According to Wikipedia, the Latin influence on English builds more than half of its vocabulary. The same source furnishes a percentage of 26% for words of Germanic origin. Although I can easily ...
In Old English, vowel length was phonemic, but stress and certain kinds of consonant voicing were not. In Modern English, that situation is reversed: vowel length is no longer phonemic, but stress ...
One recent vowel phoneme in English is /ɜ:/. It would seem that this sound only developed in a certain phonetic environment, or to phrase it differently: it only appeared under certain conditions.
The past tense of a number of verbs changes from -end to -ent: bend → bent lend → lent rend → rent send → sent spend → spent wend → went However, most do not, notably end. Granted, I say “I ent ...
There is Old English, and there is the English we speak now. When did exactly did the British (or Americans) change from speaking Old English to speaking the current form of English?
The Germans have doch and the French have si as a word that means "yes" in response to a negative question, such as: Don't you want some ice-cream? Yes [I do]! In English, we only have yes (as ...
Where is the root morpheme in the Old English cristalla (crystal) and cymen (cumin)? It seems to be wrong to identify the morphemes in loanwords from etymological point of view.
Apparently the word "nightmare" has only been used in the sense of "bad dream" since c. 1829. Before then the term referred to the agent causing the dreams—a mare < mera, mære 'goblin, ...
...and if not, where'd it go? One obvious venture is that the noun "wit", in the sense of cleverness and general know-how, has an etymological affinity with the Old English witen, "to know", and which ...
I'm interested in learning Archaic English. As a starting point, I guess simple texts that are easy to comprehend would be a good choice. I would appreciate any suggestions.