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 bananas." 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 case/circumstance/situation'. > - 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? Present singular 1st. ic bere 2nd. thu birst 3rd. he birth plural 1st. we berath 2nd. ge berath 3rd. hie berath Preterite singular 1st. ic baer 2nd. thu baere 3rd. he baer plural 1st. we baeron 2nd. ge baeron 3rd. hie baeron Subjunctive singular baere plural baeren Infinitive beran Participle berende '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 http://www.georgetown.edu/cball/oe/old_english.html 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."