Place-name evidence for Old English dialects

Hough, C. (2018) Place-name evidence for Old English dialects. Onomastica Uralica, 11, pp. 159-168.

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Old English is a collective term for a group of related dialects, some of which are better attested than others. The West Saxon variety tends to predominate in manuscripts, while the Northumbrian variety is particularly poorly represented in either written or epigraphic sources. Place-name evidence adds substantially to our knowledge of language varieties spoken in the areas covered by the ongoing national place-name surveys of England and Scotland, but neither has yet reached the Northumbrian heartland that spanned the present-day border between the two countries. The deficit is being addressed by a three-year project funded by the Leverhulme Trust at the University of Glasgow, Recovering the Earliest English Language in Scotland: evidence from place-names (REELS): The study area is the historical county of Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders, and the project team is undertaking a comprehensive survey of six parishes alongside broader analysis of major place-names throughout the county. The early findings presented in this paper illustrate the potential of place-name evidence to extend the current understanding of Old Northumbrian, drawing on examples from the semantic field of bird and animal names.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hough, Professor Carole
Authors: Hough, C.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Onomastica Uralica
Publisher:Debrecen University Press
ISSN (Online):2061-0661

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
692241Recovering the earliest English language in ScotlandCarole HoughLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)RPG-2015-424CRIT - ENGLISH LANGUAGE & LINGUISTICS