Comparison between Old English and Modern English

Comparison between Old English and Modern English
Old Modern
1 Pronunciation
A More alphabetical letters Less alphabetical letters
B More consonants Less consonants
C Less vowels (4) More vowels
D No Diphthongs A number of Diphthongs
E Different length of the long vowel Different length of the long vowel
2 Vocabulary
A 99% Germanic 85% words from French, Latin and Indo European languages.
B Very few words from the Celtic and Latin languages Also borrowed words from Arabic, Afrikan, middle eastern, Asian, Greco-Roman and Indo European Languages
3 Grammatical Structure
a Synthetic Analytical
I. Noun
· Fully inflected

· You know the case and number of the noun through its inflections

· Inflections are of two types i.e.

1. strong/ masculine (when the stem ends with a consonant sound)

2. weak/feminine (when the stem ends with a vowel sound)

Example :

Nominative form: stãn

Genitive form : stãn-es

· No inflections

· You know the case and number of the noun through the position of the noun in the sentence and its relationship with other word forms or type of words in the sentence.

II. Grammatical gender
· Not at all well-defined/developed

· Three gender types:

1. Masculine (wyfman)

2. Feminine

3. Neuter (maiden, wyf, male child)

· Well developed

· Three gender types:

1. Masculine

2. Feminine

3. Neuter

III. Adjective
· Fully inflected

· Inflections are of two types i.e.

1. strong/ masculine (when there is no article or other such word in front of the noun eg. Gõd mann

2. weak/feminine (when the noun has an article before it eg. Se gõda mann )

· No inflections
IV The Definite Article
· Fully inflected definite article · Not inflected at all

· Old English article, especially its demonstrative case, is preserved in its original form till date

V The Personal Pronoun
· Old English personal pronoun is fully inflected.

· It has many distinctive cases for all genders, cases and persons.

· Unlike other languages it has three cases of number e.g.

1. Singular

2. Two (i.e. both)

3. Plural (many)

· Due to the frequency of its use and necessity for specific references, Old English personal pronoun is preserved in its original form till date.

· Same as point 2

· Same as point 3

VI The Verb
· Two types of tenses e.g.

1. Past tense

2. Present tense

· Two types of Verbs

1. Strong: (their middle vowel changed: e.g. run , ran , run)

2. Weak: (they changed with the addition of d/ed , which in some cases added a syllable to the root as well:

e.g. grunt, grunted, grunted.)

· 9 types of tenses

1. Past tense

(simple, perfect continuous)

2. Present tense

(simple, perfect continuous)

3. Future tense

(simple, perfect continuous)

· Two types of Verbs

1. Irregular: (their middle vowel changed: e.g. run , ran , run)

2. Regular: (they changed with the addition of d/ed , which in some cases added a syllable to the root as well: e.g. grunt , grunted, grunted.)

4 Sentence Structure
· Paratactic (easy and childlike, full of simple sentences and no subordinate clauses) Hypotactic (Difficult, literary, complex with lots of transitions, conjunctions and subordinate clauses etc.)