|Ladies, gentlemen, non-binary fellas... presenting: my horror.|
At this point in my investigation I have not yet begun my work with Chaucer proper. Presently, I am engaged in preparatory study. I ordered a handy guide on Chaucer's dialect of Middle English-- a handy little booklet by Peter G. Beidler called A Student's Guide to Chaucer's Middle English-- and so have been busy reading and re-reading those pages.
Although immensely helpful, and you can expect a full review of his book forthcoming, some aspects of it have given me trouble. Namely, his presentation of phonetics.
The first and second times I read through the concerning sections I could only shake my head in confusion; I was so lost-- why did he want me to phonetically transcribe both the modern and Middle English word, why did I need to memorize these phonetic symbols (were the symbols like words?), did the symbols and vowels cooperate to the consonants, and so on. Never before being exposed to phonetics or the International Phonetic Alphabet, I felt marooned on a desert isle.
I am proud to say, however, that I have made some headway and many of those previous questions have been resolved. I can now separate the 'oil' and 'water,' the 'fog' from the 'mist' and so on.
So, with all of that being said, here is some of my notes from Beidler's pamphlet.