Early Modern English

KEYTERMS

1. A set of key terms useful for the study of early modern English.

HOW DO YOU "DO"?

2. A lesson with exercises on the verb "to do."

THE GREAT VOWEL SHIFT

3. The Great Vowel Shift is one of the most important sound changes in the history of the English language. The multi-media review on these pages will help you learn it.

MINOR VOWELS

4. Download this PDF with information and exercises on some of the minor vowel changes in Middle English. Print it out, complete the short exercises, and take it to your next section.

THR-OUGH THE AGES

5. These lessons will help you learn the complex development of the different pronunciations of the "-ough" ending.

RHYMING PAIRS

6. This PDF exercise asks you to explore some of Jonathan Swift's 18th-century rhyme words. (Begin midway down the first page, at 7.9, "Pronunciation and Rime".)

PRONOUN VARIATION

7. Download this PDF exercise on pronoun variation. Print it out, complete the exercises, and take it to your next section.

GENITIVES

8. Why do we call Chaucer's tale the "Wife-of-Bath's Tale" instead of the "Wife's Tale of Bath"? This lesson will help you learn about the difficulties the old genitive constructions could create.

VERB MORPHOLOGY

9. This PDF worksheet on Early Modern English verb morphology is challenging. You can search online for clues, and the OED entry for the verb of being might also be helpful.

TRANSCRIPTION

10. Download and print this PDF of the Tower of Babel story from the King James Bible. Complete the exercises on the second page, and take them to your next section.

Remember reading this passage in Old and Middle English? See all four versions here.

EARLY MODERN MUSIC

11. Listen to a recording of an early modern song in period pronunciation. You can read along with the lyrics in the player, and print out a facsimile of an early published version of the lyrics.