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Author Topic: An unhealthy mixing of church and state?  (Read 11906 times)
SunflowerP
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« Reply #45: January 11, 2009, 01:03:16 am »

Admittedly minimal and they're often used interchangeably - but for me, the Anglo-Saxon is the stuff I can't make much sense of, and the Old English is the stuff that if I peer at it long enough, I can partially decode. (More broadly, both terms cover about 7 centuries, which is a fairly large segment of language development all told, and the AS tendency is the earlier stuff, and the OE stuff is the later stuff, especially as you get post Norman Invasion when you get an increasing number of loan words from multiple sources - French, Latin, etc.) Have a book at work that I think will do a better description, and will snag it tomorrow.
That makes sense - and reminds me that when, f'ex, a reference gives 1100 as a date marking the "mutual border" of OE and ME, it's an arbitrary line in the midst of constant process, not even concrete enough to be called an approximation.  (Coincidentally, JFP and I had a convo the other night relating to the transition from ME to modern English, that similarly highlighted the "ongoing process" angle.)

I like your practical distinction between "can't read" and "can puzzle out" - when I look at AS/OE, my first impression is always that I should be able to make it out, but closer examination shows that all I can manage is to grasp the correlation between it and a translation.

Sunflower
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« Reply #46: January 11, 2009, 12:52:27 pm »

Today I happen to have on my little book shelve, “The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories “on page 552 the word “witch [ Old English] Old English wicca ( masculine), wicce ( feminine) wiccian ( verb)…”

I just posted a bunch of notes in a new thread - over here: http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=7978.0 for the curious and people who want to continue this discussion.
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