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Summary of "A History of the English Language"


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"A History of the English Language" by Albert C. Baugh and Thomas Cable.
Prof. Huda Alhadlaq's slides converted to a PDF file.

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Summary of "A History of the English Language"

  1. 1.  History  of  the  English  Language   The  Importance  of  the  Language:   It  is  the  means  by  which  man  communicates  his  thoughts  and  feeling  to  the  others  .  It  is  the  tool  with  which  he   conducts  his  business  or  manage  the  government  affairs.   It  is  the  vehicle  by  which  science  and  literature  are  transmitted  from  generation  to  another.   It  is  assumed  that  every  educated  person  knows  something  about  the  structure  of  his  language  ,its  position  in  the   world  and  its  relation  to  the  other  languages  ,the  source  of  its  vocabulary  and  the  prominent  political  ,social  and   cultural  influences  which  have  affected  the  language  .   2.  Influences  at  Work  on  Language:   English  today  reflects  centuries  of  development  .It  has  been  mainly  affected  by  the  social  and  political  events.  Some   of  such  events  are:   •The  Christianizing  of  Britain  in  597  which  caused  the  contact  between  the  two  civilization  Latin  and  Britain  and   consequently  resulted  in  the  increase  of  the  English  vocabulary.   •Other  events  are  the  Scandinavian  invasion,  the  Norman  ,the  hundred  years  war  ,  the  expansion  of  the    British   empire  and  other  factors  .   In  short  ,the  English  language  results  in  its  entire  development  from  the  political  ,social  and  cultural  history  of  the   English  people.       Growth  and  Decay:   Do  languages  change?   English  as  well  as  other  languages  are  subject  to  growth  and  decay  .   When  a  language  ceases  to  change  ,we  call  it  a  dead  language  .(  Latin  2000  years)  .  The  change  in  the  language  that   could  be  observed  is  mainly  in  the  vocabulary  .  Old  word  die  out  ,new  words  are  added  and  existing  words  change   their  meanings.   What  causes  the  introduction  of  new  words  into  the  language  ?   To  meet  the  new  conditions  of  life  e.g.  for  the  change  in  meaning  Shakespeare's    nice  =  foolish     Change  in  pronunciation  OE    stan=  stone              cu=cow   The  changes  are  controlled  by  ‘  sound  low’   Changes  in  the  grammatical  forms  (could  be  a  result  of  the  gradual  phonetic  modification)   It  coul  be  the  result  of  unconditioned  analogy(e.g.)    knowed*   This  process  may  affect  the  sound  and  meaning  as  well.   The  Importance  of  a  Language:   Is  the  relation  between  the  language  and  the    people’s  who  speak  it  very  strong?   A  language  lives  only  if  there  are  people  who  speak  it.   Do  you  think  that  learning  about  the  historical  background  of  the  language  is  limited  to  English  students?   All  educated  people  .   Why  is  the  English  language  important  ?   A  language  is  important  if  the  people  who  speak  it  are  important    politically,  economically  and  culturally.   Give  examples  of  important  languages  (  English  ,  French  and  German)     some  languages  are  important  due  to  the  cultural  value  of  ethnic  group.  classical  Greek,for  instance  is  important  for   it  represents  a  great  civilization.   Importance  of  English:   It  is  spoken  by  great  number  of  people,  approximately  500  million  2012  late  statistics  .   Is  it  the  largest  language  in  the  world  ?   India  300  million  china  880  million  .   The  importance  is  not  limited  to  numbers  of  speakers  .It  depends  on  the  importance  of  the  people  who  speak  it  .  The   political  role  of  its  nation  and  their  influence  in  the  international  commerce  ,  their  role  in  art  and  literature  ,  in   science  ,  invention.  In  short,  it  depends  on  their  contribution  to  the  progress  of  the  world.   It  is  important  as  a  “  lingua  franca  “  =  common  means  of  communication  among  people  of  diverse  tongues.       The  Future  of  English:    Growth  of  population:   Most  native  speakers  of  English  live  in  the  developed  countries  which  constitutes  smaller  proportion  of  the  world’s   population  .However  ,  English  is  widely  used  as  a  second  language  throughout  the  world.  In  India  which  is  one  of  the   1
