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Three new words in the 'Ormulum.'.

In the course of a recent investigation of the OrMulum manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Junius 1),(1) patient scrutiny of the text (including erased passages) led to the identification of three words not previously recorded in the Ormulum,(2) and, indeed, rare elsewhere. These words, and the contexts in which they occur, will be discussed below.

1. leflike

In the Ormulum, two adverb suffix variants are used corresponding to OE -lice, namely -ligh and -like. Of the 68 adverbs of this type, 19 were used only with the suffix -ligh 22 only with the suffix -like,(4) and 27 were used with both suffixes.(5) The choice of suffix was obviously determined by which suffix would best satisfy the requirements of the metre. The only occurrence of leflike in the original text later had the suffix changed to -ligh, however:

(1) Thiss [hallgh.sup.h]e [mah.sup.h]te [] the don.(6) Ghiff thatt tu rihht [it.up.t] [foll.sup.h] esst. Lefli<ke> [the<o>w.sup.w] tenn othre menn.(7) To [luten.sup.n] thine [lahgh.sup.h]re.

(lines 4948 if.)

Usually, this kind of formal change was made in order to normalize the text and reduce the number of variant forms.(8) Since both the variant suffixes -ligh and -like were otherwise left unchanged, this particular case of variation never seems to have disturbed Orm. Instead, the modification of leflike in this passage was necessitated by another formal change.

Example (1) occurs in a passage in col. 121, where Orm expounds on the qualities of the virtue of humility. Here, he originally used causative don followed by a bare infinitive in four sentences in rapid succession. When he, during a later attempt to normalize his text, altered these bare infinitives to to-infinitives,(9) it became necessary to get rid of one syllable in each sentence to accommodate the to. In line 4950 this was done by altering the suffix in lefiike to -ligh. In this way, Orm not only normalized the form of the infinitive after causative don, but he also incidentally normalized the form of the adverb to lefligh, which occurs in two other places in the original text of the Ormulum (lines 3181, 14197).

Outside the Ormulum, the suffix -like added to the stem lefseems only to be recorded in the thirteenth-century text Genesis and Exodus in the form leuelike.(10)

2. lufeniss

The entry loveness is marked Obs. rare1 in OED, and one example only is given, from the early thirteenth-century text the Wohunge of Ure Lauerd:(11)

(2) Tac hit to the nu leve lif widh treowe luuenesse.


MED gives, in addition, one considerably later example.(12) To these two examples can now be added an earlier one from the Ormulum, where the word was written as part of the original text. The suffix here, however, was not -nesse but -niss:

(3) Ne segge icc the nohht tatt te birrth. All all se mikeIl hellpe. 7 all se mikell lufe<niss> <7> all se mikell ghem-sle.(13) thwerrt ??ut?? onn iwhille [other.sup.r] [man.sup.n]: Alls o the sellfenn [leggen.sup.n].

(5092 ff.)

In his original text Orm employed the two suffixes -niss and -nesse for forming abstract nouns; the choice between them was determined solely by metrical considerations. At a later stage, however, Orm decided against the use of -niss and replaced all its occurrences with the suffix -leghghc.(14) In this example, however, the suffix -niss was simply erased, thus changing the word to the much more common lufe.

3. thitt

The generally accepted view of the use of relativizers in the Ormulum is summarized by Kivimaa:

In Orm., Wohunge and Havelok there are no instances of the. [...] The genuine East Midland texts Orm. and Havelok employ that; thus it may be said that from c. 1200 on the was extinct in the North and Central East Midlands - perhaps the Lincolnshire - Northamptonshire area - at least in literary language. Considering that in Peterb. Chr. Cont. II, which was written shortly after 1154, the proportion of occurrences of the was a half of all the relatives used, the development was rapid: from a fairly strong position the fell into disuse in less than fifty years.(15)

It is certainly true that the relative particle the never occurs on its own in the extant parts of the Ormulum; on closer inspection, however, it turns out that one occurrence of what has been read as thatt was actually written thitt, a contracted form of the and itt:

(4) 7 <<mineteress [saeten.sup.n] thaer:>> <<To [whar.sup.r][fen.sup.n] theghghre sill-[fer.sup.r].(16) thatt [sillfer.sup.r] waere rae-digh thaer: Till tha thitt [wollde.sup.n] [offren.sup.n]. 7 ec till tha thatt woll-denn [oh.sup.h]t: [Biggen.sup.n] till []-re lakess.(17)

(15794 ff.)

