OLD ENGLISH SOUNDS & LETTERS    

OLD ENGLISH VOWELS

Letter  Phone

a    [a]  
    anc (thought, favor), habban (to have), sadol (saddle), famig (foamy), sacc (bag), staca (stake), manig (many), hlanc (lank, lean), hagol (hail)

ā    [a:]        swāt (sweat), hām (home), tācen (token), fācen (deceit, treachery), sār (pain of body & mind), sāwan (to sow), swā (so), lādian (excuse, let off)

æ    [æ]        bræs (brass),  þæt (that), blæst (blast), bæc (back), græf (grave), pæð (path), gæd (fellowship), fæst (firm), nægel (nail), læn (loan), læce (physician,                         leech),

æ    [æ:]        græfa (grove), fætt (fat), nædre (snake) stænig (stony) mænan (to mean, to allude to) hæl  (health) hær (hair),læs (less)

e    [ε]        settan (to sit), rest, end, leðer (leather), feðer (feather), cweðan (to speak),
                    menn (men), reccan (interpret, narrate), þencan (think), hefig (heavy)

ē    [e:]        fēt (feet), fēdan (to feed), grēne (green), twēgen (two), dēman (judge), mē (me), cwēn (queen, wife), smēþe (smooth),

i    [I]        sittan (to sit), mist, lifer (liver), pic (pitch), slipig (slimy), pipor (pepper), findan (to find), singan (to sing), scip (ship), sniwan (to snow), þistel (thistle), þing             (thing), rind (bark, rind), fisc, (fish), dile (dill), drincan (to drink)

ī    [i:]        līf (life), slīm (slime), rīdan (to ride), fīf (five), īsen (iron), slīdan (to slide),  cīdan (to blame), bīdan (to remain), pīpe (tube), nīwian (to renew) `

o    [⊃]        moððe (moth), sogoða (hiccough), loc (lock), snot (mucous), snofl (mucous in the nose), ordal (ordeal), snoru (daughter-in-law), sprot (sprout), toll,                     cloccian (cluck), rostian (to roast),

ō    [o:]        fōda (food), nōn (noon), dōm (will, judgement), mōr (moor), mōna  (month), scō (shoe), sōt (soot), tōh (tough), bōc (book), flōd (flood)

u    [υ]        cruma (crumb), sunu (son),  þunor (thunder),  þus (thus), stunian (to dash against), sum (some), cuppe (cup), tumbian (dance, tumble)

ū    [u:]        sūcan (to suck), fūl (foul, putrid), scūfan (to shove), rūh (shaggy, uncultivated), sūþ (south), sūr (sour), ūder (udder), hūs (house)

y    [ʋ]        fyllan (to fill), mynster (minister), cyssan (to kiss), syndrian (to separate)

y    [ü:]        mys (mice), hydan (hide), ryne (mysterious saying), lytel (little),

ea    [æə]        sealt (salt), ceaf (chaff), nearu (near), stearc (rigid), ealdian (to grow old)

ēa    [æ:ə]        dēaf, lēaf, bēatan (to beat), ēast, sēam, nēah (near), stēap (tall, steep), drēam (joy), cēapian (buy)

eo    [εə]        geolu (yellow), seofon (seven), eolh (elk), leoht (light), seolfor (silver), geoloca (yolk), ceorfan (cut down a tree)

ēo   [e:ə]        crēopan (to creep), flēon (to flee), brēow (brew house), dēop (deep), mēos (moss),   ēoh (thigh)

OLD ENGLISH CONSONANTS  
           
Identical to Modern English

     b [b], p [p], d [d], t [t], l [l], m [m], k [k] rare, x [ks] (uncommon), w [w]

OE digraphs--(most Modern English digraphs come into use in during Middle English)

cg    [ĵ]    ecg (edge), secg (sedge, weeds), hrycg (ridge)

sc    [š]    disc (dish), scinu (shin), sceld (shield), sciell (shell), scēaþ (sheath), fisc (fish), masc (crushed grapes for winemaking), sculdur (shoulder), flæsc (flesh)  

Fricatives and their allophones

f    [f]
      normally--gift (bride price), cræft (skill), cafstrian (to bridle), fugol (bird), stæf (staff)
     [v]      between voiced sounds--[v] is an allophone of [f]--lifer (liver),  īfig (ivy), ābūfan (above), scofl (shovel), scafan (shave), hēafod (head), eorðnafola                             (asparagus), fēfer (fever), dēofol (devil).

