Thursday, September 25, 2008

Learn Old English with the Wordhoard: Verbs I

Now, on to verbs!

Our next two weeks, we’ll be focusing on verbs, found in here, and Drout here, here, here, here and here). We’re also continuing with Minitext B, though we’ll be moving on to Minitext C next time. Even if you don’t want to start working on the translation of Minitext C, Baker has an exercise involving identifying all the basic verb types. I recommend you try that.

Here’s your vocabulary quiz. As always, highlight the text for the answers:

durran … to dare
motan … must, to be allowed
gemunan … to remember
(ge)benugan … to be enough
þurfan … to need
unnan … to grant
don … to do
gan … to go
willan … will, to wish for, to desire
ascian … to ask
wepan … to weep
slæpan … to sleep
niman … to take
fon … to take
agan … to possess
hatan … to command, to be called
sprecan … to speak
þencan … to think
habban … to have, to hold
secgan … to say, to tell

Back to verbs again. All those verb paradigms you need to start memorizing can be very confusing. Don’t let them intimidate you! For now, just focus on three paradigms: the basic weak and strong verb paradigm found in table 7.1, and the beon paradigm found in table 7.4. The other paradigms are important, too, but they tend to follow along the same kinds of patterns suggested in table 7.1. The beon paradigm is, as Baker says, a mess, but ask any foreigner who’s had to learn Modern English and they’ll tell you that the to be paradigm for MnE is just as annoying. Unfortunately, you won’t get very far in OE without knowing how to use the be verb, so you’ll just have to suck it up and learn it.

As for my students, while they’re learning those new verb paradigms, they can expect to be tested on one last weak noun paradigm, 6.5, with nama, eage, and tunge. They’ll also be tested on some vocabulary – in this case, Adjective:

god … good
hwæt … vigorous
heard … hard, fierce
milde … kind
halig … holy
sweotol … clear
eald … old
geong … young
heah … high
lang … long
strang … strong
lytel … small, little
micel … large
yfel … bad
wis … wise

One really nice thing about those adjectives: a lot of modern cognates! So, until next time, your podcast commentary is below.

Update: This was posted late because of YouTube maintenance, so I'll be delaying the second post of the week by a day or so.

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