The word thitt was not modified when the major changes in this passage were made (see footnotes 16 and 17), but there are specks of brown pigment between the <th> and the <i> which may be traces of an attempt to normalize thitt to thatt. If this is correct, then this change to thatt presumably belongs to the last cycle of formal changes that Orm made in his manuscript (the other two changes which were apparently made at the same time were the restoration of a final <n> to the determiner forms a, na, mi, and thi, and the change of wimman to wifman).

What characterizes this last set of changes is partly the ink used, partly the clumsiness of the writing (as if written with arthritic hands). The ink typically appears light (beige) brown, as opposed to the much darker ink used in most other changes. In addition, the uneven spread of the pigment suggests an ink that was thicker than usual and did not flow freely from the pen; in many cases one gets the impression of a thick paste having been smeared onto the parchment. The <f>s in wifmannlwifmenn (8 changes) are crudely executed, and the added <n>s in the NP determiners were written with the tip of the pen parallel to the line of writing. This gives the <n>s a very characteristic appearance with 'flat feet'. By contrast, the main text was written with the pen at an angle of forty-five degrees to the line of writing, and most minims end with an upward flick of the pen. The attempted change of thatt to thitt (if, indeed, that is what the remaining specks of pigment indicate) would fit nicely into this general pattern: both the colour of the ink and the fragmentary execution of the curved stroke of the <a>(18) suggest a change at a late stage, when Orm seems to have been primarily concerned with formal details of orthography and morphology.

The word thitt represents, as already mentioned, a contraction of the relative particle the and the personal pronoun itt.(19) The same word can be found used by Scribe I in the manuscript of the Trinity Homilies:(20)

(5) To dai is cumen dhe holie tid that me clepedh aduent. thanked be ure louerd iesu crist thit hauedh isend.

('To-day is come the holy time that is called Advent, thanked be our Lord Jesus Christ who hath sent it)'(21)

(6) Ac nu is that lond tildhe atlein. and ifuren was. for tho thit sholden tilien. Do dhe lorghewes of holie chireche. the sewen gherneluker the defies sed: than ure louerdes ihesu crist. and mid forbisne of here fule liftode. beden men to heile and naht to heuene.

('But now has this land lain idle and for a long while has been so, for those that should till it, the teachers of holy church, sowed more diligently the devil's seed than our Lord Jesus Christ's, and by example of their foul manner of life invited men to hell and not to heaven.')(22)

Unlike Orm, Scribe I of the Trinity Homilies also uses the non-contracted form the hit, which was the normal Middle English form.(23)

(7) the man the hit medhedh riht. the sunedh aledh gestninge.

('the man who uses moderation aright shunneth ale-feasts.')(24)

Although thitt is a hapax legomenon in the surviving parts of the Ormulum, an exact parallel can be found in sitt, a contraction of the particle se (which occurs in wha se, whamm se 'whoever', whatt se 'whatever', whann se 'whenever', whaer se 'wherever', anan se, forthrihht se, son se 'as soon as', all se, swa se 'as') and the personal pronoun itt:

(8) [For.sup.r] wha [sit.sup.t] iss thatt waepnedd iss. Withth thise thrinne mahhtess: thatt ill-ke mann iss [stigh.sup.h][en.sup.n] wel. Upp inn till [hedh.sup.h]e munntess. 7 he maghgh [stan.sup.n][den.sup.n] wel [on.sup.n]dhaen. the de<o>ffell withth swillc [waepen.sup.n].

(2781 if.)

(9) 7 ec off thatt tatt illc an mann. Iss all thwerrt ut unndemedd. Whatt mann sitt iss. thatt wel 7 [rih.sup.h]t. O godess su-ne [].

7 ec off thatt tatt illc an |[man.sup.n]: col. 377 Iss nughghu, [thwer.sup.r]t ut demedd. [What.sup.t] [man.sup.n] sitt iss thatt nile nohht: O godess sune [lefen.sup.n].

(17044 ff.)

