The Lindisfarne Glosses Background Arizona State University Workshop on the Glosses Introduction by Elly van Gelderen 26 May 2017 Outline Some background on Lindisfarne and the Glosses
Why they matter, e.g. - OE Grammar - Debate about contact The Glossator Where is Lindisfarne? And Northumbria?
The islands History (adapted from https://en.wikipedia.org) The Island of Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the northeast coast of England. It has a recorded history from the 6th century CE. It was an important center of Celtic Christianity under Aidan, Cuthbert, Eadfrith, and Eadberht. Vikings In 793, a Viking raid on Lindisfarne caused much concern throughout the Christian western
world and is now often taken as the beginning of the Viking Age. The D and E versions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle record: In this year fierce, foreboding omens came over the land of the Northumbrians, and the wretched people shook; there were excessive whirlwinds, lightning, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the sky. These signs were followed by great famine, and a little after those, that same year on 6th ides of January, the ravaging of wretched heathen people destroyed God's church at Lindisfarne.
History of the Lindisfarne Gospels The book is produced around 700 CE at Lindisfarne, probably written by Eadfrith. Because of Viking raids, the Book is taken from the island and housed at the Priory at Chester-le-Street in Durham where it stayed until 995 C950, Aldred would have done his interlinear translation of the text at Chester-le-Street. After Henry VIII ordered the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, the
manuscript was separated from the priory and came in possession of Sir Robert Cotton (15711631) and in 1753 became part of the founding collections of the British Museum. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindisfarne_Gospels) Folio 27r The Lindisfarne Glosses are very
important to: our understanding of early Old English morphology and syntax. They reveal special insights, e.g. the absence of third person null subjects (Berndt 1956; van Gelderen 2000), the early loss of verbal inflection, a possible definite article (Carpenter 1910; Ross 1937), and the (early) use of multiple negatives (Nagucka 1997). The role of Latin is undeniable, in e.g. the word order, the use of
reflexives and other pronouns, but the Northumbrian grammar of the Glosses shines through. Currently, the influence of Old Norse on the development of Middle English pronouns and inflection is debated again and the Lindisfarne Glosses are crucial in this debate (Moore & Marckwardt 1951: 95; Cole 2014ab) as is the extent of Scandinavian loanwords (Pons-Sanz 2013). Finally, there is possible Celtic influence. Latin influence is obvious on word order but not on:
Pro-drop/null subjects Negative Concord and contraction Reflexives Possible Celtic influence? Not really. NSR and reflexives Scandinavian influence? Not huge. Pronouns So: The Glosses show us early Old English Grammar!
Null subjects: many are added but there is a pattern Negative contraction, unlike Latin (1) t nis gelefed him to doanne vel to wyrcanne in sunnadagum. that not.is allowed them to do | work on Sunday (Matt 12.2) quod non licet eis facere sabbatis Van Bergen (2008):
Negative Concord, unlike Latin As contraction phonologically weakens the negative, it is expected that negative doubling will start to appear: (2) et aperti sunt oculi illorum et comminatus est illis & untynde weron ego hiora ara & bebead beboden ws him m iesus dicens uidete ne quis sciat e hlend cue gesea tte nan nyte.
`And opened were their eyes and Jesus charged them saying: See that no man know it. (Matthew 9.30, from Nagucka 1997) Celtic influence: Lindisfarne is above Hs Wall Northern Subject Rule Holmqvist (1922: 2) mentions that, apart from solitary earlier instances, Lindisfarne, The Durham Ritual, and the Northumbrian part of
Rushworth are the first texts where -s appears instead of the plural ath, second person singular st, and third person singular -th. Berndt 1956: NSR, ctd (1) 7 nllas ge cuoea bitiuh iuih fader we habbas abraham and not.want you say between you father we have abraham `And think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham as our father.' (Lindisfarne, Matthew, 3.9)
But not always: (2) gebiddas ge 7 gesald bi iuh soeca ge 7 ge infindes and ge begeattas ask you and given be you; seek you and you find and you get cnysa and cnyllas ge and un-tyned bi iuh knock and strike and knell you and opened be you `Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened for you. (Lindisfarne, Matthew, 7.7)
Coles (2014a) data Difference between Gospels: Norse influence 793 and before: Ponz-Sanz (2013: 266-7): Norse words in the glosses. Certainly always contact across
the North Sea. Pronouns Early use of th- third person plural: Carpenter 1910; Cole 2014b. Renewal: definite articles Relative pronoun
Who glossed? Colophon says: Aldred presbyter indignus 7 misserrimus mi Godes fultum 7 Sancti Cuberhtes hit ofgloesade on englisc & hine gihamadi mi m riim dlum Matheus dl Gode 7 Sancte Cuberhti. Marc dl m biscop. 7 Lucas dl m hiorode. 7 ht ora seolfres mi to inlade. 7 Sancti Johannis dl for hine seolfne .i. fore his saule ...
