The english language a historical outline

Latin is used in churches and schools. McArthur, Tom. Although a Germanic language in its sounds and grammarthe bulk of English vocabulary is in fact Romance or Classical in origin.

Vowel pronunciation became shorter and more words from around the world entered everyday English. Baugh, Albert C.

english language and development

Though closely related to English, German remains far more conservative than English in its retention of a fairly elaborate system of inflections. It was their job to prepare official court documents and prior to the s, both the aforementioned languages were mainly used by royalty, the church, and wealthy Britons.

At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language.

History of english language assignment

Continue Reading. English becomes the official language of the law courts and replaces Latin as the medium of instruction at most schools. Words formerly distinguished as nouns or verbs by differences in their forms are now often used as both nouns and verbs. Probably significant numbers of Norse speakers settled in the Danelaw during the period of Scandinavian control. We do not know what languages the Jutes, Angles, and Saxons spoke, nor even whether they were sufficiently similar to make them mutually intelligible, but it is reasonable to assume that by the end of the sixth century there must have been a language that could be understood by all and this we call Primitive Old English. Icelandic, which has changed little over the last thousand years, is the living language most nearly resembling Old English in grammatical structure. Quercus, The German and Chinese words for the noun man are exemplary. Something to ponder… Refer to the image below for an idea of the changes to the English language during this time frame. However, most surviving Old English texts are based on the West Saxon standard that developed outside the Danelaw; it is not clear to what extent Norse influenced the forms of the language spoken in eastern and northern England at that time. During the invasion, the native Britons were driven north and west into lands we now refer to as Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The advances and discoveries in science and technology during the Industrial Revolution saw a need for new words, phrases, and concepts to describe these ideas and inventions. Anglo-Norman remained in use in limited circles somewhat longer, but it had ceased to be a living language. The language was solid by this point, but it became more refined.

The English Language. In the other Indo-European languagesapart from rare exceptions in Scandinavian languagesnouns and verbs are never identical because of the necessity of separate noun and verb endings. Prentice Hall, Cambridge University Press, The older plural noun marker -en retained in a few cases such as children and oxen largely gave way to -s, and grammatical gender was discarded.

But where did it all start? The Battle of Maldon becomes the subject of one of the few surviving poems in Old English.

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