  2. 2. developing  countries  English  is  one  of  the  official  languages.(  Philippins  and  Nigeria)  In  some  countries  English  is  a   neutral  language  among  various  languages.  Available  textbooks  in  English  grant  it  supremacy  over  the  other   vernaculars  .   Will  English  become  a  world  language?   Positive  consequences:   1. Travel  communication   2.  business  conduction   3.  observation  and  spread  of  science  and  knowledge.   4.  world  peace   More  scientific  research  is  probably  published  in  English  than  any  other  language.  Moreover  the  preminence  of   English  in  commercial  use  is  obvious  .   The  revolution  in  communication  helped  the  spread  of  English.   Could  the  world  enforce  an  international  language?   It  is  the  effect  of  economic  and  cultural  forces.   which  may  determine  such  a  language  .Since  world  war  II  English  was  the  official  language  of  one  fourth  of  the   population  of  the  world  .   Even  after  the  independent  of  the  British  colonies  English  continued  to  be  used  alongside  the  vernaculars  either  as   the  primary  language  or  a  necessary  second  in  school,  court  and  business.     Assets  and  Liabilities:   There  are  some  features  of  great  advantage  in  facilitating  the  acquisition  of  English  by  foreigners  .   The  ability  to  express  the  multiplicity  of  ideas  and  refinements  of  thoughts  .   Is  it  easy  to  learn  English?   1.Cosmopolitan  vocabulary  :   One  of  the  assets  of  English  is  its  vocabulary.   *  It  is  classified  as  Germanic  language  (same  group  to  which  belong  German  ,Dutch  ,Flemish  …     *  More  than  half  of  its  vocabulary  is  derived  directly  or  indirectly  from  Latin  ,French  and  other  Romance   languages  .Thus  it  shares  a  lot  of  the  vocabulary  with  such  European  languages  which  are  derived  from  Latin  ,French  ,     Italian…   *It  has  the  capacity  of  assimilating  word  from  other  languages  e.g  Italy  balcony  ,piano  ,Spanish    alligator,  mosquito  .   " 2.Inflectional  Simplicity:   It  is  an  inflected  language  however  inflection  in  the  noun    as  spoken  have  been  reduced  to  a  sign  of  the  plural  and  a   form  for  the  possessive.  The  Germanic  inflection  of  the  adjective  has  been  reduced  to  the  indication  of  the   comparative  degree.  The  verb  has  been  simplified  by  the  loss  of  personal  endings  singular  and  plural.   3.Natural  Gender  :   Unlike  other  European  languages  English  has  adopted  natural  gender  in  place  of  grammatical  gender  .  Gender  in   English  is  determined  by  meaning  .  All  nouns  naming  living  creatures  are  masculine  or  feminine  .  According  to  the  sex   of  the  individual  ,  and  all  other  nouns  are  neuter  .      Liabilities:   There  are  some  difficulties  in  learning  English  .  Idioms  are  forms  of  expression  peculiar  to  one  language  .  All   languages  have  their  own  way  of  saying  things  .  Another  difficulty  for  foreigners  is  spelling  and  the  frequent  lack  of   correlation  between  spelling  and  pronunciation  .e.g.  the  vowel  sound  in  believe,  receive,leave,see,be  is  in  each  case   represented  by  a  different  spelling  .In  the  case  of  consonants  for  example  we  have  fourteen  spellings  for  the  sound  of     sh    shoe,  sugar,  issue,  manssion  ,mission,  nation,  suspicious,  ocean,  nauseous,  conscious,chaperon  ,schist,fuchsia,   pshaw.   The  causes  of  such  diversity:   One  cannot  tell  how  to  spell  an  English  word  by  its  pronunciation  or  how  to  pronounce  it  by  its  spelling.   " " 2