(10) [For.sup.r] sothfasst lure baernethth adhdh. Loc dhiff thut mihht [oh.sup.h]t [finden.sup.n]. 7 whaer [sit.sup.t] iss [it.sup.t] [har.sup.r]d-nethth all.(25) the gode manness [he<o>r.sup.r]te. To [tholen.sup.n] withth full fremedd thild. All thatt tatt iss unnsellthe.

(1572 ff.)

More commonly, se itt is written without contraction (however, since the <e> in se represents an elidable vowel,(26) the number of syllables will nevertheless be the same as if sift had been written instead of se itt):

(11) 7 wha se itt iss thatt [] []. 7 |[folldh.sup.h][] [] hiss [her.sup.r]te: col. 164 thatt mann shall findenn iesu crist. To be<o>n [] himm i blisse.

(6564 if.)

In the light of the occurrences of thit in the Trinity Homilies and the parallel forms with sitt in the Ormulum, it seems unlikely that thitt is an error which remained uncorrected until (presumably) Orm changed it (or attempted to change it) to thatt in his old age. Instead, it seems more plausible that thitt (for *the itt) was a genuine form in Orm's dialect. That means, then, that as regards the existence of the relativizer the his dialect was more like the dialects of his near-contemporaries, such as the First and Second Continuators of the Peterborough Chronicle, and Scribes I and II of the Trinity Homilies,(27) than has been known so far. Furthermore, though Kivimaa may well be right about relative the being extinct in the Lincolnshire-Northamptonshire area c. 1200, at least when Orm wrote his homilies before c. 1180 it still lingered on (albeit apparently considerably weakened).

NILS-LENNART JOHANNESSON The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim

1 I am grateful to the Bodleian Library, more specifically Dr Bruce Barker-Benfield, for granting me permission to investigate MS Junius 1 in the spring of 1997.

2 R. Holt (ed.), The Ormulum, with the Notes and Glossary of Dr. R. M. White, 2 vols (Oxford, 1878). All quotations here are re-edited from the manuscript, whereas all line numbers are based on Holt's edition.

3 aed(d)modligh, aethligh, baldeligh, biterrligh, cuthigh, gredighligh, grimmeligh, haetheligh, kippeligh, seliligh, stallwurr(th)ligh, stil(le)ligh, thildiligh, unncuthligh, [unnhagh.sup.h]errligh, un(n)orneligh, unnriddligh (unnrideligh), wrutheligh, wunnderrligh

4 clennlike, dafftelike (dafftighlike), de(o)rrfiike, deplike, faerlike, flaeshlike, forrwurrthennlike, fullfremeddlike, fullike, geghghnlike. hehlike, luffsummlike, sellcuplike, sinnfullike, sothfasstlike, sothlike, stafflike, swetlike, thurrhutlike, [unnseth.sup.h] ennlike, whattlike, wurr(th)like.

5 aldeli-, blipeli-, daghghwhammli-, daerneli-, dirrsti(gh)li-, forrtherrli-, gastli-, gladdli-, [hagh.sup.h]e(rr)li-, halili-, hefi(gh))li-, innwarrdli-, [lagh.sup.h]eli-, lefli-, lihhtli-, meocli-, modi(gh)li-, opennli-, shorrtli-, sikerrli-, [unnlagh.sup.h]eli-, unnseghghenndli-, utnumennil-, wisli-, wissli-, witerrli-, wreccheli-.

6 The punctuation of the manuscript is retained in the examples quoted here. Otto's 'stacked' letters (one above another) are represented by one character on the baseline (for the lower letter) followed by a superscript character (for the upper letter). Orm's Caroline (g) (for/dgh/) is here represented by (??). Abbreviations are expanded and italicized. The symbols < > enclose erased passages (scraped off with the knife), the symbols << >> enclose deleted passages (struck through with the pen), the symbols ?? enclose passages over erasure, and the symbols ?? enclose marginal or interlinear additions.

7 Altered to

Lefli[gh to] [the<o>w.sup.w] tenn othre menn:

8 For a discussion of Orm's striving to normalize his text through his many changes, see R. W. Burchfield, 'The Language and Orthography of the Ormulum MS'. Transactions of the Philological Society (1956), 57 87.

9 This particular attempt at normalization (if that is what it was) was not carriled out consistently throughout the extant parts of the Ormulum, however: a bare infinitive after causative don remained unchanged at 2099, 5250, 5612f., 5652f., 5736 f., 7188, 7282, 12330, 14302, 16838. (At line 3067 an interlinear <t> ([less than] to) has been added before unnderrstanndenn; this looks like an immediate correction, rather than a later change.)

