Alidar Jarok wrote:
First, and I assume this is fairly obvious, but I should say it anyway. By old English, you mean Elizabethan English (which is an earlier modern English). It was after the great vowel shift. Before that point, everything was pronounced (and pronounced differently). The word Knight literally pronounced the k, n, g, and t and the i was like the i in the word Nick. That language would sound alien to us.
You beat me to it. There are three different Ages regarding English (before getting to Modern English):
- Old English (from the first traces of written texts circa the 8th century).
- Middle English (from the 11th century in parallel with the Norman invasion)
- Elizabethan English (up until the 18th century)
mentioned, the Great Vowel Shift took three hundred years to take place, and that's one of the constants of any languages; they mutate.
EDIT: Oh by the way, I studied History of English at college (a minor in Linguistics) and it was awesome! I remember "Vader Ure"