Middle English

EnglishMiddlelate Middle EnglishMEMedieval EnglishEarly Middle EnglishEnglish languageEnglish, Middle[16Anglo Saxon
Middle English (ME) is a period when the English language, spoken after the Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century, underwent distinct variations and developments following the Old English period.wikipedia
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English language

EnglishEnglish-languageen
Middle English (ME) is a period when the English language, spoken after the Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century, underwent distinct variations and developments following the Old English period.
Middle English began in the late 11th century with the Norman conquest of England and was a period in which the language was influenced by French.

Early Modern English

EnglishEarly ModernElizabethan English
Middle English was succeeded in England by the era of Early Modern English, which lasted until about 1650.
Early Modern English, Early New English (sometimes abbreviated to EModE, EMnE or EME) is the stage of the English language from the beginning of the Tudor period to the English Interregnum and Restoration, or from the transition from Middle English, in the late 15th century, to the transition to Modern English, in the mid-to-late 17th century.

The Canterbury Tales

Canterbury TalesCanterbury TaleCanterbury Pilgrims
During the 14th century, a new style of literature emerged with the works of writers including John Wycliffe and Geoffrey Chaucer, whose Canterbury Tales remains one of the most studied and read works of the period.
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer between 1387 and 1400.

Middle English literature

medieval English literatureMiddle Englishliterary language
Little survives of early Middle English literature, due in part to Norman domination and the prestige that came with writing in French rather than English.
The term Middle English literature refers to the literature written in the form of the English language known as Middle English, from the 14th century until the 1470s.

John Wycliffe

WycliffeWycliffiteJohn Wyclif
During the 14th century, a new style of literature emerged with the works of writers including John Wycliffe and Geoffrey Chaucer, whose Canterbury Tales remains one of the most studied and read works of the period.
In 1382 he completed a translation directly from the Vulgate into Middle English – a version now known as Wycliffe's Bible.

Vikings

VikingNorseDanes
The eagerness of Vikings in the Danelaw to communicate with their southern Anglo-Saxon neighbors resulted in the erosion of inflection in both languages.
The word does not occur in any preserved Middle English texts.

Great Vowel Shift

a change in vowel pronunciationby 1600pre-vowel-shift
Significant changes in pronunciation took place, particularly involving long vowels and diphthongs which in the later Middle English period, began to undergo the Great Vowel Shift.
The main difference between the pronunciation of Middle English in the year 1400 and Modern English (Received Pronunciation) is in the value of the long vowels.

Sheep

ramlambdomestic sheep
A significant number of words of French origin began to appear in the English language alongside native English words of similar meaning, giving rise to such Modern English synonyms as pig/pork, chicken/poultry, calf/veal, cow/beef, sheep/mutton, wood/forest, house/mansion, worthy/valuable, bold/courageous, freedom/liberty, sight/vision, eat/dine.
Use of the word sheep began in Middle English as a derivation of the Old English word scēap; it is both the singular and plural name for the animal.

Forest

forestsconiferous forestsforested
A significant number of words of French origin began to appear in the English language alongside native English words of similar meaning, giving rise to such Modern English synonyms as pig/pork, chicken/poultry, calf/veal, cow/beef, sheep/mutton, wood/forest, house/mansion, worthy/valuable, bold/courageous, freedom/liberty, sight/vision, eat/dine.
The word forest comes from Middle English, from Old French forest (also forès) "forest, vast expanse covered by trees"; first introduced in English as the word for wild land set aside for hunting without the necessity in definition for the existence of trees.

History of English

standardization of English spellinghistory of the English languageEnglish
Early Middle English (1150–1300) has a largely Anglo-Saxon vocabulary (with many Norse borrowings in the northern parts of the country), but a greatly simplified inflectional system.
The Old English of the Anglo-Saxon era developed into Middle English, which was spoken from the Norman Conquest era to the late 15th century.

Anglo-Norman language

Anglo-NormanAnglo-FrenchNorman French
Middle English also saw considerable adoption of Norman French vocabulary, especially in the areas of politics, law, the arts and religion. The Norman conquest of England in 1066 saw the replacement of the top levels of the English-speaking political and ecclesiastical hierarchies by Norman rulers who spoke a dialect of Old French known as Old Norman, which developed in England into Anglo-Norman.
Latin also remained in use in medieval England by the Church, the royal government and much local administration, as it had been before 1066, in parallel with Middle English.

History of the Scots language

Scotshistory of Scotsits origins
Scots language developed concurrently from a variant of the Northumbrian dialect (prevalent in northern England and spoken in southeast Scotland).
After the 12th century early northern Middle English began to spread north and eastwards.

