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table of alternate spellings

available for all eME texts in englesaxe

The following table provides examples of the alternate spellings available for eME texts in englesaxe. Each sound has its own row and for each sound, one or two (sometimes three) eME words are provided to demonstrate the alternate spellings of those sounds. Each column corresponds to a different spelling scheme.

Early Middle English
alternative eME spelling
Peterborough Chronicle (EM 1122-31)
Peterborough Chronicle (EM 1155)
Ormulum (EM 1161)
Proclamation of Henry III (SW 1258)
Sir Orfeo (EM 1300?)
Chaucer (EM 1368)
Modern English
  eME sth. eME alt. PC1 PC2 Orm Orm (mod.) PH3 SO Ch late ME ModE
/A`:/ sta_n, ba_t sta_n, ba_t sta_n, ba_t sta_n, ba_t stan, bat sta_n, ba_t - - - - -
/O`:/ - - - - - - stoan, boat sto`n, bo`t sto`n, bo`t stone, boat stone, boat
/a/ calf, maken calf, maken calf, macen calf, maken callf, makkenn calf, maken calf, maken calf, maken calf, maken calf, maken calf, make
/e:/ fe_t fe_t fe_t fe_t fet fe_t fe__t fe__t feet feet feet
/E`:/ strae_m strae_m strae_m strae_m straem strae_m stream stre`m stre`m stream stream
/i:/ li_f li_f li_f li_f lif li_f li__f liif lyf lyf life
/o:/ go_d go_d go_d go_d god go_d go__d go__d good good good
/u:/ hu_s hu_s hu_s hu_s hus hu_s hu__s hous hous hous house
/j/ y`ung, Y`e_, ay`ae_nes y`ung, Y`e_, ay`ae_nes g`ung, G`e_, ag`ae_nes iung, Ie_, aiae_nes y`unng, Y`e, ay`aeness y`ung, Y`e_, ay`ae_nes y`ung, Y`e__, ay`eanes y`ung, Y`e__, ay`e`nes yung, Ye__, aye`nes yung, Ye, ayeanes young, Ye, against
/aI`/ day`, say`de dai, saide daeg`, saeg`de dai, saide day`y`, say`y`de day`, say`de dai, saide dai, saide day, sayde day, saide day, said
/j@`/~ - - g`esaeg`d, g`eno_h - y`esay`y`d, inoh y`esay`d, i_no_h - - - - -
/i:/~ isay`d, ino_h isaid, ino_h - isaid, ino_h - - isaid, ino__y` ysaid, ynouy` ysayd, ynough ysaid, ynough said, enough
~/ij/ maniy` - manig` - manniy` maniy` - - - - -
~/i:/ - mani_ - mani_ - - mani__ mani many many many
/S`/ sce_ld sce_ld sce_ld sce_ld sheld she_ld sche__ld sche__ld sheeld sheeld shield
/tS`/ ci_ld chi_ld c`i_ld ci_ld child chi_ld chi__ld chiild chyld chyld child
/dZ`/ brigge brigge brigge brigge brigge brigge brigge brigge brigge brigge bridge
/x/,/ç/ niht, burh niht, burh niht, burh niht, burh nihht, burrh niht, burh niy`t, bury` niy`t, bury` night, burgh night, burgh night, borough
/xw/ hwat what hwat wat whatt what what what what what what
/G``/ sorge sory`e sorge sorche sorry`h`e sory`h`e sory`e sorwh`e sorwe sorowe sorrow
/kw/ cwe_n que_n cwe_n cue_n cwen cwe_n que__n que__n queen queen queen
/v/ ifel ivel ivel ivel iffel ifel ivel ivel ivel ivel evil