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|Primary word order|
|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
- 1 General informations
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Grammar
- 3.1 Morphology
- 3.1.1 Verbs
- 3.1.2 Nouns
- 3.1.3 Adjectives
- 3.1.4 Determiners
- 3.1.5 Pronouns
- 3.1.6 Prepositions
- 3.1 Morphology
Oxman is a Germanic language spoken in the Duché du Héron (= Shire of Le Héron), a shire that corresponds to the eastern region of Seine-Marirtime in France. This language has evolved from Old Oxman which evolved from Old Auregan which is the first recorded form of Auregan language. Auregan language area corresponds to the "Vexin Normand" (a region situated just south to "Duché du héron"). A Oxman speaking colony also exists near the city of Coventry, Warwickshire, Midlands, England. Oxman is a West-Germanic language that is strongly linked to Dutch, Modern English, Low German and Modern German.
Here is a table which sums up the main characteristics of this language:
Oxman alphabet uses letters from Latin alphabet and contains 25 characters:
|b||[b]||like in English|
|c||[tʃ]||like the English 'ch' in 'church'|
|d||[d]||like in English|
|e||[ɛ] / [e:]||in plural cluster -es it is not pronounced|
|f||[f]||like in English|
|g||[g]||it is always pronunced as in the English word "get"|
|h||[h]||like in English|
|j||[j]||like English 'y'|
|k||[k]||like in English|
|l||[l]||like in English|
|m||[m]||like in English|
|n||[n]||like in English|
|o||[ɔ] / [oʊ:]||like in English|
|p||[p]||like in English|
|q||[k]||often followed by 'u', in latin words beginning with 'qu'|
|r||[r]||trilled just as in Dutch or in Italian|
|s||[s]||can be either voiced or voiceless|
|t||[t]||like in English|
|u||[œ]||short 'u' in 'but'|
|v||[v]||like in English|
|w||[ʋ]||between 'v' and 'w', just as in Dutch|
|y||[j]||between French letter 'j' in 'jouer' and English 'y' in 'year', as a vowel like a French 'u' or as English 'y' in 'why' when at the end of a word followed by a 'e' (cf. Oxman 'wye?' meaning 'why?' pronounced as in English);|
|œ||[u]||as 'oo' in 'boot'|
Old Auregan language had the following consonantic phonemes:
|Plosive||p b||t d||k g||ʔ|
|Fricative||f v||θ ð||s z||ʃ||x||h|
|Affricate||ts dz||tʃ dʒ|
Oxman shows the following vowels:
Diphthongs and digraphs
Old Auregan had also twenty diphthongs, that is clusters of two vowels pronounced with a single emission of air. These diphthongs are:
The position of stress in this language is quite regular, because it falls on the root and thus there are few rules to observe:
- In substantives (and in adjectives and adverbs) the stress generally falls on the first syllable, but if they are compound nouns / adjectives, formed by prefix + noun / adjective, the stress falls on the root syllable of the noun / adjective. In compounds which are formed by noun / adjective + noun / adjective, the various words are read as if they were written separately;
- In verbs the stress falls always on the root, even if they are compounds, ex.: emæke, "to make up", is read as [ə'ma:kə].
Strong verbs use the Germanic form of conjugation known as ablaut. In this form of conjugation, the stem of the word changes to indicate the tense. Verbs like this persist in modern Oxman; for example singe, song, esungen is a strong verb, as are swimbe, swomb, eswumben and ciese, coas, ecosen. The root portion of the word changes rather than its ending. In Old Auregan, there were seven major classes of strong verb; each class has its own pattern of stem changes. Learning these is often a challenge for students of the language, though English speakers may see connections between the old verb classes and their modern forms.
The classes had the following distinguishing features to their infinitive stems:
- ī + one consonant.
- īo or ū + one consonant.
- e + two consonants.
- e + 1 consonant (usually l or r, plus the verb brecan 'to break').
- e + 1 consonant (usually a stop or a fricative).
- a + 1 consonant.
