The History of the English Language

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A brief history of the English language

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The History of the English Language

  1. 1. The History of the English Language Source: A History of English by Barbara A. Fennell
  2. 2. Where did English come from? English is a member of the Indo-European family of languages
  3. 3. Latin and the modern Latin languages •Germanic languages •Indo-Iranian languages •Slavic languages •Baltic languages •Celtic Languages •Greek
  4. 4. What are its origins?
  5. 5. Old English or Anglo-Saxon (449 - 1066 CE) The Romans finally left England in 410 CE as the Roman Empire was collapsing The Celts lived in England when the Romans invaded.
  6. 6. Then the West Germanic tribes arrived to England The Angles The Saxons The Jutes The Frisians – These tribes spoke Anglo-Saxon or Old English. – This language is similar to modern Frisian – Today approximately 400,000 people speak Frisian =( The Celts moved north leaving the main area of Britain =(
  7. 7. Later (850 CE) the Vikings came and brought with them their North Germanic language influence Words: WATER & BOOK
  8. 8. • The Norman Conquest French-speaking William, Duke of Normandy • Old English began to change with the influence of the new French speaking Norman aristocracy • New vocabulary: Beef, pork, and veal = cow, pig, and calf French English Middle English (1066 - 1500 CE)
  9. 9. Early Modern English (1500 - 1650/1700 CE) • The Renaissance – Revival of scholarship: Greek and Latin classics • William Shakespeare – 3000 Latin based words • Age of Exploration and discoveries: – Products from the New World: Tobacco, Chocolate, Potato • King James Bible – 1st Book printed in English • William Claxton –The Press These printed materials helped to standardize the language GRAMMAR AND SPELLING!
  10. 10. Late Modern English (1800 to 2010) • Rise of technology – Industrial revolution - nuclear, airplane, horsepower – Internet • Growth of the British empire and current expansion of the American influence on the world – Neologisms from other languages: Shampoo and pajamas Canyon and Ranch Hamburger and Rocket
  11. 11. Due to all these factors, the modern English language is very rich and flexible! (VARIOUS RULES: CONFUSING!!! in spelling and pronunciation) The English language is spoken by 750 million people English is an official language in: England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the United States.

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