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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 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`:/ straem straem strae_m strae__m straem straem 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%aenes y`ung, y`e__, ay`aenes g`ung, g`e_, ag`ae_nes iung, ie__, aiae__nes y%unng, y%e, ay%aeness y`ung, y`e__, ay`aenes 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 daei, saeide 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, ino__h - - - - -
/i:/~ isay`d, ino__h isaid, ino__h - isaeid, 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`/ bricy%e brig`g`e bric`g`e brig`g`e brig``e brig``e brig`g`e brig`g`e brig`g`e brig`g`e 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 ifell ifel ivel ivel ivel ivel evil