The Verb in Old English

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The Verb in Old English
PERFORMED BY
YANA POZIKHAILO
GROUP 42T
THE OLD ENGLISH VERB
• The system of the Old English verbs was less
developed than it is now. It had fewer forms, and its
categories were somewhat different from the similar
categories in present-day English. Some of them
were ambiguous . The grammatical nature of the
others is not recognized by scholars. Still, its
paradigm fairly complicated. As all the verbs fell into
numerous morphological classes and employed a
variety of form building means. The form-building
devices were gradation (vowel interchange), the use
of suffixes, inflections, and suppletion.
• Inflections were also present when other ways were
employed, so we can say that the ways of forming
paradigmatic forms were – inflections, combined
with vowel interchange or suppletion, or pure
inflections.
• All the paradigmatic forms of the verbs were
synthetic.
• There were also lexical structures with non-finite
forms of the verb rendering some grammatical
meanings.
Non-finite forms of the verb
• In Old English there were two non-finite forms of
the verb: the Infinitive and the Participle. In many
respects they were closer to the nouns and adjectives
than to the finite verb; their nominal features were
far more obvious than their verbal features. The
verbal nature of the Infinitive and the participle was
revealed in some of their functions and their
syntactic 'combinability'; like finite forms they could
take direct objects and be modified by adverbs.
• The Infinitive had no verbal grammatical categories.
Being a verbal noun by origin, it had a sort of
reduced case system: two forms which roughly
corresponded to the Nominative and the Dative
cases of nouns. As, beran - uninflected Infinitive
(Nom. case), to beranne - inflected Infinitive (Dat
case). Like the Dative case of nouns the inflected
Infinitive with the preposition to could be used to
indicate the direction or purpose of an action. The
uninflected Infinitive was used in verb phrases with
modal verbs or other verbs of incomplete
predication.
Grammatical Categories of the
Verbals
• In OE there were two non-finite forms of the verb:
the Infinitive and the Participle. In many respects
they were closer to the nouns and adjectives than to
the finite verb; their nominal features were far more
obvious than their verbal features, especially at the
morphological level. The verbal nature of the
Infinitive and the Participle was revealed in some of
their functions and in their syntactic
"combinability": like finite forms they could take
direct objects and be modified by adverbs.
• The forms of the two participles were strictly
differentiated. P I was formed from the Present
tense stem (the Infinitive without the endings -an , ian ) with the help of the suffix -ende . P II had a
stem of its own — in strong verbs it was marked by a
certain grade of the root-vowel interchange and by
the suffix -en ; with weak verbs it ended in -d /-t . P
II was commonly marked by the prefix ge -, though
it could also occur without it, especially if the verb
had other word-building prefixes.
• Infinitive Participle I Participle II (NE bindan
bindende gebunden bind)
The Old English Verb
Categories
• 2 tenses
3 moods
2 numbers
• present
Indicative
singular
• past
Subjunctive
• (preterite) (conjunctive)
imperative
plural
3 persons
Thank you for attention!!!
LITERATURE
• L.Verba. History of the English language. - Vinnitsa,
2004. - PP. 38-89
Аракин В. Д. История английского языка. - М.,
1985. - C.
43-92
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