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History of English


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A partial requirement for the Eng411 (English for Specific Purposes) class.

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History of English

  2. 2. ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT  Arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. Angles Saxons Jutes  Formed Anglo- Saxon England
  3. 3.  At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders - mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
  4. 4. OLD ENGLISH (450-1100 AD)  Saxons, Angles and Jutes mixed their different Germanic dialects. This group of dialects forms what linguists refer to as Old English or Anglo-Saxon. The word "English" was in Old English Englisc, and that comes from the name of the Angles. The Angles were named from Engle, their land of origin. Part of the oldest English poem, Beowulf, a poem written in Old English
  5. 5. Latin  win (wine)  candel (candle)  belt (belt)  weall (wall)  ecclesia (church)  epicopus (bishop)  baptismus (baptism)  monachus (monk)  eucharistia (eucharist)  presbyter (presbyter) ("Language Timeline", The British Library Board) Old Norse  eyra (ear)  ǫrr (liberal)  illiligr/ illr/ ljótr (ugly) (See full list: < _Norse_Dictionary_E2N.shtm#l>)
  6. 6. MIDDLE ENGLISH (1100-CIRCA 1500 AD)  After William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, invaded and conquered England in 1066 AD with his armies and became king, he brought his nobles, who spoke French, to be the new government. The Old French (Normans) took over as the language of the court, business, administration, and culture. Latin was mostly used for written language, especially that of the Church. Meanwhile, The English language, as the language of the now lower class, was considered a vulgar tongue. An example of Middle English poem by Chaucer, “Canterburry Tales”
  7. 7. Old French Lower- class English  crown  castle  court  parliament  army  mansion  beauty  romance  servant  peasant  traitor ("Language Timeline", The British Library Board)  ox  cow  calf  sheep  swine  deer Upper- class French  beef  lamb  mutton  pork  bacon  venison
  8. 8. EARLY MODERN ENGLISH (1500-1800)  Towards the end of Middle English, a sudden and distinct change in pronunciation—the Great Vowel Shift (GVS) started, with vowels being pronounced shorter and shorter. From the 16th century the British had contact with many people from around the world.  Great Vowel Shift is a massive sound change affecting the long vowels of English during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries. Basically, the long vowels shifted upwards; that is, a vowel that used to be pronounced in one place in the mouth would be pronounced in a different place, higher up in the mouth.
  9. 9.  This period in English cultural history (early 16th century to the early 17th century) is sometimes referred to as "the age of Shakespeare" or the Elizabethan era, taking the name of the English Renaissance's most famous author and most important monarch, respectively. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I there was an explosion of culture in the form of support of the arts, popularization of the printing press, and massive amounts of sea travel. Hamlet's famous "To be, or not to be" lines, written in Early Modern English by Shakespeare
  10. 10. LATE MODERN ENGLISH (1800-PRESENT)  The main difference between Early Modern English and Late Modern English is vocabulary.  2 Factors: Industrial Revolution and technology; and the British Empire at its height covered one quarter of the earth's surface, and the English language adopted foreign words from many countries.  Britain was an Empire for 200 years between the 18th and 20th centuries and English language continued to change as the British Empire moved across the world - to the USA, Australia, New Zealand, India, Asia and Africa. They sent people to settle and live in their conquered places and as settlers interacted with natives, new words were added to the English vocabulary.
  11. 11. Industrial Revolution  trains  engine  pulleys  combustion  electricity  telephone  telegraph  camera Native Australian  Kangaroo  boomerang India (Pubjabi)  turban  curry Malayo- Polynesian (Tagalog)  Yo- yo  boondocks Tamil  mango  curry  anaconda
  12. 12. Brief chronology of English 55 BC Roman invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar Local inhabitants speak Celt 43 AD Roman invasion and occupation. Beginning of Roman rule of Britain 436 Complete withdrawal of the Romans from Britain 499 Settlement of Britain by Germanic invaders begins 450-480 Earliest known Old English inscriptions 1066 William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, Old English invades and conquers England c. 1150 Earliest surviving manuscripts in Middle English Middle English 1348 English replaces Latin as the language of instruction in most schools 1362 English replaces French as the language of law. English is used in Parliament for the first time c. 1388 Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales c. 1400 The Great Vowel Shift campaign
