puhte was soon disused, po(u)kte taking its place: he pokte 'he thought', hint pokte 'it seemed to him'. In Standard M.E. the two verbs were still kept apart in the infin. and present tenses, which had the Midland forms ponken, t pcnke; pinken, me pitikep, etc.; but in the compound bepinken 'consider' — O. E. bepencan, the latter had already begun to encroach. In Northern E. pink completely supplanted penk, as in Mn. E. Hence Mn. E. think is historically = O. E. pyncan, and its pret. tkougkt = O. E. pokte. the pret. of the lost pencan'. (New Eng. Grom. 8 1340).
This brief statement leaves many questions unanswered which to my knowledge, have not been satisfactorily dealt with elsewhere either, and a detailed treatment of the mutual relations between the two M. E. verbs in question will therefore, I trust, not be deemed out of place here.
85. I .et us first take the phonetical side of the question. Of course, there were two possibilities.
a. pyncan niight be assimilated to pencan, or b. the opposite might take place.
The former of these two processes is observed in the Kentish dialect. Owing to unrounding and subseqtient lowering every y (long or short) becanie e in Kentish (Sievers Ags. Gromm. (j 154; Bülbring, Ae. Elcmenlarb. 162; Morsbach, M.E. Gramm. g 132), so that O.E. pyncan appears in this dialect as penchen, thus phonetically coinciding with penchen < O.E.. jtencan. The only O.E. instarice I have come across, occurs in the Blickl. Hom.:
Hie (= I>a geogo\ lustas) kim jtonne eft swi[>e bitere penca[, (p. 59.)
In the Kentish Serttions (O.E. Misc.) we find: al hit him may peuche forlore and idelnesse (35/2.)
There are two instances in Shorehani's Pocms and many in ( onf. Am. (I have noted nine) — Strange to say, there is not one in the Ayenbite; Dan Michel consistently employs forms of puiteken.
86. This change, however, was not restrirted to Kent. In Vices & Yirtnet we find: