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Chron. for the years 1137 and 1140. The word was probably introduced into English by the Danes, and still occurs in the Scandinavian languages.
In Danish it was also used as a preposition, but occurs only as a conjunction in Chron. I quote the examples: Chron. 263. 32 pa þe king Stephne to Engla lande com þa macod he his gadering æt Oxene ford 7 þar he nam þe ħ Roger of Sereberi 7 Alexander of Lincol 7 te Canceler Roger hise neues 7 dide ælle in prisun til hi iafen up here castles; Chron. 267. 27 Þær efter scæ ferde ouer sæ 7 hi of Normandi wenden alle fra þe king to eorl of Angæu sume here þankes 7 sume here unþankes for he be sæt heom til hi a iauen up here castles.
NOTE 1. The use of til became common in the Middle English period, gradually displacing od dæt. I quote an example: Piers Plowman C. 7. 185 Suche werkus with ous were neure out of seson, Til we myghte no more.
5 a. 08 + obj. (noun of time) + de.
This construction is already familiar to us, and therefore demands no extended treatment here. The nouns of time are first, tid, dæg, byre, and tima; and the only case, as is to be expected, is the accusative.
Some examples follow: Chron. 99. 29 7 þa sæton hi ute on þam iglande æt Steapan Reolice od pone fyrst þe hi wurdon swyde mete lease; BH. 42. 12 peos sibb awunade on Cristes cyrican, da þe on Brytene wæron, of da tide pe se Arrianisca gedweola aras; L. 1. 20 And nu þu byst suwiende 7 þu sprecan ne miht, of bone dæg þe das ding gewurðaþ; LS. 1. 508. 337 þæt hit mid him þær-inne læge to swutelunge of done byre þe hi god ælmihtig awehte; Chron. 142. 10. 7 hi heafdon þone arcĎ mid him swa lange of bone timan be hi hine ge martyredon.
Note 1. An example of the parallel construction in Gothic follows : L. 1. 20 Jah sijais þahands jah ni magands rodjan und þana dag ei wairþai þata, dupe ei ni galaubides waurdam meinaim, þoei usfulljanda in mela seinamma.
Note 2. I quote an example of the same construction from the poetry: Beowulf 2400 Swa he niða gehwane genesen hæfde, sliðra geslyhta, sunu Ecgþiowes, ellen-weorcan, oð þone anne dag, þe he wið þam wyrme gewegan sceolde.
5b. 08 + obj. (noun of time) + Gæt.
Only two instances of the use of the demonstrative, instead of the relative, in this construction have been noted. These are to be regarded as early instances of a use of tæt which has since become common.
The two instances follow: Bo. 116. 10 7 wunode mid hire og done first Þ his degnas him ne mihton leng mid gewunian; Guth. 8. 11 and hi da samod wæron of bone fyrst þæt God foresceawode þæt þæt wif mid bearne geeacnod wæs.
6a. to dam dæge de.
I quote the two instances, which I have noted of this full form of the formula with to: AH. 2. 288. 6 We wenað þæt ge ealle on andwerdnysse her ne beon to dam dæge be we þæt godspel rædan sceolon; LS. 1. 516. 488 wæron ... to dam dæge be hi eft awocon.
6 b. to Dam Gæt.
This form of the connective occurs only with the negative expression næs nænig (nan) hwil, and occurs most frequently in Guth., though it is very rare even there. I quote the only example with the dative that I have observed: Guth. 46. 22 Næs þa nan hwil to þam dæt he geseah ealra wihta and wildeora and wurma hiw in cuman to him.
6c. to Gon Dæt.
Two examples with the instrumental have been noted in Guth., and are quoted here: Guth. 50. 12 Næs þa nænig hwil to þan þæt he to scipe eode, se ylca þe þæt gewrit wrat; Guth. 96. 19 Næs þa nænig whil to pon þæt him his frynd on þære stowe brohton to Cruwlande.
