Phosphenes:

前几天闲聊说到英语词汇的发展,就想起大一曾经去蹭过英语史的选修。第一节课讲《贝奥武夫》时老师放了一段古英语朗诵的音频,正要打瞌睡突然就被惊醒了,还以为跑到了《指环王》片场,浑厚的男中音抑扬顿挫地念着完全听不懂的语言,感觉是在念咒语。后来专业课上提到乔叟和他的中古英语,虽然还有很多奇怪的词,但是连蒙带猜地已经基本能看个大概了。有阵子很喜欢中世纪的欧洲音乐,发现了一些神奇的网站,有诗歌和民谣的音频,于是在油管上找了中古英语的发音教程,想过学着念念,但一直纠结于发不出卷舌音……

但是这里有个神转折。 

最近在学俄语,跟着Duolingo的发音念着念着突然有一天就会了大舌音( ´ ▽ ` )ノ 虽然还不标准,只能卷一个roll,但是好歹出来了!于是翻出乔叟Canterbury Tales的总序录了几节,哎呀能卷出一个r真是神清气爽啊~ 中古英语的发音果然很规矩,按着拼写就能读出,没有太多的特殊情况,而且由于掌权者更迭、人口流动以及社会阶级差异造成的语言融合,仅从语音和词汇就能看出明显的法语以及其他日耳曼语族语言的影响。不过这一时期语法和形态上的简化,性数格的逐渐消失,对于现在再去学其他欧洲语言来说真是个不太方便的事啊。

模仿的音频来自luminarium.org
BGM:Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter - A Fond Wish


Middle English ver.

Whan that Aprill with his shoures sote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote, 
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour; 
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne;
And smale fowles maken melodye
That slepen al the night with open yë—
So priketh hem Nature in hir corages—
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, 
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes; 
And specially, from every shires ende 
Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke, 
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.  

    Bifel that, in that seson on a day, 
In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay
Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage 
To Caunterbury with ful devout corage,
At night was come into that hostelrye
Wel nyne and twenty in a companye,
Of sondry folk, by aventure y-falle
In felaweshipe, and pilgrims were they alle,
That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.
The chambres and the stables weren wyde,
And wel we weren esed atte beste.
And shortly, whan the sonne was to reste,
So hadde I spoken with hem everichon
That I was of hir felawshipe anon,
And made forward erly for to ryse,
To take oure wey, ther as I yow devyse. 

    But natheles, whyl I have tyme and space,
Er that I ferther in this tale pace, 
Me thinketh it acordaunt to resoun
To telle yow al the condicioun 
Of ech of hem, so as it semed me,
And whiche they weren, and of what degree,
And eek in what array that they were inne; 
And at a knight than wol I first biginne. 

Chaucer, Geoffrey. "The General Prologue." The Canterbury Tales.
        Audio Reading. Anniina Jokinen, narrator. Luminarium.
        28 Nov 2006. [13 Jan 2016].
        <http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/gp.htm>

 

Modern English ver. 

When in April the sweet showers fall
And piece the drought of March to the root, and all
The veins are bathed in liquor of such power
As brings about the engendering of the flower,
When also Zephyrus with his sweet breath
Exhales an air in every grove and heath
Upon the tender shoots, and the young sun
His half-course in the sign of the Ram has run, 
And the small fowl are making melody
That sleep away the night with open eye
(So nature pricks them and their heart engages) 
Then people long to go on pilgrimages 
And palmers long to seek the stranger strands 
Of far-off saints, hallowed in sundry lands,
And specially, from every shire's end
Of England, down to Canterbury they wend
To seek the holy blissful martyr, quick
To give his help to them when they were sick.  

    It happened in that season that on day 
In Southwark, at Tabard, as I lay
Ready to go on pilgrimage and start
For Canterbury, most devout at heart,
At night there came into that hostelry
Some nine and twenty in a company
Of sundry folk happening then to fall
In fellowship, and they were pilgrims all 
That towards Canterbury meant to ride.
The rooms and stables of the inn were wide:
They made us easy, all was of the best.
And, briefly, when the sun has gone to rest,
I'd spoken to them all upon the trip
And was soon one with them in fellowship, 
Pledged to rise early and to take the way
To Canterbury, as you heard me say.

    But none the less, while I have time and space,
Before my story takes a further pace,
It seems a reasonable thing to say
What their condition was, the full array
Of each of them, as it appeared to me,
According to profession and degree, 
And what apparel they were riding in;
And at a Knight I therefore will begin.  

Chaucer, Geoffrey. "The General Prologue." The Canterbury Tales. 
        Trans. Nevill Coghill. Harmondsworth: Peguin Books. 1982. 
        Print.

 

中译版本既没有译者信息也没有出版信息这个实在是不能忍啊……放个链接:http://wenku.baidu.com/view/17fb9b79168884868762d6e6.html?re=view    

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