- Other than the above.
|Stem changes in strong verbs|
|Class||Root weight||Infinitive||First preterite||Second preterite||Past participle|
|II||heavy||īo or ū||ōa||u||o|
|III||heavy||see table below|
|IV||light||e(+r/l)||a||ā (originally ǣ)||o|
|V||light||e(+other)||a||ā (originally ǣ)||e|
|VII||heavy||ō, ēa, ōa, æ, ǣ, ō||e, ǣ or īo||same as infinitive|
The first preterite stem is used in the preterite, for the first- and third-person singular. The second preterite stem is used for second-person singular, and all persons in the plural (as well as the preterite subjunctive). Strong verbs also exhibit i-mutation of the stem in the second- and third-person singular in the present tense.
The second sound change to affect it was the influence of palatal sounds <g>, <k>, and <sc>. These turned preceding <e> and <a> to < i > and <æ>, respectively.
The third sound change turned <e> to <i>, <æ> to <a>, and <o> to <u> before nasals.
Altogether, this split the third class into five sub-classes:
- e + two consonants (apart from clusters beginning with l).
- e + r or h + another consonant.
- e + l + another consonant.
- g, c, or sc + i + two consonants.
- i + nasal + another consonant.
|Stem changes in Class III|
|Sub-class||Infinitive||First preterite||Second preterite||Past participle|
Regular strong verbs were all conjugated roughly the same, with the main differences being in the stem vowel. Thus stelan 'to steal' represents the strong verb conjugation paradigm.
Weak verbs are formed by adding alveolar (t or d) endings to the stem for the past and past-participle tenses. Some examples are love, loved or look, looked.
Originally, the weak ending was used to form the preterite of informal, noun-derived verbs such as often emerge in conversation and which have no established system of stem-change. By nature, these verbs were almost always transitive, and even today, most weak verbs are transitive verbs formed in the same way.
The linguistic trends of borrowing foreign verbs and verbalizing nouns have greatly increased the number of weak verbs over the last 1,200 years. Some verbs that were originally strong (for example helpe, holp, eholpen is now more and more replaced by helpe, helpte, ehelpt) have become weak by analogy; most foreign verbs are adopted as weak verbs; and when verbs are made from nouns (for example "to scroll" or "to water") the resulting verb is weak. Additionally, conjugation of weak verbs is easier to teach, since there are fewer classes of variation. In combination, these factors have drastically increased the number of weak verbs, so that in modern Oxman weak verbs are the most numerous and productive form.
There are three major classes of weak verbs in Old Auregan. The first class displays i-mutation in the root, and the second class none. There is also a third class explained below.
Class-one verbs with short roots exhibit gemination of the final stem consonant in certain forms. With verbs in <r>, this appears as <ri>. Geminated <ƀ> appears as <bb>, and that of <ġ> appears as <dġ>. Class-one verbs may receive an epenthetic vowel before endings beginning in a consonant.
Where class-one verbs have gemination, class-two verbs have <i>, which is a separate syllable pronounced [i]. All class-two verbs have an epenthetic vowel, which appears as <a> or <o>.
In the following table, three verbs are conjugated. Swebban 'to put to sleep' is a class-one verb exhibiting gemination and an epenthetic vowel. Hêalean 'to heal' is a class-one verb exhibiting neither gemination nor an epenthetic vowel. Sîðeon 'to travel' is a class-two verb.
|Conjugation||Pronoun||'put to sleep'||'heal'||'travel'|
|te swebbeanne||te hêaleanne||te sîþeonne|
During the Old Auregan period, the third class was significantly reduced; only four verbs belonged to this group: hebbean 'have', libbean 'live', sedgean 'say', and hudġean 'think'. Each of these verbs is distinctly irregular, though they share some commonalities.
|Past indicative||(all persons)||hafda||lifda||sagda||hogda|
|Present subjunctive||(all persons)||hebbe||libbe||sedge||hudge|
|Past subjunctive||(all persons)||hafdi||lifdi||sagdi||hogdi|
The preterite-present verbs are a class of verbs which have a present tense in the form of a strong preterite and a past tense like the past of a weak verb. These verbs derive from the subjunctive or optative use of preterite forms to refer to present or future time. For example, witan, "to know" comes from a verb which originally meant "to have seen" (cf. OA wīsa "manner, mode, appearance"; Latin videre "to see" from the same root). The present singular is formed from the original singular preterite stem and the present plural from the original plural preterite stem. As a result of this history, the first-person singular and third-person singular are the same in the present.
