than this?

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 Conquest?

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?

Bonus question--Consider 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 words?

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 result:

  • 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 Scandinavian word.

Of these possible outcomes, which one is most likely to enrich the vocabulary of English?

4.77 What modern pronouns ultimately come from Scandinavian?

Bonus Question: What pronouns did the Anglo-Saxons use before adopting these Scandinavian terms?

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 invaded?

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 another?

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 did syntax suddenly become much more important?)

Where does the Middle English distinction between shall and will come from?

4.80 (no questions)




To Home Page
Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler 1998-2016. Permission is granted for non-profit, educational, and student reproduction. Last updated August 15th, 2016. 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.