OLD ENGLISH AND ITS SCHOLARS -AN HISTORICAL STUDY OF SELF -PERCEPTION

ROSEMARY HUISMAN

Abstract


The term Old English is used to describe the language of the AngloSaxons in England from about, say, 500 to 1100 A.D. Old English is the direct ancestor of Modern English; our vocabulary may be larger and show the influence of Latin, French and so on but our most frequently used words and our basic grammatical structures are still very much the same as in Old English. Old English has been studied from about 1550 on. In considering the habits of Old English scholars, I want to let them be heard in their own words as far as possible and though it is, of course, my purposes in shaping this paper which permit them to contribute, I have tried to be fair, to select passages which, though striking, are also consistent with the general attitudes of an individual scholar or those of a period of scholarship.


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