|Conjugation||Pronoun||'know how to'||'be able to, can'||'be obliged to'||'know'||'own'||'avail'||'dare'||'remember'||'need'||'be allowed to'||'grant, allow'||'use, enjoy'|
|ic, ik, ick||can, kan||mag||scal||wêat||êah||dôag||dar||man||þarf||môt||an||genah|
|ic||cûða, kûða||mæhta, mahta||scolda||wista||êahta||dohta||dorsta||munda||þorfta||môsta||ûða||genohta|
|þû||cûðest, kûðest||mæhtest, mahtest||scoldest||wistest||êahtest||dohtest||dorstest||mundest||þorftest||môstest||ûðest||genohtest|
|hî/hit/sîo||cûða, kûða||mæhta, mahta||scolda||wista||ēahta||dohta||dorsta||munda||þorfta||môsta||ôða||ġinohta|
|wî/gî/hêa||cûðon, kûðon||mæhton, mahton||scoldon||wiston||ēahton||dohton||dorston||mundon||þorfton||mōston||ūðon||ġinohton|
|ic/þû/hî/hit/sîo||cûði, kûði||mæhti, mahti||scoldi||wisti||êahti||dohti||dorsti||mundi||þorfti||môsti||ûði||genohti|
|wî/gî/hêa||cûðin, kûðin||mæhtin, mahtin||scoldin||wistin||êahtin||dohtin||dorstin||mundin||þorftin||môstin||ûðin||genohtin|
[Forms above with asterisk (*) rare, archaic or dialectal.]
Additionally there is a further group of four verbs which are anomalous, the verbs "want" (modern "will"), "do", "go" and "be". These four have their own conjugation schemes which differ significantly from all the other classes of verb. This is not especially unusual: "want", "do", "go", and "be" are the most commonly used verbs in the language, and are very important to the meaning of the sentences in which they are used. Idiosyncratic patterns of inflection are much more common with important items of vocabulary than with rarely-used ones.
Dōn 'to do' and gān 'to go' are conjugated alike; willan 'to want' is similar outside of the present tense.
|Present Subjunctive||(all persons)||dô||gâ||wille|
|Past Subjunctive||(all persons)||deda||igda||wolda|
|Past Participle||gedōn||gegān / gegangon||-|
The verb 'to be' is actually composed of three different stems:
|iḳ, ic, ick||–||–||was|
The present forms of wesan are almost never used. Therefore, wesan is used as the past, imperative, and present participle versions of sindon, and does not have a separate meaning. The bēon forms are usually used in reference to future actions. Only the present forms of bēon contrast with the present forms of sindon/wesan in that bēon tends to be used to refer to eternal or permanent truths, while sindon/wesan is used more commonly to refer to temporary or subjective facts. This semantic distinction was lost as Old English developed into modern English, so that the modern verb 'to be' is a single verb which takes its present indicative forms from sindon, its past indicative forms from wesan, its present subjunctive forms from bēon, its past subjunctive forms from wesan, and its imperative and participle forms from bēon. In late OE and ME, the form earon/earun, from the Old Norse erun, replaced bēoþ and sind (See also List of English words of Old Norse origin).
Old English is an inflected language, and as such its nouns, pronouns, adjectives and determiners must be declined in order to serve a grammatical function. A set of declined forms of the same word pattern is called a declension. As in several other ancient Germanic languages, there are five major cases: nominative, accusative, dative, genitive and instrumental.
- The nominative case indicated the subject of the sentence, for example se cyning means 'the king'. It was also used for direct address. Adjectives in the predicate (qualifying a noun on the other side of 'to be') were also in the nominative.
- The accusative case indicated the direct object of the sentence, for example Æþelbald lufode þone cyning means "Æþelbald loved the king", where Æþelbald is the subject and the king is the object. Already the accusative had begun to merge with the nominative; it was never distinguished in the plural, or in a neuter noun.
- The genitive case indicated possession, for example the þæs cyninges scip is "the ship of the king" or "the king's ship". It also indicated partitive nouns.
- The dative case indicated the indirect object of the sentence, for example hringas þæm cyninge means "rings for the king" or "rings to the king". There were also several verbs that took direct objects in the dative.
