Top of appendix Contents Bibliography A.1. Vowels of accented syllables A.2. Unaccented syllables A.3. Consonants

Appendix A
Common Spelling Variants

A.1. Vowels of accented syllables

Sounds Environments Examples
a ~ ea When back vowel follows (or once followed) in next syllable. gatu ~ ġeatu ‘gates’; gladian ~ gleadian ‘gladden’.
a ~ o Before m and n. maniġ ~ moniġ ‘many’.
e ~ eo When back vowel follows (or once followed) in next syllable. medo ~ meodo ‘mead’; werod ~ weorod ‘troop’.
e ~ y Late; between s and l. self ~ sylf ‘self’; sellan ~ syllan ‘give’.
ea ~ a Mercian and Northumbrian; before l + consonant. ealdor ~ aldor ‘life’; healdan ~ haldan ‘hold’.
ea/ēa ~ e/ē Late; before c, g and h or after ċ, sc and ġ. sceal ~ scel ‘must’; seah ~ seh ‘saw’.
eo/ēo ~ io/īo Frequent in a variety of texts. Bēowulf ~ Bīowulf.
eo ~ u/o Late; between w and r. weorðan ~ wurðan ‘become’; weorold ~ woruld ‘world’.
eo/i ~ u Late; after w when next syllable contains a back vowel; w may be lost. sweostor ~ swustor ‘sister’; cwicu ~ cucu ‘alive’.
i ~ eo/io When back vowel follows (or once followed) in next syllable. clipian ~ cleopian ‘call’; ġewritu ~ ġewriotu ‘writings’
i ~ y Late; near labial consonants (b, m, p, w) and r. clipian ~ clypian ‘call’; miċel ~ myċel ‘large’.
ie/īe ~ i/ī, y/ȳ Late and widespread. nīed ~ nȳd/nīd ‘necessity’; iernan ~ irnan/yrnan ‘run’.
ie/īe, i/ī, y/ȳ ~ eo/ēo, io/īo Non-West Saxon; when ie/īe, i/ī, y/ȳ is from i-mutation of eo/īo, io/īo. þīestru ~ þēostru ‘darkness’; āfierran ~ āfeorran ‘remove’.
ie/īe, i/ī, y/ȳ ~ e/ē Kentish; when ie/īe, i/ī, y/ȳ is from i-mutation of ea/ēa. hliehhan ~ hlehhan ‘laugh’; hīeran ~ hēran ‘hear’.

A.2. Unaccented syllables

Sounds Environments Examples
-an ~ -a Late; weak noun and adjective ending. mōnan ~ mōna genitive singular ‘of the moon’.
-iġ ~ -ī Adjective ending. maniġ ~ manī ‘many’.
-ness ~ -niss/-nyss Feminine suffix. ēadiġness ~ ēadiġniss ~ ēadiġnyss ‘prosperity’.
-od- ~ -ad- Past and past participle of second-class weak verbs. wunode ~ wunade ‘dwelled, remained with’.
-on ~ -an/-un Late; plural verb ending. writon ~ writan ‘wrote’; wǣron ~ wǣrun ‘were’.
-u ~ -o Feminine nominative singular and neuter nominative plural. scipu ~ scipo ‘ships’.
-um ~ -on/-un Late; dative ending. sīðum ~ sīðon ‘times’; ārum ~ ārun ‘oars’.

A.3. Consonants

Sounds Environments Examples
doubling Before l or r. miċle ~ miċċle ‘large’; nǣdre ~ nǣddre ‘serpent’.
undoubling At the ends of words; after consonants; in unaccented syllables. mann ~ man ‘man’; ġeornness ~ ġeorness ‘zeal’; gyldenne ~ gyldene ‘golden’.
fn ~ mn/mm Late. stefn ~ stemn ‘voice’; hrefnas ~ hremmas ‘ravens’.
g ~ h At the ends of words. sorg ~ sorh ‘sorrow’; burg ~ burh ‘city’
ġ ~ i/iġ Late; after front vowels. dæġ ~ dæi ‘day’; þeġn ~ þeiġn ‘thegn’
ġeo ~ iu At the beginnings of words. ġeong ~ iung ‘young’; ġeogoð ~ iugoð ‘youth’
r Undergoes metathesis in syllables ending in n or s. irnan ~ rinnan ‘run’; forst ~ frost ‘frost’.
sc ~ x When sc is pronounced [sk] ascian ~ axian ‘ask’; fiscas ~ fixas ‘fishes’.
sco/scu ~ sceo At the beginnings of words. sculan ~ sceolan ‘must’; scort ~ sceort ‘short’.