ge-
Morphological Analysis
Wordclass: Prefix
Related §§ in Wright's OE Grammar:
In the OE text, the length is:indicated by acute accentsindicated by macronsnot indicated.
ge-
a preposition, originally meaning with, but found only as a prefix. v. Schleicher, Die Deutsche Sprache, p. 224. In accordance with this meaning it often gives a collective sense to nouns to which it is prefixed, as, ge-bróðor brothers; ge-húsan housefolk; ge-magas kinsmen; ge-macan mates; ge-gylda a member of a corporation or guild; ge-wita a witness, accomplice; ge-fera a companion, attendant; gescý shoes. Ge- sometimes gives to a neuter verb an active signification, as winnan to fight, ge-winnan to win by fighting Wið God winnan to fight [war] with God, Cd. 18; Th. 22, 26; Gen. 346. Sige on him ge-wann he gained [won] a victory over him, Num. 21, 1. Rídan to ride; ge-rídan to reach by riding, arrive at Ic on wicge ríde I ride on a horse, Exon. 127 a; Th. 489, 14; Rä. 78, 7. Ge-rád Æðelwold ðone hám æt Winburnan postea invāsit Æthelwaldus villam ăpud Winburnam, Gib. 99, 37 : Chr. 901; Erl. 97, 11. On this power of ge-, Mr. Earle, in Chr. p. 321, remarks 'A strong instance is ge-winnan [1090] = to win; which sense, now so intimately identified with this root, is not in the simple verb winnan, until compounded with ge-. Winnan is to toil, fight, contend; ge-winnan is to get by striving, fighting, contending, i. e. to win, ' A.D. 685; p. 40, 16 : p. 4, 25. Ge- often seems void of signification; as, ge-sǽlþ bliss; ge-líc like; ge-súnd sound, healthy. In verbs it seems sometimes to be a mere augment, e. g. in the following Ðæt wíf genam ðá of ðæs treówes wæstme and geæt and sealde hire were : he æt ða mŭlier tŭlit de fructu illīus et comēdit dĕditgue vĭro suo, qui comēdit, Gen. 3, 6. It often changes the signification from literal to figurative; as, healdan to hold; ge-healdan to observe, preserve; fyllan to fill; ge-fyllanto fulfil; biddan to bid, require; ge-biddan to pray. In the Rushworth Gloss, the prefix is often gi-. [Wyc. Piers P. Chauc. y- : Laym. i- : O. Sax. gi- : O. Frs. ge-, gi-, ie- : Dut. Ger. ge- : M. H. Ger. ge-, gi- : O. H. Ger. ga-, ka-, gi-, ki-, ge-, ke- : Goth. ga- : Dan. Swed. ge-.]
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