- The instrumental case indicated an instrument used to achieve something, for example, lifde sweorde, "he lived by the sword", where sweorde is the instrumental form of sweord. During the Old English period, the instrumental was falling out of use, having largely merged with the dative. Only pronouns and strong adjectives retained separate forms for the instrumental.
The small body of evidence we have for Runic texts suggests that there may also have a been a separate locative case in early or Northumbrian forms of the language (e.g., Template:Script on rodi "on the Cross").
In addition to inflection for case, nouns take different endings depending on whether the noun was in the singular (for example, hring 'one ring') or plural (for example, hringas 'many rings'). Also, some nouns pluralize by way of Umlaut, and some undergo no pluralizing change in certain cases.
Nouns are also categorized by grammatical gender – masculine, feminine, or neuter. In general, masculine and neuter words share their endings. Feminine words have their own subset of endings. The plural of some declension types distinguishes between genders, e.g., a-stem masculine nominative plural stanas "stones" vs. neuter nominative plural scipu "ships" and word "words"; or i-stem masculine nominative plural sige(as) "victories" vs. neuter nominative plural sifu "sieves" and hilt "hilts".
Furthermore, Old English nouns are divided as either strong or weak. Weak nouns have their own endings. In general, weak nouns are easier than strong nouns, since they had begun to lose their declensional system. However, there is a great deal of overlap between the various classes of noun: they are not totally distinct from one another.
Old English language grammars often follow the common NOM-ACC-GEN-DAT-INST order used for the Germanic languages.
Here are the strong declensional endings and examples for each gender:
|The Strong Noun Declension|
For the '-u/–' forms above, the '-u' is used with a root consisting of a single short syllable or ending in a long syllable followed by a short syllable, while roots ending in a long syllable or two short syllables are not inflected. (A long syllable contains a long vowel or is followed by two consonants. Note also that there are some exceptions; for example, feminine nouns ending in -þu such as strengþu 'strength'.)
|Example of the Strong Noun Declension for each Gender|
Note the syncope of the second e in engel when an ending follows. This syncope of the vowel in the second syllable occurs with two-syllable strong nouns, which have a long vowel in the first syllable and a second syllable consisting of a short vowel and single consonant (for example, engel, wuldor 'glory', and hēafod 'head'). However, this syncope is not always present, so forms such as engelas may be seen.
Here are the weak declensional endings and examples for each gender:
|The Weak Noun Declension|
|Example of the Weak Noun Declension for each Gender|
Irregular strong nouns
In addition, masculine and neuter nouns whose main vowel is short 'æ' and end with a single consonant change the vowel to 'a' in the plural (a result of the phonological phenomenon known as Anglo-Frisian brightening):
|Dæg 'day' m.|
Some masculine and neuter nouns end in -e in their base form. These drop the -e and add normal endings. Note that neuter nouns in -e always have -u in the plural, even with a long vowel:
|Example of the Strong Noun Declensions ending in -e|
Nouns ending in -h lose this when an ending is added, and lengthen the vowel in compensation (this can result in compression of the ending as well):
|Example of the Strong Noun Declensions ending in -h|
Nouns whose stem ends in -w change this to -u or drop it in the nominative singular. (Note that this '-u/–' distinction depends on syllable weight, as for strong nouns, above.)
|Example of the Strong Noun Declensions ending in -w|
|Accusative||smeoru||smeoru||sinwe||sinwa, -e||lǣswe||lǣswa, -e|
A few nouns follow the -u declension, with an entirely different set of endings. The following examples are both masculine, although feminines also exist, with the same endings (for example duru 'door' and hand 'hand'). Note that the '-u/–' distinction in the singular depends on syllable weight, as for strong nouns, above.
|Example of the -u Declension|
Mutating strong nouns
There are also some nouns of the consonant declension, which show i-umlaut in some forms.