10 MED s.v. lefli: a1325(c1250) Gen. & Ex. 2275: He leuelike it understod, for alle weren of kinde blod. Ibid. 3434: Dis red dhhugte moyses ful god, And leuelike it understod.

11 London, British Library, Cotton MS Titus D.XVIII. Dated c. 1220 in M. Laing, Catalogue of Sources for a Linguistic Atlas of Early Medieval English (Cambridge, 1993), 81.

12 MED s.v. lov(e)nesse: a1475 Ludus C 357/69: Youre infynyth Iovnesse mad oure saluacyon.

13 The original punctuation mark after lufeniss cannot be determined. Lines 5094 f. were later altered to

7 all se mikell lufe. 7 ec. All all se mikell ghem-sle.

14 See further Burchfield, op. cit.

15 K. Kivimaa, 'the and that as clause connectives in early Middle English with special consideration of the emergence of the pleonastic that', Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum, xxxix (Helsinki, 1966), 128, 126.

16 Lines 15794f. (after 7) were later deleted and replaced by the following verses, written vertically in the outer margin (blackish ink, as opposed to the reddish brown ink of the original text):

. . . [men.sup.n] [] sillferr saetenn thaer. To [lene.sup.n] itt te lede.

17 The following two verses (15800 f.) were added in the bottom margin (blackish ink):

7 thurrh the prestess waere theghgh: Sette to lenenn sillferr.

18 A complete stroke may have been executed, in which case most of the pigment must have fallen off.

19 The change from thitt to thatt would, of course, deprive the verb offrenn of its object. In its 49 other occurrences in the Ormulum, offrenn is used with an object in 48 instances, but on one occasion it is instead used with a degree adverbial:

[For.sup.r] thatt [men.sup.n] [shollden.sup.n] [cumen.sup.n] forth: 7 [offren.sup.n] thess te mare.

(15790 f.)

Even though Orm thus seems to have preferred using offrenn transitively, this does not preclude the possibility of a late change from thitt to thatt: offer used in an absolute sense is well documented from Old English onwards (cf. OED s.v. offer v. 1.b. absol.).

20 Trinity College, Cambridge, MS 335 (B. 14. 52). R. Morris (ed.), Old English Homilies of the Twelfth Century. From the Unique MS. B. 14. 52. in the Library of Trinity College. Cambridge, EETS 53 (1873). For an account of the two scribes at work in this manuscript, see N. R. Ker, 'The Scribes of the Trinity Homilies', Medium AEvum, i (1932), 138-40.

21 Morris, 2-3.

22 Morris, 162-3.

23 in the Middle English part of the Helsinki Corpus, there are fourteen examples of the hit and three examples of dhe hit, but not a single occurrence of thit. The only example of thit quoted in MED (s.v. the rel. pron.) is the first of the two examples from the Trinity Homilies.

24 Morris, 12-13.

25 whaer [sit.sup.t]: sic MS; Holt prints whaers itt.

26 See further N.-L. Johannesson, 'Old English versus Old Norse Vocabulary in the Ormulum: The Choice of Third Person Plural Personal Pronouns', in G. Melchers and B. Warren (eds), Studies in Anglistics (Stockholm, 1995), 171-80.

27 The First Continuator wrote his contributions between 1122 and 1131, the Second Continuator wrote his just after 1154. Orm composed and drafted his homilies, copied them into MS Junius 1, and subjected them to several cycles of changes and corrections before, finally, his collaborator (traditionally referred to as Hand c) added the Latin pericopes in the text c. 1180 (cf. M. B. Parkes, 'The Presumed Date and Possible Origin of the Manuscript of the "Ormulum": Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Junius 1', in E.G. Stanley and D. Gray (eds), Five Hundred Years of Words and Sounds: A Festschrift for Eric Dobson (Cambridge, 1983), 115-27). The Trinity scribes, working shifts on the production of MS 335 (B. 14. 52), produced their text towards the end of the twelfth century (cf. N. R. Ker, Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford, 1957), p. xix; Parkes, 124; Laing, 37).
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Title Annotation:Old English manuscript
Author:Johannesson, Nils-Lennart
Publication:Notes and Queries
Date:Dec 1, 1998
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