Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis is a dialect analysis of a select group of hymns and poems to the Virgin and Christ and other religious poems from MS Lambeth 853. It thoroughly examines the phonology of the vowels in words of Old English origin found in the MS and records all these words except for most of the unstressed conjunctions. It restricts examina tion of consonants to those phenomena which are considered conclusive in respect to dialect. It has both a compiled list of all pronoun forms according to person, number, case, and gender and an examination of such forms that are important in terms of dialect. It records all inflectional endings for present indicative verbs and discusses their significant dialect features. The Appendices include a set of dialect maps corresponding to each dialect feature discussed in the thesis, a summary of the developments of spelling exhibited by the MS, and a concordance of the material investigated.

The MS definitely exhibits a Southeast-Midlands character, a conclusion reached by my completing the following steps: one, preparation of a concordance; two, separation of all duplicate words; three, noting the stressed vowel of the accented syllable of the ME word, determina tion of its counterpart in Old English; four, separation of words according to parts of speech and analysis of features that are con clusive of dialect; and five, collation of data, thus pinpointing dialect region.