  3. 3. Chapter  2  
 The  Indo-­‐European  Family  of  Languages   A  Language  is  constantly  changing  .Usually  people  associate  language  with  writing  although  writing  is  only  a   conventional  device  for  recording  sounds  and  it  is    primarily  speech  .  As  long  as  the  language  lives  and  in  actual  use  it   is  in  constant  change  .  The  language  of  any  district  or  country  is  merely  the  sum  total  of  the  individual  speech  habits  .     Dialect  Differences:  How?   Separating  one  community  from  another  for  a  considerable  time  may  cause  differences  between  them.  The   differences  may  be  slight  if  the  separation  is  slight  .  The  result  would  be  merely  local  dialects.  However  ,  the   differences  may  become  considerable  as  to  render  the  language  of  one  district  unintelligible  to  the  speakers  of   another.     In  spite  of  the  differences  ,languages  preserve  some  common     features  that  indicate  their    mutual  origin.  Since  English  is  a  Germanic  language  notice  a  close  relationship  e.g.  milch   and  milk    brot  and  bread  ,wass  and  water  …..There  are  some  common  words  among  different  languages  .Although   sometimes  the  differences  in  the  initial  consonants  may  obsecure  the  relationship  .  Thus  the  languages  of  a  large   part  of  Europe  and  part  of  Asia  were  at  one  time  identical.   The  Discovery  of  Sanskrit:  What?   Sanskrit  is  the  language  of  ancient  India.   In  addition  to  the  vocabulary  sanskrit  preserved  an  unusually  full  system  of  declensions  and  conjunctions  by  which  it   became  clear  that  the  inflections  of  these  languages  could  be  traced  to  a  common  origin  .  (table  p.18)   In  fact  the  hindu    grammarian  traced  the  roots  and  classified  the  formative  elements  ,and  worked  out  the  rules   according  to  which  certain  sound  changes  occurred.   " Grimm’s  Law:   Who?  German  philologist  called  Jacob  Grimm.   He  formulated  an  explanation  which  systematically  accounted  for  the  correspondences  between  certain  consonants   in  the  Germanic  languages  and  those  found  for  example  in  sanskrit  ,  Greek,  and  Latin  e.g.  according  to  Grimm  a  /  p/   in  Indo  –European  ,preserved  as  such  in  Latin  and  Greek  was  changed  to  an  /f/  in  Germanic  languages  .   Latin                        piscis                                          pes   English                fish                                                  foot   " " The  original  voicless  stops  /  p,t,k/  were  changed  to  spirants/f,p,h/   The  cause  of  such  change  is  not  known  .It  must  have  taken  place  sometimes  after  the  segregation  of  the  Germanic   from  nighbuoring  dialects  of  the  parent  language  .The  formulation  of  these  correspondences  of  sounds  among   languages  is  known  as  Grimm’s  Law.     It  could  have  resulted  from  a  contact  between  Germanic  and  non  Germanic  population  .  The  shifting  was  still   occurring  as  late  as  about  the  fifteenth  century  .  The  Germanic  sound-­‐shift    is  the  most  distinctive  feature  marking  of   the  Germanic  languages  from  the  languages  to  which  the  y  are  related.   The  Indo  European  Family:   The  languages  brought  into  relationship  by  descent  or  progressive  differentiation  from  a  parent  speech  are   conveniently  called  a  family  of  languages.   Philologist  named  this  family  different  names  (  Indo-­‐Germanic,    Indo-­‐Teutonic..)  but  a  most  widely  term  used  is  the  Indo  –European  family  which  indicates  the  geographical  extent   of  the  family.  The  parent  tongue  from  which  the  Indo  –European  languages  have  sprung  have  already  become   divided  and  scattered  long  time  ago.   