I saw this ending in many words of Old English origin where a word has -an in Old English but then lost in Modern English.
Examples: habban, climban, sceþþan, singan, offrian etc.
I noticed another thing: Old English words that end in -an end in -en in Middle English:
|Old English||Middle English||Modern English|
I can't think of other words but there are so many that behave the same.
What's up with the loss of -an/-en? And why the change from -an to -en? Can anyone please explain this?
While searching for an answer, I found this website (Uni.Due.De).
It has some information but I don't understand it at all.
The effects of the above changes on the morphology of Middle English were very considerable. They led to a loss of distinctiveness among grammatical endings so that the various declensional classes of Old English collapsed, with the dative plural remaining for a while the only case — with a final nasal /-n/ — which was distinctive, but even that was reduced in the course of the Middle English period. A direct consequence of this was that the more common declensions were generalised and used productively. The two main ones are the s-type and the nasal type as seen in the Old English words stān ‘stone’ : stānas ‘stones’ and ēage ‘eye’ : ēagan ‘eyes’ respectively. For a while the nasal declension was productive as is seen in its addition to the old r-plural child : childer > child(e)ren to give the doubly marked plural which has survived to the present day