Obrazy na stronie

e.g. feðafjul (Fr. feuille) feverfew, bjuti beauty. And with M.E. eu has been levelled Fr. u (ÿ). One would expect, from the likeness of M.E. ō and Fr. u in Northern M.E. that the two sounds would have been levelled together subsequently. It is probable that in Yorkshire the sounds were not identical, for Fr. u has fallen together with M.E. eu to ju, not with M.E. ō to ia. Examples are: jūz to use, sjūgər sugar, frjūt fruit. Only in one case, siør sure, owing to unrounding before r (§ 27), has Fr. u had the same development as M.E. ō.

32. M.E. ou remains in the dialect as ou, e.g. suðar (Rolle, outher) either, nout naught, dəuṭər (Rolle, döghter) daughter, brout (Rolle, bright) brought, jou (Catholicon, zowe) ewe, fɔuar (Rolle, foure) four, grou (Rolle, grow) to grow.

Scandinavian au also became ou in Northern M.E. and remains in the dialect as ou, e.g. loup to leap, lous loose, nɔuțət (lit. neatherd) a simpleton.

33. M.E. oi, ui in French words occurs to-day in the dialect as oi, as in Standard English. Examples, therefore, are unnecessary. It is impossible to say whether the modern sound is a genuine retention of the sound or merely a spelling-pronunciation. It is probably a retention of the original sound, for, compare the retention of M. E. ou; but against this, Brokesby (1691) gives to Ray the pronunciation of the word 'poison' as peuson. Probably he is merely indicating the East Riding pronunciation of Early M.E. puison.'

34. It would take too much space in a short paper of this kind to go into detail concerning the consonantal changes in the dialect. The most interesting consonants are and the M.E. palatal and velar spirants (c) and (x).

M.E. has regularly been assimilated after M.E. ǎ and ě, when a consonant follows. After i, o, and u, r has been assimilated to dentals, but survives before other consonants.

M.E. gh, as a palatal spirant (c) after a front vowel, has regularly disappeared. Before t, this spirant became lost to the dialect between the date of the Catholicon and the Yorkshire Dialogues (1483-1684). Probably it fell in the sixteenth century. In other positions the ich-laut disappeared earlier. It had fallen before the end of the fifteenth century, for lie', nine', and 'thigh' appear in the Catholicon as lee, neen, and thee. It was disappearing in the course of the fourteenth century, for The Pricke of Conscience has hey high as well as hegh, and nest beside the regular form neghest next.

1 Cf. Horn, Historische neuenglische Grammatik, p. 101.

M.E. gh, as a velar spirant (x) after a back vowel, has regularly disappeared in East Yorkshire, though it remains still in some districts of the West Riding. It began to fall first in the fourteenth century after M.E. ǎ. The Pricke of Conscience has such spellings as draw, awn own, where other Yorkshire scribes spelled draghe, aghen. Medially, it appears to have fallen before 1483. The Catholicon has fewle instead of the Northern M.E. foghel fowl. In the group -oght, it appears to have become vocalised in the M.E. period to su, for, in the modern dialect words douter daughter, bout bought, out thought, etc., the diphthong has had the same development as M.E. ou from O.E. ōw in words like Aou flow, grou grow, etc. Finally, it became f, probably in the seventeenth century, and still occurs as f, not only in words which have (ƒ) in the Standard pronunciation, but in others. Examples are: fof (Catholicon falghe) fallow, biaf bough, diaf dough, dof though, Oruf through, pef (cf. Scots pech) to gasp, cough.

35. In conclusion, I should like to urge the importance of dialect study as a guide to Mid. E. and Early Mod. E. phonology. This kind of work has been allowed to lapse somewhat of late. Perhaps lapse' is the wrong word, for the research may scarcely be said to have begun. The research accumulated by Ellis in his English Pronunciation, vol. has not yet been sifted and presented in a suitable form. The state of English dialects in the Early Modern period is an almost unworked field. Yet the modern dialects are disappearing so fast, in the North at least, that if we are to make use of them at all they must be recorded now. Ellis' record is far from complete for each particular dialect, and, as far as my knowledge goes, often inaccurate. He was probably often at the mercy of his local collaborators. There is an immense accumulation of research in the Transactions of the English Dialect Society, yet they seem to have become a dead letter. I am enthusiastic about dialect study, because I feel that the M.E. dialects do not come to an end after the spread of Standard English in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. They were buried, snowed under, doubtless. They almost disappear as literary tongues, but they are still the speech of common men. If we can trace this common speech back, it will guide us in our study of Mid. E. dialects, besides telling us when and whence non-standard words crept into Standard English.






[Read at a Meeting of the Philological Society on December 4, 1914.]

My first approach to this subject arose from a casual mention of the translation as a monument of English literature and another to the effect that it had a certain military interest. The translation was described in the first source as the work of the Lord Berners, Governor of Calais, who translated Froissart. It was also said to have inspired one of our great warrior kings through the medium of the translator.

As to these assertions, some of the manuscripts of the translation are too early for Berners, but perhaps the idea arose from his possessing one, as they are, from an editor's point of view, alarmingly numerous.