The  surviving  languages  show  various  degrees  of  similarity  to  one  another  which  indicates  more  or  less  direct   relationship  to  their  geographical  distribution.  They  are  mainly  divided  into  eleven  groups  :Indian  ,  Iranian  ,  Armenian   ,  Hellenic  ,  Albanian  ,Italic  ,  Balto-­‐slavic,Germanic  ,Celtic  ,  Hittite  and  Tocharian.     1.Indian:   The  old  literary  texts  preserved  in  any  Indo-­‐European  language  are  the  old  books  of  Indian  .  The  language  in  which   they  were  written  is  called  Sanskrit.  It  was  first  restricted  to  religious  writings  and  later  it  was  extended  to  other   types  of  writings.  Sanskrit  was  given  a  fixed  ,literary  form  .  In  this  form  it  is  known  as  classical  Sanskrit  which  is  the   medium  of  an  extensive  indian  literature.  For  a  certain  period  of  time  it  was  looked  upon  as  a  learned  language  and   held  a  place  in  India  similar  to  that  occupied  by  Latin  in  medieval  Europe    .  Later  it  ceased  to  be  a  spoken  language  .   Alongside  Sanskrit  there  existed  a  large  number  of  local  dialects.  From  these  dialects  descended  the  present   languages  of  India  ,Pakistan  and  Bangladesh.   3
  4. 4. (Hindi,  Urdu,  Bengali)  .Thus  urdu  is  by  origin  and  present  structure  is  closely  related  to  Hindi.  However.It  differs   mainly  in  its  considerable  mixture  of  Persian  and  Arabic  and  in  its  perso-­‐Arabic  script  instead  of  sanskrit  characters.   2.Iranian:   The  Indo-­‐European  population  which  settled  this  region  had  lived  and  probably  traveled  for  a  considerable  time  in   company  with  the  members  of  the  Indian  branch  .Thus  there  are  a  number  of  linguistic  features  which  the  two   groups  have  in  common.  The  region  where  those  people  settled  has  been  subjected  to  semitic  influence  and  many  of   the  early  texts  are  preserved  in  semitic  scripts.   In  this  region,  since  the  9th  century  ,persian  has  been  the  language  of  an  important  culture  and  an  extensive   literature  .Persian  contains  a  large  Arabic  admixture  so  that  today  its  vocabulary  seems  almost  as  much  as  Arabic  as   Iranian.  Other  related  languages  in  the  near  territory  are  Afghan  or  Pushtu  and  Beluchi  Kurdish  in  kurdistan         3.  Armanian:   Armanian  is  found  in  a  small  area  south  of  the  caucasus  Mountains.   It  lacks  the  grammatical  gender  and  it  shows  a    shifting  of  certain  consonants  (Grimm’s  Law).  It  is  known  from  the   fifth  century  since  the  Armanian  were  under  persian  domination  for  several  centuries  ,the  vocabulary  shows  such   strong  Iranian  influence  to  the  extent  that  it  was  classified  as  an  Iranian  language  .   4.  Hellenic:   Represented  in  Greek  and  other  dialects  .  The  conquest  of  Alexander  established  the  language  in  as  in  Syria  and  as   well  as  Egypt  and  other  coutries   5.Albanian:   In  the  northwest  of  Greece.  It  is  probably  the  descendant  of  Illyrian.     A  language  spoken  in  the  Northwestern  Balkans.  The  vocabulary  of  the  Albanian  is  mixed  with  Latin  ,Greek,Turkish..   As  a  consequent  of  the  constant  conquests.  It  was  first  classed  with  the  Hellenic  group  but  since  the  beginning  of  the   20th  century  it  was  recognized  as  an  independent  member  of  the  family.   6.  Italic  :   It  has  its  center  in  Italy.  Italy  in  ancient  times  suggest  Rome  and  the  language  of  Rome  ,Latin.  However  Latin  was  only   one  of  a  number  of  languages  found  in  that  area.  In  fact  ,  the  various  languages  that  represent  the  survival  of  Latin  in   the  different  parts  of  the  Roman  Empire  are  known  as  the  Romance  or  Romanic  languages.  Examples  of  such   languages  are  French,  Spanish,  Portuguese  and  Italian.  