  13. 13. Brief chronology of English 1476 William Caxton establishes the first English printing press Early Modern English- Contemporary Age 1604 Table Alphabeticall, the first English dictionary, is published 1607 The first permanent English settlement in the New World (Jamestown) is established 1702 The first daily English-language newspaper, The Daily Courant, is published in London 1755 Samuel Johnson publishes his English dictionary 1782 Britain abandons its colonies in what is later to become the USA 1828 Webster publishes his American English dictionary Modern English 1922 The British Broadcasting Corporation is founded 1928 The Oxford English Dictionary is published
  15. 15. ANGLO- SAXON SETTLEMENT  The invaders all spoke a language that was Germanic (related to what emerged as Dutch, Frisian, German and the Scandinavian languages, and to Gothic), but we'll probably never know how different their speech was from that of their continental neighbors. It is fairly certain that many of the settlers would have spoken in exactly the same way as some of their north European neighbors, and that not all of the settlers would have spoken in the same way.  This was the language that Alfred the Great referred to as ‘English’ in the ninth century.  The Celts were already resident in Britain when the Anglo-Saxons arrived, but there are few obvious traces of their language in English today. Some scholars have suggested that the Celtic tongue might have had an underlying influence on the grammatical development of English, particularly in some parts of the country, but this is highly speculative.
  16. 16. SCANDINAVIAN SETTLEMENT  From the middle of the ninth century large numbers of Norse invaders settled in Britain, particularly in northern and eastern areas, and in the eleventh century the whole of England had a Danish king, Canute.  The distinct North Germanic speech of the Norsemen had great influence on English, most obviously seen in the words that English has borrowed from this source.  Hybridization- some spellings going back to Old English and others being Norse in origin. The resemblances between the two languages are so great that in many cases it is impossible to be sure of the exact ancestry of a particular word or spelling.
  17. 17. 1066 AND AFTER  The vocabulary of English also changed enormously, with tremendous numbers of borrowings from French and Latin, in addition to the Scandinavian loanwords already mentioned, which were slowly starting to appear in the written language.  Trilingualism in English, French, and Latin was common in the worlds of nobility, business and the professions, with words crossing over from one language to another with ease.
  18. 18. STANDARDIZATION  English pronunciation (though not uniformly in all dialects), which go under the collective name of the Great Vowel Shift. These were purely linguistic ‘sound changes’ which occur in every language in every period of history. The changes in pronunciation weren’t the result of specific social or historical factors, but social and historical factors would have helped to spread the results of the changes.  The phonetic pairings of most long and short vowel sounds were also lost, which gave rise to many of the oddities of English pronunciation, and which now obscure the relationships between many English words and their foreign counterparts..
  19. 19. GLOBALIZATION  English has become a lingua franca, a global language, regularly used and understood by many nations for whom English is not their first language  Some of the countries in which English has an official status: A. Exclusive ---> Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Dominica, Gambia, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Liberia, The Bahamas, United Kingdom (de facto), Australia (de facto), USA (de facto; 27 of 50 state, by law, practices exclusive status) B. Non-exclusive ---> Cameroon, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Lesotho, Malta, New Zealand (de facto), Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Zimbabwe
  20. 20. FACTORS THAT TRIGGERED GLOBALIZATION:  Ethnoscope  Technoscope  Ideoscope  Mediascope  Financescope
  21. 21. Simplified timeline of developments in the English language (from Dan Short's History of the English Language)
  22. 22. The main influences on the development of the English language.
  23. 23. References <://> <> <> <>