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By far the majority of manuscripts containing Old English that have survived belong to the period 950-1100 (fewer than 20 manuscripts out of nearly 200 principal manuscripts listed by Ker can be assigned to the mid-tenth century or earlier).Back to top ‘s otherwise strict adherence to the chronological principle to Old English material earlier than 1100 as the surviving record is so fragmentary that reliable chronological interpretation is impossible, and it would be misleading to impose an absolute dating of the sense structure based on the chance survival of an Old English word from the earliest period (where, as we have seen, the number of surviving manuscripts is vanishingly few).
In fact, individual dating of Old English quotations has itself been abandoned and replaced by a simple threefold division of all pre-1150 quotations into ‘early OE’ (600-950), ‘OE’ (950-1100), and ‘late OE’ (1100-1150), based firmly on manuscript dates as agreed by the most recent authorities, principally N. Ker , are equal neither in span of years nor in wealth of material.‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.Old English (or Anglo-Saxon, as it is sometimes called) is the term used to refer to the oldest recorded stage of the English language, i.e.
from the earliest evidence in the seventh century to the period of transition with Middle English in the mid-twelfth century.
Material for the subsequent (much shorter) period of 1100-50 (i.e.