These  languages  did  not  descend  from  classical  Latin  which   was  a  literary  language  with  elaborate  and  artificial  grammar  .  They  descended  from  vulgar  Latin  of  the  common   people  which  is  simpler  in  inflection  and  syntax.       7.Balto-­‐Slavic:   It  covers  a  vast  area  in  the  eastern  part  of  Europe  and  it  is  divided  in  groups   ,  the  Baltic  and  the  Slavic.  The  Baltic  languages  are  three  in  number  :Prussian  ,  Lettish  and  Lithuanian.  The  latter  is   spoken  by  3million  people  in  the  Baltic  state  of  lithuania  .  It  is  important  among  the  Indo-­‐European  languages   because  of  its  conservatism.(a  lithuanian  fesant    can  understand  simple  phrases  in  Sanskrit  )  .  Lithuanian  preserves   some  very  old  features  which  have  disappeared  from  practically  all  the  other  languages  of  the  family  .   Slavic  languages  cover  Russia  ,Poland  ,Czechoslo  vakia  ,Bulgaria  ,Serbo-­‐croatian.   8.Germanic:   The  language  descending    from  Germanic  fall  into  three  groups     East  Germanic  ,  North  Germanic  and  west  Germanic  the  principal  language  of  East  Germanic  is  gothic.  North   Germanic  is  found  in  Scandinavia  and  Denmark.  West  Germanic  is  of  interest    to  us  as  the  group  to  which  English   belong  particularly  to  the  low  Germanic  branch.     9.  Celtic:   The  celtic  languages  are  consider  the  most  extensive  groups  in  the    Indo-­‐European  .  Beside  these  languages  there  are  two  :Hittite  and  Tocharian.   The  Home  of  the  Indo-­‐Europian  Family:     " The  indo-­‐European    languages  are  spoken  today  in  many  cultures  which  until  recently  have  had  completely  unrelated   heritages.  Considering  the  language  variety  of  people  who  have  spoken  these  languages  from  early  times,  it  is  quite   possible  that  the  people  of  the  original  Indo-­‐European  community  already  represented  a  wide  ethnic  diversity.   It  is  assumed  that  the  original  home  of  this  family  was  in  that  part  of  the  world  in  which  the  language  of  the  family   are  chiefly  to  be  found  today.  Thus  we  may  exclude  Africa  ,Australia  and  the  American  continents  since  we  know  that   the  extension  of  Indo-­‐  European  languages  in  these  areas  has  occurred  in  historical  times.  In  general  we  could  say   that  the  only  regions  in  which  it  is  reasonable  to  seek  the  original  home  of  the  Indo-­‐European  family  are  the   mainland  of  Europe  and  western  part  of  Asia.   Observation  about  the  Indo-­‐European  language,  show  that  they  have  a  common  word  for  ‘winter’  and  for  ‘snow’   which  indicate  that  the  original  home  of  the  family  was  in  a  climate  which  at  certain  seasons  at  least  was  fairly  cold.   On  the  other  hand  it  is  not  certain  that  there  was  a  common  word  for  the  sea.  The  original  community  was   apparently  an  inland  one,  but  not  necessarily  situated  at  a  great  distance  from  the  coast.  
  5. 5. Chapter  3
 Old  English   1.The  Languages  in  England  before  English:    English  is  always  associated  with  people  ,  however  English  was  introduced  to  England  about  the  middle  of  the  fifth   century  .  Since  that  time  a  number  of  races  inhabited  the  island  (England).   The  first  people  in  England  about  whose  language  recognized  are  the  Celts  (the  last  group  of  the  immegrants  to   settle  in  Britain  before  the  arrival  of  the  Anglo-­‐Saxons  ).  Celtic  was  the  first  Indo-­‐European  tongue  spoken  in  Englang   and  it  is  still  spoken  by  a  considerable  number  of  people  .   Another  language  was  Latin  which  was  introduced  when  Britain  became  a  province  of  the  Roman  Empire  and  it  was   used  for  about  four  centuries.   2.The  Romans  in  Britain  and  the  Roman  Conquest
 The  Roman  attempts  to  conquer  Britain  were  at    the  reign  of  Ceaser  55BC.  Then  it  was  promoted  at  the  reign  of   Claudius    43AD.
