OLD ENGLISH: 450-1100 C.E.

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes arrived in England in the middle of the 5th century. These Scandinavian peoples spoke a dialect that belonged to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. No written records of Germanic survive, and so the conjectural phonemes of Germanic are represented accompanied by an asterisk: for example, Germanic */b/.

Much of the Old English that undergraduate students are likely to encounter in modern editions has been normalized to the West Saxon dialect of around 1000 C.E., and that is the dialect represented in the Old English section of this site.

Old English phonemes are represented in red throughout the site. The buttons below lead to tables that allow access to the individual pages for the phonemes of Old English.

The Old English Consonants

The Old English Vowels and Diphthongs