As a student of history possessing ideas (mostly wrong, of course) on military subjects and a taste for languages, I felt inspiration to edit it, when I found it unedited. At one of my first interviews with Dr. Furnivall I mentioned my aspiration, and he promptly nailed' me for the E.E.T.S.

I made a very bungling copy of the Magdalen MS. No. 30, in 1903, and after that began collating other manuscripts. I have completed and got well on with another, but I found my copy very bad in parts and had to recollate and have since been occupied on prior claims, though periodically working at the bibliography and other subsidiary points connected with it.

Here one of my earliest discoveries was the pretty general attribution of the work to the translator of Ralph Higden's Polychronicon, John Trevisa. This is largely borne out by the style and the wording of the closing words of the colophon, though here the copyists have added their names and a mysterious rebus gave rise to many conjectures; one of these was that a well-known scribe, John Clifton, had done the work. Much of the basis of this idea and the whole critical attitude depends upon a complicated

series of investigations as to the personality and work of Trevisa, and as to the position and character of his employer and patron, the Baron of Berkeley; some part of these I have carried through, but much remains to be done.

For instance, a very important source of information on which I cannot put my hand is the Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Castle of Horneck. I shall be glad to hear its author's name and where a copy can be seen. My only incidental news of it is that it contains information about English Bibles of the time of Wyclif -and this question comes in to complicate the puzzle of Trevisa— but I know neither its compiler, its date, nor its language. But, after all, the main point of this paper is to be philological, and, therefore, I come to another point.

The provenance of the best manuscripts which I have seen is of the fifteenth century, Magd. 30 being probably about 1475. The translation, if by Trevisa, must have been done during the second half of the fourteenth century. The hand in which the Magdalen MS. (Oxford) is written closely resembles that of the Maritime Ordinances (1413) of an early fifteenth century manuscript which was written for a Berkeley. One may note that the family were hereditary admirals in partibus, if one may say so, namely, Admirals of the South and West, e.g. Thomas III (1307-61) was "Chief Warden of the Ports & Coasts of Co. Gloucester, & Cos. Worcester and Hereford". Thomas IV (1353–1416) was "Admiral of the West", November 5, 1403.

Maurice VI was curiously enough "Lieutenant of the Castle of Calais", October 19, 1520, while earlier, William, son of James, was knighted at Calais, 1439. These two events might combine to bring in the Berners story, even without the ownership by Berners of a manuscript of this Vegetius. Berners was a Bourchier, and Henry, Earl of Essex and Eu, of the same family, was "Chief Commissioner for Government of the Town, Castle and Marches of Calais", April 2, 1452. The Bourchier family intermarried with Royalty.

As for the rebus, it has been suggested that it is for John Walton, who did Boethius De Consolatione; this is a suggestion of the late Dr. Wylie, historian of Henry IV.1 Another possible claimant of the rebus is Edmund of Bauerton, recorded in Mr. Jeayes' "Berkeley Castle Muniments", under the date

This is partly borne out by the fact that Walton had as patroness Elizabeth Berkeley. 3. xi. 16.


1317; this might be Bannerton, an idea which struck independently, but it is quite unlikely all round. Another possible form is Upton, which I wished to confuse with Trevisa, erroneously; there was a translator of this name who also translated Vegetius, but much later. A plausible additional suggestion is Crumpton. Crump means crooked', and so, perhaps, equals the meander which is one form of the rebus symbol. The association with Barton has been suggested and is of interest, as the "site of a Barton" is how Trevisa is described in the Ordnance Survey of St. Enodor parish.

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Crocadon (Trevisa's birthplace according to one authority) has also been suggested, and if this name be English, the Crumpton analogy in the rebus symbol may be called on for the first part and don dune or ton.


I personally associate the ton part of the rebus, as noted in my previous paper (p. 159), but not very clearly, with the Cornish word Trev, with whose meaning it is co-extensive. The word town, sometimes with farm before it, is found in its original sense quite near London (between Watford, Harrow, and Pinner) in recent years, and is also used similarly in various places all over the country. The Welsh word for 'hundred', cantref, is made up of the word for the numeral a hundred and this same word Tref, pronounced as it is spelt in Cornish. Perhaps a hundred homesteads is a better explanation of this otherwise mysterious phenomenon the hundred than some that have been advanced. The question is whether the meander-like or the flag-like symbols can be squeezed into meaning 'lower' (isa). I may add that this is a rather unusual use of isa and that it is justified by a neighbouring place being called Trewhella, highest town. When I visited the place on the bicycle I looked down on the site of the homestead at Trevisa from a farm track.

Arguments of provenance therefore point rather to the possibility of confirming the Berkeley origin by the internal evidence of language, and, apart from manuscripts in manifestly different dialect, I have to a certain extent pursued this course, studying the Berkeley muniments and manuscripts through the excerpts from the catalogue printed by Mr. Jeayes and verifying certain entries in the originals at Berkeley Town. What follows are rough notes on the results of these comparisons, so far as they do not clash with those given in my paper of February 7, 1913, to which this may be regarded as a supplement.

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