 " 3.  Romanization  of  the  Island   The  conquest  of  England  under  the  Roman  Empire  resulted  in  the  adoption  of  various  Roman  habits  and  life  style.   The  Roman    conquest  in  fact  developed  England.  By  the  third  century  christianity  had  made  some  progress  in  the   Island.       4.The  Latin  language     Among  the  evidences  of  Romanization  of  England  is  the  use  of  Latin  .  It  didn’t  replace  Celtic  .  It  was  confined  upon   occasions  to  the  upper  class  and  inhabitants  of  the  cities  and  towns  .  Thus  its  use  wasn’t  widespread  to  the  extent   that  cause  it  to  survive.   5.  The  Germanic  Conquest   About  the  year  449  began  the  invasion  of  certain  Germanic  tribes  to  Britain  .  These  tribes  for  more  than  a  hundred   years  migrated  from  Denmark  and  settled  in  Britain  specially  in  the  south  and  the  east.  The  Germanic  tribes  are   called  Juts  ,Saxons,  Angles  and  Frisians.         6.Anglo-­‐Saxon  Civilization:            In  some  districts  the  Anglo  –Saxons  probably  settled  down  beside  the  Celts  in  more  or  less  peaceful  contact.  In   others  however  they  met  resistance  (the  impact  on  the  language)   7.  The  Names  ‘English’  and  ‘England:                      The  Celts  called  their  Germanic  Conqueror  ‘Saxons’  probably  because  had  their  first  contact  with  through  the   Saxons  .Soon  the    name’  Anglia  ‘  occurred  beside  ‘Saxons’.  From  the  beginning  writers  called  their  language  Englisc   (English  )  which  is  derived  from  Angles  and  it  was  used  to  describe  the  language  of  all  the  invading  tribes  .   From  about  the  year  1000  ‘England’  (land  of  the  Angles)  began  to  take  its  place.  The  name  English  is  thus  older  than   the  name  ‘England’  .English  belongs  to  the  low  west  Germanic  branch  of  the  Indo-­‐European  family  which  means  that   it  shares  certain  characteristics  common  to  all  Germanic  languages  e.g  shifting  consonants  “Grimms  Law”.   Although  English  belongs  to  the  Germanic  languages  ,it  was  affected  by  other  languages  for  it  has  some  features  in   common  with    them  which  enable  us  to  distinguish  a  west  Germanic  group  as  contrasted  with  Scandinavian   languages  (North  Germanic)  and  Gothic  (East  Germanic).       8.  The  Periods  in  the  History  of  English:   The  fifteen  hundred  years  of  the  existence  of  English  in  England  could  be  divided    into  three  main  periods.  The   dividing  lines  between  them  purely  arbitrary.  The  period  from  450  to  1150  is  known  as  Old  English  .  It  is  described  as   the  period  of  full  inflections.   From  1150  to  1500  the  language  is  known  as  Middle  English.  During  this  period  the  inflections,  which  had  begun  to   break  down  towards  the  end  of  old  English  period,  became  greatly  reduced  .It  was  known  as  the  period  of  leveled   inflections.   The  language  since  1500  is  called  Modern  English.  Since  then  a  large  part  of  the  original  inflectional  system  has   disappeared  and  therefore  it  is  called  the  period  of  lost  inflection.     9.  THE  Dialects  of  English:   Old  English  has  four  distinctive  dialects  .Northumbrian  ,  Mercian  ,West  Saxon  ,  and  Kentish   10.  Some  Characteristics  of  Old  English:   The  differences  between  OE  and  Modern  English  concern    spelling  and  pronunciation  ,  vocabulary  and   grammar.Examples  of  such  differences  in  pronunciation  are  the  long  vowels  in  particular  have  undergone   considerable  modification.  /stan/=/stone/  ,/rap    /=  /rope/,  /bat/=  /boat/   Some  of  the  first  look  of  strangeness  which  old  English  has  to  the  modern  reader  is  the  differences  of  spelling  e.g.  Old   English  made  use  of  two  characteristics  to  represent  the  sound  of  /th/  :/p/  and  /ð/  as  in  the  word  /wip/=with  or  /ða/   =then,   5