|Example of the Strong Noun Declensions with i-shift|
|Genitive||fōtes||fōta||hnyte, hnute||hnuta||bēc, bōce||bōca|
|Dative||fēt, fōte||fōtum||hnyte, hnute||hnutum||bēc, bōc||bōcum|
Other such nouns include (with singular and plural nominative forms given):
Masculine: tōþ, tēþ 'tooth'; mann, menn 'man'; frēond, frīend 'friend'; fēond, fīend 'enemy' (cf. 'fiend')
Feminine: studu, styde 'post' (cf. 'stud'); hnitu, hnite 'nit'; āc, ǣc 'oak'; gāt, gǣt 'goat'; brōc, brēc 'leg covering' (cf. 'breeches'); gōs, gēs 'goose'; burg, byrg 'city' (cf. 'borough', '-bury' and German cities in -burg); dung, dyng 'prison' (cf. 'dungeon' by way of French and Frankish); turf, tyrf 'turf'; grūt, grȳt 'meal' (cf. 'grout'); lūs, lȳs 'louse'; mūs, mȳs 'mouse'; neaht, niht 'night' Feminine with loss of -h in some forms: furh, fyrh 'furrow' or 'fir'; sulh, sylh 'plough'; þrūh, þrȳh 'trough'; wlōh, wlēh 'fringe'. Feminine with compression of endings: cū, cȳ 'cow' (cf. dialectal plural 'kine')
Neuter: In addition, scrūd 'clothing, garment' has the umlauted dative-singular form scrȳd.
Nouns of relationship
|Nouns of Relationship|
|Nominative||fæder||fæd(e)ras||brōðor||(ge)brōðor||mōdor||mōdra/mōdru||sweostor||(ge)sweostor, -tru, -tra||dohtor||dohtor|
|Accusative||fæder||fæd(e)ras||brōðor||(ge)brōðor||mōdor||mōdra/mōdru||sweostor||(ge)sweostor, -tru, -tra||dohtor||dohtor|
Neuter nouns with -r- in the plural
|Lamb 'lamb' n.|
Other such nouns: ǣg, ǣgru 'egg' (ancestor of the archaic/dialectical form 'ey', plural 'eyren'; the form 'egg' is a borrowing from Old Norse); bread, breadru 'crumb'; cealf, cealfru 'calf'; cild 'child' has either the normal plural cild or cildru (cf. 'children', with -en from the weak nouns); hǣmed, hǣmedru 'cohabitation'; speld, speldru 'torch'.
Adjectives in Old English are declined using the same categories as nouns: five cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, and instrumental), three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter), and two numbers (singular, plural). In addition, they can be declined either strong or weak. The weak forms are used in the presence of a definite or possessive determiner, while the strong ones are used in other situations. The weak forms are identical to those for nouns, while the strong forms use a combination of noun and pronoun endings:
|The Strong Adjective Declension|
For the '-u/–' forms above, the distinction is the same as for strong nouns.
|Example of the Strong Adjective Declension: gōd 'good'|
|Example of the Weak Adjective Declension: gōd 'good'|
Note that the same variants described above for nouns also exist for adjectives. The following example shows both the æ/a variation and the -u forms in the feminine singular and neuter plural:
|Example of the Strong Adjective Declension: glæd 'glad'|
The following shows an example of an adjective ending with -h:
|Example of the Strong Adjective Declension: hēah 'high'|
The following shows an example of an adjective ending with -w:
|Example of the Strong Adjective Declension: gearu 'ready'|
Old English had two main determiners: se, which could function as both 'the' or 'that', and þes for 'this'.
|Instrumental||þȳ, þon||þȳ, þon||–||–|
Modern English 'that' descends from the neuter nominative/accusative form, and 'the' from the masculine nominative form, with 's' replaced analogously by the 'th' of the other forms. The feminine nominative form was probably the source of Modern English 'she.'
Most pronouns are declined by number, case and gender; in the plural form most pronouns have only one form for all genders. Additionally, Old English pronouns preserve the dual form (which is specifically for talking about groups of two things, for example "we two" or "you two" or "they two"). These were uncommon even then, but remained in use throughout the period.
|Nominative||hī||hit||sīo, hīo||hēa (older hīea) m., hīo f.|
|Accusative||hina||hit||sīa, hīa||hēa (older hīea) m., hīe f.|
|Genitive||his||his||hira||hire m., here f.|
Many of the forms above bear strong resemblances to their contemporary English language equivalents: for instance in the genitive case ēower became "your", ūre became "our", mīn became "mine".
Prepositions often follow the word which they govern, in which case they are called postpositions. Also, so that the object of a preposition was marked in the dative case, a preposition may conceivably be located anywhere in the sentence, even appended to the verb. The infinitive is not declined.
The following is a list of prepositions in the Old Auregan. Many of them, particularly those marked "etc.", are found in other variant spellings. Prepositions may govern the accusative, genitive, dative or instrumental cases - the question of which is beyond the scope of this article.
|æftor||after; along, through, during; according to, by means of; about.||Ancestor of Oxman aftor, Related to Dutch achter = behind, after|
|êar||before||Related to Old English ær, modern German eher and Dutch eer, ancestor of Oxman ear-|
|at||at, to||Ancestor of Oxman at- (only in compounds)|
|ond||against, before, on.||Ancestor of oxman ond-, related to Dutch ont-|
|ondlæng||along||Ancestor of modern along|
|bæftan||after, behind; without.||From bi- and *æft (found in æftor)|
|bî||by, near to, to, at, in, on, upon, about, with||Related to modern Oxman bie, Dutch bij, German bei, ancestor of modern by|
|befôran||before.||Ancestor of Oxman befoar and beforn|
|begiendan||beyond.||Ancestor of Oxman beyendon|
|behindor||behind.||Ancestor of Oxman behindor|
|binnan||in, within||Ancestor of Oxman binnon, from bi- + innan|
|beneðan||beneath||Ancestor of Oxman benethon|
|betwisc||between, among, amid, in the midst||Ancestors of Oxman betwisc|
|bîrihte||straight into||Ancestor of Oxman bieright (also aright from *anrihte)|
|bûƀan||above.||Ancestor of Oxman bovon|
|bûtan||out of, against; without, except.||Ancestor of bauton, from bi- + auton|
|ôac||with, in addition to, besides.||Related to modern Dutch ook|
|fan||by||Ancestor of Oxman fan, Related to Dutch van and German von, corresponds to a compound of af and an|
|fur||for, on account of, because of, with, by; according to; instead of.||Ancestor of Oxman fur|
|fôra||before||Ancestor of Oxman foar|
|fram||from; concerning, about, of||Ancestor of Oxman fram|
|gemæng, gemang, gemong||among||Ancestor of Oxman emong|
|giend||through, throughout, over, as far as, among, in, after, beyond.||Ancestor of Oxman yends and yendor|
|in||in, into, to||Ancestor of modern in|
|innan||in, into, within, from within||Ancestor of Oxman innon|
|mid||with, against||Ancestor of modern mid|
|nâh||near||Ancestor of Oxman nagh- (only in compounds)|
|nefne||except||Ancestor of Oxman nevon (unless)|
|af||of, from, out of, off||Ancestor of modern af|
|oƀor||above, over; upon, on, more than||Ancestor of modern ovor|
|an||at, to, in||Ancestor of Oxman an and a-|
|anbûtan||concerning||Ancestor of Dialectal Oxman abauton|
|angegin||opposite, against; towards; in reply to.||Ancestor of Oxman ayeyon (towards)|
|sæmt, sæmd||together with, at.||Ancestor of Oxman samt (only used in samt mid or in compounds)|
|tô||to, at.||Ancestor of Oxman tœ|
|tegegnes||towards, against||Ancestor of Oxman teyons|
|tômiddes||in the midst of, amidst||Ancestor of Oxman tœmids|
|tôward(es)||toward||Ancestor of modern tœwards|
|þurh||through||Ancestor of Oxman thurgh, Related to modern Dutch door, German durch, English through|
|undor||under||Ancestor of modern undor|
|undorneðan||underneath||Ancestor of modern undornethon|
|uppan||upon, on||Ancestor of dialectical Oxman uppon.|
|ûtan||without, outside of||Ancestor of auton, related to modern German außen, außer and Swedish utan|
|wiðor||towards, to; with, against; opposite to; by, near.||Ancestor of modern withor-. Related to modern German wider|
|umb(i)||about, by||Ancestor of Oxman umb (around, about); Related to German um and Latin ambi|
|umbûtan||about, around; concerning||Ancestor of archaic Oxman umbbauton (concerning, around)|
- Page, An Introduction to English Runes, Boydell 1999, p. 230
- "That". Online Etymology Dictionary. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=that. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "The". Online Etymology Dictionary. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=the. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "She". Online Etymology Dictionary. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=she. Retrieved 28 June 2010.