'before' (Modern English ere)
Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)
(ONP ár (4) (adv.))
Other Scandinavian Reflexes
Far ári, Icel ár, Norw år
cp. ǣr (comp.) 'before, earlier'
Phonological and morphological markers
Variants in <a> (cf. or) (taking into account MED s.vv. ēr adj., ēr adv., er prep., er conj.1) are recorded from a wide range of different ME texts, though esp. frequently from N dial (esp. Cursor Mundi); however, notice also LALME dot map 232 (‘are’ type), with widespread occurrences and a dense cluster in the SWM.
Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus
Gaw 239, 1632, 1891; Cl 438, 1128; Erk 36; WA 246, 447, 1140
All three occurrences in Gaw are line-final in the phrase neuer are; see McGee 322 and Putter and Stokes 2007: 476–7. TPD reads an instance of the superl. arest at WA 3504 (see 3632n), which Skeat WA had interpreted as a n. 'arrest, seizure' and introduces an other at 3291 by emending A MS <he> to *are, following D MS reading ere.