  6. 6. /  sh  /  represented    by  /sc/  sceap=  sheep  ,  scip=ship   A  second  feature  of  Old  English  would  distinguish  it  from  modern  English  is  the  absence  of  words  derived  from  Latin   and  French  which  form  so  large  a  part  of  our  present  vocabulary  .  The  vocabulary  of  old  English  is  almost  purely   Germanic.  Studies  show  that  about  85%  of  old  English  vocabulary  no  longer  in  use.  The  old  English  vocabulary  which   survived  are  basic  elements  of  the  language  such  as  pronouns  ,prepositions,  conjunctions  ,auxiliary  verbs  and    words   that  express  fundamental  concepts  e.g.  man  ,  wife,  child,  house,  leaf,  bird..   Another  feature  that  distinguish  Old  English  from  the  English  today  is  grammar  .  Inflectional  languages  fall  into  two   classes  :  synthetic  and  analytic  .  A  synthetic  language  :is  one  which  indicates  the  relation  of  words  in  a  sentence     largely  by  means  of  inflections  (OE)   An  analytic  language:  is  one  which  make  extensive  use  of  prepositions  and  auxiliary  verbs  and  depend  s  upon  word   order  to  show  other  relationships  and  modern  English  is  an  analytic  one.     11.  The  Resourcefulness  of  the  Old  English  Vocabulary:            It  might  seem  that  Old  English  a  language  which  lacked  the  large  number  of  words  borrowed  from  Latin  and   French  would  be  limited  in  resources.  However  ,  Old  English  had  its  own  way  to  enrich  its  vocabulary  through  affixes   and  self  –explaining  compounds.                Old  English  had  great  flexibility,  a  capacity  for  bending  old  words  to  new  uses  by  means  of  prefixes  and  suffixes  a   single  root  is  made  to  yield  a  variety  of  derivatives  .  In  fact  Old  English  showed  remarkable  capacity  for  derivation  and   word  formation  .  It  was  more  resourceful  in  utilizing  its  native  material  than  modern  English  .  Part  of  the  flexibility  of   the  vocabulary  of  Old  English  is  that  it  comes  from  the  generous  use  of  prefixes  and  suffixes  to  form  new  words  from   old  words  e.g.  suffixes  :full  ,  ness  ,  dom  etc….and  e.g.  prefixes  :fore,  mis  ,  un  ,under   Compounds  consist  of  two  or  more  native  words  whose  meaning  is  combination  is  either  self-­‐evident  or  has  been   rendered  clear  by  association  and  usage  :  steamboat  ,railroad  ,sewing  machine  ,  one  –way  street.     12.  Old  English  Literature:                The  language  of  the    past  time  is  known  by  the  quality  of  its     literature.  It  is  in  literature  that  a  language  displays  its  full  power  ,its  ability  to  convey  in  vivid  and  memorable  form   the  thoughts  and  emotions  of    people.  The  literature  of  the  Anglo  Saxons  is  one  of  the  richest  and  most  significant  of   any  preserved  among  the  early  Germanic  people  .  Old  English  literature  is  of  two  sorts  .One  is  that  which  was   brought  to  England  by  the  Germanic  conquerors  and  represent  the  pagan  stream  whereas  the  other  stream  is  the   christian  which  was  evolved  by  the  introduction  of  christianity  into  the  island  at  the  end  of  the  6th  century.     The  greatest  work  of  Old  English  literature  is  the  Bewolf  a  poem  of  some  3000    lines  known  as  the  folk  epic.  In  the   development  of  literature  ,prose  comes  late  and  vers  is  more  effective  for  oral  delivery  and  more  easily  retained  in   the  memory.         " " 6
