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Faculty of Arts & Science

Arts & Science News

What’s the DNA of the English language?

Having assembled the entire corpus of Anglo-Saxon texts, U of T’s Dictionary of Old English is mapping and redefining the origins of our language.

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the master document of modern English. The Middle English Dictionary (MED), completed at the University of Michigan in 2001, records the form English took after the Norman invasion of 1066. Yet Old English originated five centuries earlier, when the Germanic dialects of Anglo-Saxon migrants took on new shape in the British Isles.