Ormulum

OrmOrm/Orrmin
Important texts for the reconstruction of the evolution of Middle English out of Old English are the Peterborough Chronicle, which continued to be compiled up to 1154; the Ormulum, a biblical commentary probably composed in Lincolnshire in the second half of the 12th century, incorporating a unique phonetic spelling system; and the Ancrene Wisse and the Katherine Group, religious texts written for anchoresses, apparently in the West Midlands in the early 13th century.
The Ormulum or Orrmulum is a twelfth-century work of biblical exegesis, written by a monk named Orm (or Ormin) and consisting of just under 19,000 lines of early Middle English verse.

Layamon's Brut

BrutLayamon's ''BrutBrut Chronicle
More literary sources of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries include Lawman's Brut and The Owl and the Nightingale.
1190 - 1215), also known as The Chronicle of Britain, is a Middle English poem compiled and recast by the English priest Layamon.

Katherine Group

Important texts for the reconstruction of the evolution of Middle English out of Old English are the Peterborough Chronicle, which continued to be compiled up to 1154; the Ormulum, a biblical commentary probably composed in Lincolnshire in the second half of the 12th century, incorporating a unique phonetic spelling system; and the Ancrene Wisse and the Katherine Group, religious texts written for anchoresses, apparently in the West Midlands in the early 13th century.
The so-called Katherine Group is a group of five 13th century Middle English texts composed by an anonymous author of the English West Midlands, in a variety of Middle English known as AB language.

Ayenbite of Inwyt

agenbite of inwit
The Ayenbite of Inwyt, a translation of a French confessional prose work, completed in 1340, is written in a Kentish dialect.
The Ayenbite of Inwyt —also Aȝenbite (Agenbite) of Inwit; literally, the "again-biting of inner wit," or the Remorse (Prick) of Conscience is the title of a confessional prose work written in a Kentish dialect of Middle English.

Scots language

ScotsLowland ScotsScottish
This would develop into what came to be known as the Scots language.
The Scots language developed during the Middle English period as a distinct entity.

Bible translations into English

English translationstranslationsEnglish translation
[18] Early Modern English officially began in the 1540s after the printing and wide distribution of the English Bible and Prayer Book, which made the new standard of English publicly recognizable, and lasted until about 1650.
Partial Bible translations into languages of the English people can be traced back to the late 7th century, including translations into Old and Middle English.

Richard Pynson

[15
The press stabilized English through a push towards standardization, led by Chancery Standard enthusiast and writer Richard Pynson.
The 500 books he printed were influential in the standardisation of the English language.

AB language

AB literary dialectNorth Midlands Middle English
The language found in the last two works is sometimes called the AB language.
In English philology, AB language is a variety of Middle English found in the Corpus manuscript, containing Ancrene Wisse (whence 'A'), and in MS Bodley 34 in Bodleian Library, Oxford (whence 'B').

Silent e

magic esilent silent
The combination of the last three processes listed above led to the spelling conventions associated with silent and doubled consonants (see under Orthography, below).
Typically it represents a vowel sound that was formerly pronounced, but became silent in late Middle English or Early Modern English.

Dative case

dativedat.DAT
The grammatical relations that were expressed in Old English by the dative and instrumental cases are replaced in Early Middle English with prepositional constructions.
The Old English language, which continued in use until after the Norman Conquest of 1066, had a dative case; however, the English case system gradually fell into disuse during the Middle English period, when the accusative and dative of pronouns merged into a single oblique case that was also used with all prepositions.

Middle English phonology

Middle EnglishHomorganic lengtheningthat of Middle English
The main changes between the Old English sound system and that of Middle English include:
This variable outcome, along with other variable changes and the ambiguity of the Middle English spelling (either or in Early Middle English) accounts for the numerous pronunciations of Modern English words in -ough- (e.g. though, through, bough, rough, trough, thought, with -ough- pronounced respectively).

Late Middle Ages

late medievallate medieval periodlate mediaeval
This stage of the development of the English language roughly followed the High to the Late Middle Ages.
In England Geoffrey Chaucer helped establish Middle English as a literary language with his Canterbury Tales, which contained a wide variety of narrators and stories (including some translated from Boccaccio).

Normans

NormanNorman timesAnglo-Norman
The Norman conquest of England in 1066 saw the replacement of the top levels of the English-speaking political and ecclesiastical hierarchies by Norman rulers who spoke a dialect of Old French known as Old Norman, which developed in England into Anglo-Norman.
The Anglo-Norman language was eventually absorbed into the Anglo-Saxon language of their subjects (see Old English) and influenced it, helping (along with the Norse language of the earlier Anglo-Norse settlers and the Latin used by the church) in the development of Middle English.