Aldred: And Aldred, unworthy and miserable priest, glossed it in English with the help of God and St. Cuthbert. And through three sections, he made a home for himself. Matthews part was for God, Marks for the bishop, Lukes for the community (with eight ores of silver for his induction). And St. Johns part for himself [and for his soul]
Did Aldred gloss all four? No: variation in ink color and rendering of and make it plausible that someone else glossed the first three books with Aldred making corrections to those three and then glossing the fourth gospel himself. NSR and negative contraction: 3 distinct styles Reflexives (to come): at least 2 patterns. Yes: null subjects very similar (Berndt 1956; Walkden 2016). John:
Conclusions As to the various influences: Latin is of course present, as is possibly Celtic and Scandinavian. Old English ignores the Latin pro-drop and the lack of negative contraction/concord but it follows most of its word order. Celtic is supposed to be responsible for the NSR and there is a little evidence for that. Finally, there is the start of a plural third person `they and that may be Scandinavian influence.
As to how many glossators there were: there is a lot of difference among the four Gospels but that is not consistent across all phenomena. Matthew has a loss of inflection regardless of adjacent pronouns whereas the three others have less but pronominal influence; and Mark after 5.4 and Luke show little of no contracted negatives and the latter has no instances of nnig, possibly linking contraction with negative concord. As shown in van Gelderen (2017), John is remarkably different in the use of reflexives.
References Berndt, Rolf 1956. Form und Funktion des Verbums im nrdlichen Sptaltenglischen. Halle: Max Niemeyer. Bergen, Linda van 2008. Negative contraction and Old English dialects. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 109: 275-312. Carpenter, H.C.A. 1910. Die Deklination in der Nordhumbrischen Evangelienbersetzung der Lindisfarner Handschrift. Bonn: Hanstein. Cole, Marcelle 2014a. Where did THEY come from? A native origin for THEY, THEIR, THEM.
ICEHL talk. Cole, Marcelle 2014b. Old Northumbrian Verbal Morphosyntax and the (Northern) Subject Rule. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Cole, Marcelle 2016. In Fernndez Cuesta, Julia & Sara Pons-Sanz (eds), 169-188. Facsimile 2002. The Lindisfarne Bible. Munich: Faksimile Verlag. Fernndez Cuesta, Julia 2016. In Fernndez Cuesta, Julia & Sara Pons-Sanz (eds), 257-285. Fernndez Cuesta, Julia & Sara Pons-Sanz (eds) 2016. The Old English Gloss to the Lindisfarne Gospels: Language, Author and Context. De Gruyter Mouton.
Gelderen, Elly van 2000. A History of English Reflexive Pronouns. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Gelderen, Elly van 2013. The Diachrony of Pronouns and Demonstratives, In Search of Universal Grammar: From Old Norse to Zoque, edited by Terje Lohndal, 195-218. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Holmqvist, Erik 1922. On the history of the English Present Inflections particularly -th and s. Heidelberg: Carl Winter's. Kendrick, T.D et al. 1956. Evangeliorum quattuor Codex Lindisfarnensis. Lausanne: Graf.5
Lea, Elizabeth M. 1894. The language of the Northumbrian gloss to the Gospel of St. Mark. Anglia 16: 62-206. Moore, S. & A. H. Marckwardt 1951. Historical Outlines of English Sounds and Inflections. Ann Arbor: George Wahr. Nagucka, Ruth 1997 Glossal translation in the Lindisfarne Gospel according to Saint Matthew. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 31: 179-201. Pons-Sanz, Sara 2013. The Lexical Effects of Anglo-Scandinavian Linguistic Contact on Old English. Turnhout: Brepols.
Ross, Alan S.C. 1937. Studies in the Accidence of the Lindisfarne Gospels. Leeds School of English. Skeat, Walter 1881-87. The Gospel according to St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John. Reprint: Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. Walkden, George 2016. Null subjects in the Lindisfarne Gospels as evidence for syntactic variation in Old English. In: Fernndez Cuesta,
Julia & Sara Pons-Sanz (eds), The Old English Gloss to the Lindisfarne Gospels: Language, Author and Context, 239-256. De Gruyter Mouton. Durham Ritual? Lindelf (1927): not the same as the author of the Durham Ritual Glosses; Ross (1970) thinks they are.
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