|Vowels a, æ, e i, o, u, y, ea, eo, ie||Consonants c, g, f, s, þ/ð, h, sc, cg||Cases|
This page provides very basic information about pronunciation and cases. More information on pronunciation can be obtained by practice reading of one of the Old English samples. Some more information on grammar can be found in the Glossary.
West Saxon Dialect
- Nu sculon herigean heofonrices weard, &
meotodes meahte and his modgeþanc, &
weorc wuldorfæder, swa he wundra gehwæs, &
ece drihten, or onstealde. &
- He ærest sceop eorðan bearnum &
heofon to hrofe, halig scyppend; &
þa middangeard moncynnes weard, &
ece drihten, æfter teode &
firum foldan, frea ælmihtig. &
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|Fæder ure, ðu ðe eart
si ðin nama gehalgod; &
to‑becume ðin rice; &
geweorþe ðin willa on eorðan &
swa swa on heofenum. &
Urne ge dæghwamlican hlaf syle us to‑deag, &
and forgyf us ure gyltas &
swa swa we forgifaþ urum gyltendum, &
and ne gelæde ðu us on costnunge, &
ac alys us of yfele soþlice &
|a||like a in "say 'ah'"||habban, dagum, mann|
|~||like a in father||stan, ban, last|
|F||like a in can||mæst, æt, æfter, wæs|
|like a in jazz||dæd, ræd, wæron|
|e||like e in get||gebiddan, bedd, setl, stelan|
|‘||like a in shade||her, let, deman|
|i||like i in wit||biton, wiste, inn, him|
|§||like i in machine||ride, win, scir|
|o||like "au" in haughty||holpen, bond, oft, on|
|Ç||like o in told||god, oðer, bot, dom|
|u||like u in put||full, sumor, upp,|
|ã||like oo in shoot||ful, tun, brucan|
|y||like german h or like overemphasized u ("uew") in yule.||fyllan, dydon, cyme|
|like ew in "achew"||tynan, bryd, lyt|
|ea||æ + "a" as in Cuba||healp, geaf, heard, eal|
|‘a||+ "a" as in Cuba||beam, geafon, deaþ, neah|
|eo||e + "a" as in Cuba||weorc, beorn, feoh, seolh|
|‘o||‘ + "a" as in Cuba||beodan, beor, leof, seo|
|ie||i + "a" as in Cuba||ieldran, hierde, scielde, bierhtan|
|§e||§ + "a" as in Cuba||hierde, hieran, liesan, prie|
|c||c can be "k" as in kiss
c can be "ch" as in which
|cynn, camp, clud
lic, cirice, dreccan
|g||g can be "g" as in guts
g can be "y" as in yet
g can be "nj" sound in hinge
g can be the "gw" sound combined
|gamol, gold, grap
gear, gieldan, gebiddan
hengest, engel, leng
|f||f can be unvoiced "f" as in four
f can be voiced v as in verb
|full, æfter, hlaf
|s||s can be unvoiced "s" as in so
s can be the "z" as in zoo
|sunu, last, gos
|þ/ð||þ/ð can be unvoiced "th" in think
þ/ð can be voiced "th" in that
|þeaw, brecþa, wiþ
|h||h can be "h" in hound
h can be "ch" in loch
h can be the "h" in Hugh
|hund, hlaf, hream
fohten, fuhton, eahta, feoh
|sc||sc usually = "sh" as in she||scolde, fersc, scrud|
|cg||cg usually = "dg" as in edge||ecg, fricgan, brycg|
- Primarily the subject of a sentence.
- The complement of a linking verb
The King is good. (both "king" and "good" are nominative--in O.E. )
Direct addresses are in the nominative case.
Primarily to note possession.
A noun or adjective can function as an adverb by using the genitive.
Membership as part of a whole can be expressed in genitive case.
"one of the warriors" is expressed by writing one and "warriors" in the genitive.
Primarily to denote indirect object of the verb.
The object of a preposition is usually in the dative case.
Can indicate the means by which something is achieved.
She stabbed him with a knife. ("with" is unecessary in O.E., put "knife in dative.)
Expressions of time use the dative case.
- Primarily used to denote direct object of the verb.
- The object of a preposition sometimes is in the accusative.
- A noun can be used as an adverb by using the accusative case.
- The subject of an infinitive is in the accusative case.
Diamond, Robert E. Old English Grammar and Reader. Detroit: Wayne
State U P, 1970.
Moore, Samuel and Thomas A. Knott and James R. Hulbert. The Elements
of Old English. 10th edition. Ann Arbor MI: George Wahr, 1977.
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