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By Thomas Leiper Kane

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It began with Jordan's sound empirical finding that The nature of Old English dialect distributions 45 certain words occurred, some of them frequently, in texts of strongly "Anglian" phonetic type that were rare or absent in strongly "West Saxon" texts, and vice versa. 14 Jordan's distinctions were used as a framework for investigating texts of uncertain or disputed origin by some scholars well aware of the inherent limitations. 15 But for a generation now the tacit assumption that (except for "Anglian" items restricted to "Mercian" or to "Northumbrian") the limits of all "Saxon" and "Anglian" items should run together has been accepted as dogma and has largely conditioned the conclusions of scholars engaged in Old English word studies.

To dismiss the evidence as biased without first determining what it says was a cardinal error in method. The nature of Old English dialect distributions 49 I have mapped, inter alia, all the nouns denoting boundary features and the prepositional usages in all the charter boundaries, and can report that the distributions of linguistic forms both in "originals" and in cartularies of up to c. 1250 overwhelmingly correlate with the localities described. Mapping makes coherent sense of what has appeared as a chaos of variants in older studies of cartularies and shows the assumption of their authors that there is a "dialect" of a cartulary 42 to be false.

The spelling <38U88>388! Ο Ο ο Ο - 0 -o 1260 1 — ο 20 31 ο ο Ο 0 ο Oo ο <$> - ο 03880388J&0 "®0 I I I I 1280 1300 1320 1340 OOO I I I 1360 1380 1400 Ο 1420 Figure 12. Χ£«3£ΟΦΟ 3888S88> 80 60 40 20 0 y OOO 0<3£>00 00"38S>0038S> I ι 1280 1300 1320 Ο ι 1340 Ο Ο 00 Ο I I L 1360 1380 1400 1420 Figure 13. The spelling opposed to in the past participle of prendre 32 Thera de Jong 1 1 1 ο 1 o o o 1 1 1 o©*a> ο Φ ο ι <®*Φ> 100 - 80 - - 60 - - - ο 40 - 20 - 0 1240 - - ο ο ο I 1260 ο ο <©00*3885*3089© <®ο οο I ι ι ι ι ι 1280 1300 1320 1340 1360 1380 I 1400 1420 Figure 14.

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Amharic-English Dictionary, Vol. 1 by Thomas Leiper Kane

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