On Sunday 03 November 2002 01:21 am, you wrote:
> Hi all!
> I have a few question concerning some poetical and linguistical things.
> (Maybe a little OT)
> I have now seen a little bit through Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings. He's
> using for the language of the Gondorians some kind of English mixed with
> Old English words. I have the question anyone knowing for sure abot these
> things (excuse me if they are silly questions, I'm not very good in
> English):
> - Verb forms like 'hast' 'shalt' etc. Where there any common forms for the
> verbs in sing. 2nd and 3rd person, like in other languages?

That used to be the common form.  It dropped out of common use after the time
of Shakespeare.

- Personal
> pronouns: 'thou' and 'ye' are the sing. and pl. forms of 'you'? acc. and
> dative are 'thee' in sing. but what's the form in pl.?

'you' was the oblique plural case, now it has crowded out the nominative 'ye'
and taken its place.

- Is 'nay' simply an
> older form of 'no'?

It's a somewhat more limited negative.  You can say, "No, we have no bananas",
you can say, "Nay, we have no bananas", but you can't say, "No, we have nay
It just doesn't work like that.

> - Using 'whence' and 'thence', 'yestereve' and 'yesteryear' is normal
> today, or is archaic?

Definitely archaic.  You use them when you are trying to be sarcastic in
ordinary modern English, as if you are being more "haughty", more highly
placed in the scheme of things than you actually are.  Though I have heard
'yesteryear' used on TV, though it was definitely in an archaising context.

- What do 'ere', 'hearken', 'naught', 'nigh', 'thus'
> mean?

'ere' - 'before'; 'hearken' - 'listen up', 'pay attention'; 'naught' -
'nothing', 'not something'; 'nigh' - 'near'; 'thus' - 'so', 'in this

> - Can 'for' still be used instead of 'because' and 'save' instead of 'exept
> for'?

'for' is occasionally used for 'because', though mostly in formal and
scholarly contexts; 'save' has lost all its colloquial use as an alternative
to 'except for', apart from people who think that God himself wrote the King
James Bible, which does use that turn of phrase.

- What does 'Would it were not so!' mean?

"I would rather it hadn't happened!"  "I would prefer that it wasn't the
case!"  "Don't let it happen!  Please!"

> - He uses 'fair' very often for good, beautiful, etc. He uses 'dwell' for
> 'live'. Are they common today?

'fair' in modern Australasian speech either refers to conduct - "that's just
not fair!" meaning 'just', or to hair-colour - "my sister's got very fair
hair", meaning she's a natural blond.

> Are the older forms Old English?

Not quite.  They're almost late Middle English, and there are some very good -
and hopefully for you - affordable editions of "Peers Plowman", "Geoffrey
Chaucer", "Gawain and the Green Knight", and other texts, and also some
Middle English glossaries available.  The canonical English texts for Early
Modern English are the Works of Shakespeare, The Authorized Version of the
Bible, aka the King James, and a whole host of great English poets and so
forth - too many for me to cover here.

> Another linguistical question:
> Can anyone write the verb forms of Old English/Anglo-Saxon (I don't know
> when they begun to use only 2 forms), when they still existed?

1st.  ic bere
2nd. thu birst
3rd. he birth
1st. we berath
2nd. ge berath
3rd. hie berath

1st. ic baer
2nd. thu baere
3rd. he baer
1st. we baeron
2nd. ge baeron
3rd. hie baeron



'beran' - 'To bear, carry', taken from "An Elementary Old English Grammar" by
Joseph Wright and Elizabeth Mary Wright.
> And the last one:
> Does anyone know any webpages where I can find something about Old
> English/Anglo-Saxon?

I haven't been looking, but

seems to be a good place to start.

> Thank you indeed!

Think nothing of it.

Wesley Parish

>         Balazs

Mau e ki, "He aha te mea nui?"
You ask, "What is the most important thing?"
Maku e ki, "He tangata, he tangata, he tangata."
I reply, "It is people, it is people, it is people."