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English Language

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on 18 February 2014

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Transcript of English Language

British english VS American english
Difference in stress
Some words ending in -IL
The T sound
The -IZATION ending
English Language and its evolution

History of the English Language
Who speaks English ?
World-Wide English
English Speakers
Native english speaker
375 million
3rd place (1st : Mandarin 2nd : Spanish)
Non-native english speaker

(English as a second or foreign language)
>750 million
Open Source Language ?
We saw the beginnings of English and its history.
This language will become the most important and powerful in the world
So we will see HOW and WHY English has spread across the globe from the 17th centery to the 20th.
Different accents and prononciation
(US vs UK)
English as a Killer Language
-Language of economic opportunity
-A tool for the destruction of linguistic and cultural diversity
-Divisions in society
-Encouraged people to be lazy about learning languages

==> More than a billion people speak english around the world

English is the official language for aerial and maritime communications
The official language of the European Union, the United Nations, the International Olympic Committee, UNESCO, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) , WHO (World Health Organisation)
36% of internet communications
2/3 of the world's scientists read in English

80% of the world's electronically stored information

English today is spoken by more people as a second language than a first
English is an open-source language
The new English-speakers aren’t just passively absorbing the language, they’re shaping it
A little bit of Geography
English as an Official Language
Old English Period
Britain before the English
First inhabitants were Celts and Scots
Later, it was the Cymric and Brythonic Celts
Then, the Picts arrived.
Existence of a particular alphabet : the Ogham Alphabet

Anglo-Saxon Invasions

Invasions of Jutes, Angles and Saxons, began in 449 ce (common era)
Place name
: derives from one of the Germanic tribes, known by the Romans as


= "land of the Angles", with the repeated consonant – vowel sequence reduced, giving England.

Anglo-Saxon Influence
Structure of the Old English
Old English began in 500
First manuscript attestations of English : 700
Very important characteristics of Old English
: 85 % of the vocabulary used in OE, no longer in use in Modern English

Old English period spans just under 600 years
Changes in sounds, grammar and vocabulary during this time

Big influence of Germanic tribes
Settlement of Angles and Saxons very easy : spoke closely Germanic

Middle English Period
A little bit of History
In 1066, invasion of the England by the Duke of Normandy
French was the language adopted by the British Royalty
Two parts in the society : the New French-Speaking Aristocracy, and the Old English Peasants
Changes and linguistic evolution
Lots of significant changes more visible & audible
in the English Language
Several dialects in Middle English:
Ex: The Northern Dialect
Our fadir the ercebisshop grauntes of his grace
-Our father the archbishop grants of his grace.
The Southern Dialect:
Vor uader and uor moder and uor oper ken
-Your father and your mother and your other kin
3 major literary languages :Latin, French and English
French was the language of the court
English was the language of the people.
Development of new diverse dialects from several regions of England in the 14th C

: Finally in the 15th century, English displaced
its competitors: French and Latin.
English has been re-adopted since 1425, thanks to Henry V

Foreign Literary Languages
Académie Française Ø

Different englishes(variations of words, accents and
Historical Background
Early modern English period : a time of tremendous
political, economic, and social change of Britain
End of the Early Modern Period marked by the separation
of America from Britain

Linguistic development
Early Modern English structure of the language
very close to Present-Day English structure
Nouns essentially the same as in Present-Day English
Development of the second person personal pronoun
All inflections of adjectival forms lost in EME period
Syntax: Negation with do and Yes-No questions
Significant change of the Vocabulary
Early Modern English Revival of learning
Standardization of English
Introduction of printing press
Access to education
Increase of communication
Social stratification
Changes that follow in the Modern English period are all in the direction of regularization.
The Present Day English is a continuation of this last period.
Early Modern English
Shaping it ?
Many kind of englishes around the world
The famous British English, American English and Australian English
But also, Canadian English, South Asian English, South African English, New Zealand English, Jamaican English

In the 17th and 18th centeries, English spread as a result of BRITISH COLONISATION.
In the 18th and 19th centeries, English spread as the language of British leadership in the Industrial Revolution.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, English spread as the language of American economic superiority and political leadership.
In the seconde half of the twentieth century, English spread as a consequence of American technological domination.
English spread the globe originally because
it was the language of a world power,
first in terms of military might and then
in terms of technological and economic
During the 17th and 18th centeries the British empire had a very powerfull navy it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1922 the British Empire held sway over about one-fifth of the world's population at the time.
America (Canada ans US)
The Caribbean
New Zealand
South ; West ; East Africa
South Asia
South Pacific
Grammar differences
-Collective nouns are often used with "is" in UK
My company's staff
having a party tonight.
whereas in American english it would have to be: My company's staff
having a party tonight.
Another example is that in British english an auxilary is often used as a substitute for a verb...
Are you going to the party ? "I might do !"

American would just say : "I might"
Have you got ? vs Do you have?
Did you ever? vs Have you ever ?

Do you think it is a good thing that there's a global language ?

Do you think English is a threat to other languages ?

Do you think English will stay THE dominant language in the future ?

Why did you decide to learn English ? Is it because it has become an international language that can be spoken everywhere ? Or is it perhaps just because you love it ?
Full transcript