              [f] and [v] sometimes altnerate in related word forms--wīf/wīfes [g]; wulf/wulfas [pl.] (wolf); stæf/stafas [pl.] (staff); lif/lifes [g] (life); hlāf/hlāfas [pl.] (loaf)

s   [s]     normally--mæst (mast), ostre (L. oyster), ceris (cherry), glæs (glass), fæsten (fasten)
     [z]     between voiced sounds--[z] is an allophone of [s]--nosu (nose), wēsa (drunkard) cursian (to curse).
    
              [s] and [z] sometimes alternative in related word forms--hūs/hūses [g] (house), los/lose [d] (loss), lūs/lūses [g] (louse), wīs/wīsdom (wise, widsom)
    
 ð, þ [θ]   normally--þæt (that), ðēof (thief), forð (out), mōnað (month), þy (thy)
        [ð] between voiced sounds--ð is an allophone of θ--fæþm (embrace, fathom), wryþan (to writhe)

             [θ] and [ð] sometimes alternate in related word forms-- pæð/pæðas (path[s]), bæð/baðian (bath/bathe), cwæð/cweðan (speech, to speak), soþ/soþlice                      (truth/truly).

h    [h] initially--hilt, hnutu (nut), hālig (holy), hōf (hoof), hlæfdige (lady), hraca (throat, phlegm), hwæt (what),
      [ç] after front vowels--riht (right), nīhsta (next), briht (bright), mihtig (mighty), pliht (plight)
      [x] after back vowels----nēah (near), rūh (rough), fāh (foe), tōh (tough), nāhwær (nowhere), brōht (brought)

Stops and their allophones

c    [k]    when contiguous sounds are back vowels--snaca (snake), nacod (naked), sūcan (to suck), bacan (to bake), fācen (deceit), cwacian (to tremble), cū (cow),                munuc (monk), camb (comb), carr (stone, c.f. cairn),cūþ (known, c.f. uncouth)

              or when contiguous sounds are mutated back vowels-- cēlan (to cool from Germ. *koljan), cietel (kettle fr. W. Germ. katel).
   
               and before consonants--clif (cliff), cniht (knight), crisp (curly), clæne (pure), cnedan (knead),

    [č]   when contiguous sounds are front vowels--ceorl (free man), cīdan (to quarrel), pic (pitch), brēc (breeches), micel (much) bēce (beech), ceris (cherry), cēosan             (to choose)

g    [g]  when initial before a consonant, initial before a back vowel--gnæt (gnat), grund (ground), græg (gray), gnorn (fierce), gnagan (to gnaw), grædig (greedy),               grāpian (touch, handle), grimm (fierce, cruel), glōm (twilight), guma (man), gād (goad), gāt (goat), gold, gōma (inside of mouth or throat), gafol (tribute, rent),             gōs (goose), gōd (good),   
    
        before mutations of a back vowel--gylden (gold from Germ. *guldin gift bride price)

        and after [n]--singan, (to sing), hungor (hunger), gingra (younger),langung (longing), þing (thing)

    [y] before and after front vowels (palatalized)--īg (island), bodig (body), dryge (dry), segel (sail), æghwær (every/anywhere), gearn (yarn), giest (yeast), giccan                 (itch), hunig (honey), hefig (heavy), fæger (beautiful)

                Note:  Since your textbook uses the symbol [y] instead of the more standard IPA symbol [j] for this sound, I will also use [y].

    [ɣ] after back vowels or a consonant (except n)--swōgan (to resound), sagu (saying), sagu (saw), folgian (to follow), plōg (plow), swelgan (to swallow), dragan              (to draw), boga ( bow [bo] and [baw]), cūgle (monk's cowl), fugol (bird), togian (to drag), dagung (dawn), dāg (dough)

Nasals

n    [n] normally--sand (sand), næfre (never), nēah (near), onberan (to carry off, plunder)

     [ŋ ] before [k] and [g]--singan (to sing), wincian (to blink, wink), swangor (sluggish)


Doubling of consonants indicates length

cc    [č:] after front vowels--feccan (fetch), bicce (female dog), fricca (herald, crier)

       [k:] after back vowels--coccel (cockle, tare), locc (lock of hair), racca (part of a ship’s rigging; c.f. raca [rake])

gg    [g:] after back vowels--frogga (frog)

ðð    [θ:]] even between voiced sounds--moððe (moth), siÞÞan (afterwards)

ss    [s:] even between voiced sounds--cyssan (to kiss), Wissigotan (Visigoths)

Other doubled consonants have expected pronuncation--sittan, sellan,