Note 1. I have observed the same construction in Beowulf 2592 Næs þa long to pon, þæt da aglæcean hy eft gemetton. Here also we have the negative expression preceding, &c. Compare also Beowulf 2846.
6 d. to don ... Dæt.
The one example of this sort differs from those which precede, only in that tæt does not immediately follow its antecedent. We have the usual negative expression preceding: Epis. 146. 180 Đa næs long to þon in þæm westenne þæt we to sumre ea cwoman.
6e. to ðam.
It is not clear whether in this case we have a construction similar to those considered above, with det omitted, or whether the writer forgot the construction with which he began, and began a new sentence. The passage in question follows: Guth. 54. 23 Swylce næs eac nænig hwil to þam coman þær þry men to þære hyde, and þær tacn slogon.
6f. to ðæt.
This connective is found once, in the entry for 1137 of Chron., thus: Chron. 264. 13 Me dide cnotted strenges abutan here hæued 7 uurythen to g it gæde to be hærnes.
7. de gyt de.
This expression is clearly best rendered by until, and is to be analyzed as follows: still, when, that is until. It occurs in Chron. in the entry for the year 1116: Chron. 246. 34 Đis wæs swide ge swincfull gear 7 byrstfull on eorð wæstman þurh þa ormæte reinas þe coman sona onforan August 7 swiðe ge drehton 7 ge swencton be gyt þe com Candel mæssan.
A. THE MODE IN THE TEMPORAL CLAUSE.
Here we have to consider the indicative, the optative, and the so-called modal auxiliaries mugan, sculan, motan, and willan. We shall order our division according to the sixfold division of clauses that we made for the particles, believing that differences in the use of mode, when such exist, are due to the different time-relations on which this grouping is based.
This for the indicative and the optative; but since the discussion of the auxiliaries is so largely in regard to meaning, a separate division will be devoted to them.
1. The Mode in Clauses indicating time when. As is to be expected, the indicative is the prevailing mode in such clauses.
When the optative does appear, it is due usually to some peculiarity of the main clause, and not to the time-relation of the two clauses. The most common cause for the use of the optative is an imperative in the main clause, though often it appears in clauses belonging to indirect questions, in object-clauses introduced by det, or is due to attraction. In most of these cases the action of the temporal clause belongs to the future, and always has a doubtful or hypothetical character. Sometimes it is difficult to assign a definite reason for the mode; it seems to be the result of the general, indefinite character of the sentence in which it appears.
The indicative is so common in such clauses that it would be superfluous to transcribe examples: for instance, the optative does not occur at all in clauses with da, and almost any page of OE. will yield one or more clauses with this connective.
I quote a few examples of clauses with the optative, indicating in each case what I conceive to be the reson for the choice of mode: Sol. 4. 16 and bonne þu de gebeden hæbbe, awrit þonne þæt gebed; Lch. 1. 106. 18 7 þonne hit hat sy, lege ofer þa cyrnlu 7 gewrið dærto; BR. 91. 6 Swa oft, swa hy aþor oðþe meon, oþhe ænig þing niwes underfon, betæce a pæt ealde. In clauses of this type, the optative in the temporal clause may be explained as due to a striving for symmetry in mode, in other words to a kind of attraction. This is the view advanced by Hotz-, and adopted with some modification by Mather? Dr. Mather rather adds a reason for the desire for symmetry than modifies the theory. He says: “The speaker introduces a strong subjective element into the sentence by the expression of his own desire or command. He thereby falls out of the role of mere reporter, and expresses a particular interest in the relation. This element of will may extend through the whole sentence and influence the verb of the protasis, which becomes subjunctive, the proper mode for the expression of will or wish. The subjunctive in such clause is then rather adhortative, at least in origin,
1 G. Hotz, The Subjunctive Mood in Anglo-Saxon, Zurick, 1882, p. 55; also p. 33, note.
The Conditional Sentence in Anglo-Saxon, p. 8.