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History of the English Language

{Table task} Events | Standardisation | Linguistic changes

My Huyen Nguyen

on 11 November 2014

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Transcript of History of the English Language

History of the English Language
Middle English (1050-1450)
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote English literature
Early Modern English (1450-1700)
Fastest lexical growth in the history of language
Modern English (1700-present)
Old English (500-1050)
Before Old English
Germanic tribes arrive
Events: social, political, cultural shifts
Linguistic Changes: vocabulary, spelling and grammatical changes
Viking invasions, begun in the 8th Century, gave English a Norwegian and Danish influence which lasted until the Norman Conquest.
Celtic was the native language in Britain
55BC - Latin became more dominant; Celtic began to fade away
460AD - Germanic dialect becomes the first form of old English + Germanic tribes incorporated Latin borrowings.
No agreed spelling, pronunciation and word order
Runic to Roman alphabet
Scandinavian ( Old Norse) influences: everyday words, pronouns, verb: to be, 3rd person singular -s ending
Latin words adapted for plants, animals, food and drink, household items, clothing, buildings and settlements, military and legal institutions, commerce, and religion.
Old English alphabet is similar to the current one.
Modern letter 'g' appeared as 'ᵹ', often called 'yogh'
Several modern letters will not be seen
The standard Old English alphabet had 24 letters.
Adjectives, prepositions, articles, and other grammatical words usually go before their nouns
Personal pronoun system affected with they, them and their replacing the earlier forms
Norman French is established in Britain
Over 10, 000 French words brought into English; words used for administration, law, religion, military, food and drink, fashion, leisure ans arts, science and learning, the home, gen. nouns + adj + verbs, turns of phrases
French and English words coexisted and were used interchangeably
Phonology : Speech rhythms became more varied. French stressed all the syllables equally, and also brought in more softer sounds
Number of French affixes acuires: con-, trans-, pre-, -ance, -tion and -ment
Lost a large number of inflections
There was still no agreed system of spelling, and the range of spellings found is greater than during Old English
English establishes a linguistic structure
Phonology is greatly affected: the pronunciation of long vowel sounds were transformed and became similar to the pronunciation that we are familiar with today.
New interest in vocabulary; words adapted from Latin, Greek, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Malay, Persian, Turkish, Dutch, Russian, Welsh, Japanese, etc
second person pronoun
English structure becomes standard and codified
Latin returns
New lexemes created to cater for the ever changing society and cultural environment
By My Huyen Nguyen
30, 000 words added to the English vocabulary; A large number of theses words are from Shakespeare
The Celtic tribes arrived in Britain and dominated Europe for 400-500 years
The Romans invaded Britain bringing with them Latin, occupied it until 410AD.
Immigrants from Denmark and NW Germany arrived in Britain in the 5th and 6th Centuries A.D., speaking in related dialects belonging to the Germanic and Teutonic branches of the Indo-European language family.
St Augustine was welcomed into Britain from Rome and people became converted to Latin Christianity.
English moves towards 'structure'
Normans take control of Britain and introduce Norman French
Normans ruled Britain and created a split between the language: French speaking upper class Norman barons and everyday people continued to speak Old English
Over the centuries - English and French became increasingly combined
The Hundred Year War began
The Hundred Year War ends
English was used for the first time at the opening of Parliament
John Wycliffe completed his translation of the Bible from the Vulgate Latin into English
end of 14th cent.
William Caxton set up the first English printing press
Latin was the European language of religion, education and learning
the Renaissance
a flood of new publications in English, prompted by a renewed interest in classical language and literature. Science, medicine and arts were also rapidly developing.
16th century
William Shakespeare uses English in plays using words never been written before
World-wide explorations began
1530 - 1660
United States becomes powerful in technology
- printers were invented
- Computers and the Internet was invented and towards the end of the century released to public.
Expansion of the British Empire causing English to spread
19th century
the publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language
English became the preferred language of instruction over Latin in literature, science, commerce, communication, education and technology
New inventions; technology rapidly growing and improving
20th century
21st century
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