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A history of


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A history of

  1. 1. A History of Language Some interesting facts to think about when studying modern English grammar
  2. 2. Words on the Brain <ul><li>When and how the special talent of language developed is impossible to say. But it is generally assumed that its evolution must have been a long process. </li></ul><ul><li>How do you think our ancestors sounded a million years ago? </li></ul><ul><li>All social animals communicate with each other, from bees and ants to whales and apes, but only humans have developed a language which is more than a set of prearranged signals. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Origins <ul><li>There are about 5,000 languages spoken in the world today (a third of them in Africa) </li></ul>What are some things that link all languages?
  4. 4. Why is English considered Germanic? The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD (their language was called Englisc )
  5. 5. Latin and German: from the 5th century AD <ul><li>Do Languages stay the same? </li></ul><ul><li>Over the course of history, languages continually infiltrate each other, as words are spread by conquest, empire, trade, religion, technology or - in modern times - global entertainment. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>A good surviving example of this process is the line in western Europe dividing the Romance languages (those deriving from a 'Roman' example) from the Germanic tongues. </li></ul><ul><li>The Romance family includes Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian (the result of a successful Roman campaign in the 2nd century AD). </li></ul><ul><li>The Germanic group is English, Dutch, Flemish, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic. </li></ul><ul><li>Modern English occupies a middle position within the western European family of languages, with its vocabulary approximately half Germanic and half Romance in origin. </li></ul>Romance v. Germanic
  7. 7. Beowulf a poem written in Old English Old English (450-1100 AD)
  8. 8. Middle English From The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer, 14th century
  9. 9. Early-Modern English Hamlet Shakespeare (1500-1800)
  10. 10. Linguistic Evolution <ul><li>The ongoing struggle between languages is a process very similar to evolution. </li></ul><ul><li>English is more than just a combination of Germanic and Romantic roots. What other words which have infiltrated our language? </li></ul>
  11. 11. New languages from old <ul><li>Meanwhile the evolutionary processes go on. Already there are many varieties of English in use. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pidgin English in New Guinea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the same way English-speaking communities in the West Indies or in India (not to mention America) have developed local words, phrases and constructions which give their own version of the language a special color. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. The Evolution of Grammar <ul><li>Added Words: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bling Bling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IM Speak </li></ul><ul><li>Changed Meanings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Starve </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Words have been left out of the dictionary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thou </li></ul></ul>