  7. 7. Chapter.  4    1.Foreign  Influences  on  Old  English   The  basis  of  Old  English  goes  back  to  the  Germanic  tribes.  However,  it  was  brought  into  contact  with  three  other   languages  .  At  early  times  when  it  was  introduced  into  the  island  (during  the  first  seven  hundred  years  of  its  existence   in  England  ).  The  language  of  the  Celts  ,the  Romans  ,and  the  Scandinavian  .  The  apparent  influence  was  the  addition   to  its  vocabulary  .   A. The  Celtic  Influence  :   The  conquest  of  the  Celts  by  the  Anglo-­‐Saxsons  resulted  in  mixture  of  their  languages  which  is  natural  consequences.   The  adoption  of  the  native  language  was  not  equal  in  all  regions  .   A1.  Celtic  place  names  :   The  language  showed  evidence  of  Celtic  place-­‐names  e.g  the  kingdom  of  Kent  owes  its  name  to  the  Celtic  word   (canti)  .  Many  districts  today  specially  in  the  west  and  southwest  preserve  their  original  Celts  names.   The  name  London  although  the  origin  of  the  word  is  somewhat  uncertain  most  likely  goes  back  to  Celtic  .  The   Thames  is  a  Celtic  river  name.   A2  .  Other  Celtic  Loan  Words  :   Other  than  place  names  Celtic  words  in  English  were  of  two  groups     1.    Those  which  the  Anglo-­‐Saxson  learned  through  everyday  contact  with  the  natives  (orally  trnasmitted  and  of   popular  character)   2.  Those  which  were  introduced  by  the  Irish  missionaries  in  the  north.  (connected  with  religious  activities  and  were   more  or  less  learned  .     Generally  speaking  the  influence  of  the  Celts  upon  the  Anglo-­‐Saxons  was  slight  because  the  relation  of  the  Celts  to   the    Anglo-­‐Saxsons  was  that  of  a  submerged    race  and  they  were  not  in  a  position  to  make  any  contribution  to  Anglo-­‐ Saxson’s  civilization.   B.  Three  Latin  Influence  s  on  Old  English:   The  second  great  influence  upon  English  was  Latin  .  Latin  had  great  influence  on  OE  because     It  was  the  language  of  a  higher  Civlization  .  The  Germanic  tribes  who  became  the  English  ,had  various  relations  later   with  the  Romans  through  which  they  acquired  a  considerable  number  of  Latin  words.  When  they  came  to   England  ,they  saw  the  evidence  of  the  long  Roman  rule  in  the  Island  and  learned  from  the  Celts  a  few  additional  Latin   words.     Generally  speaking  the  character  of  the  words  sometimes  give  some  clue  to  its  date.  Common  words  among  English   and  other  Germanic  languages  indicate  that  these  words  were  not  borrowed  after  the  settlement  in  the  Island(e.g.   copper)   B1.  Contenental  Borrowing  (Latin  influence  of  the  zero  period:   The  first  Latin  words  to  find  their  way  into  the  English  language  owe  their  adoption  to  the  early  contact  between  the   Romans  and  the  Germanic  tribes  in  the  continent    e.g.  of  the  borrowed  Latin  words  :kitchen,  cup  ,cheese  ,wheat   pepper  ,butter  etc….     The  Romans  contributions  to  the  building  arts  are  evident:  tile,  chalk…   The  great  number  of  Latin  words  adopted  by  the  Germanic  language  indicated  the  relationship  between    the  two   people.   B2.  Latin  through  Celtic  transmission  (Latin  influence  of  the  first  period)   The  use  of  Latin  as  a  spoken  language  didn’t  long  survive  the  end  of  Roman  rule  in  the  island  and  even  the  minimum   portion  of  the  language  which  survived  was  lost  in  the  disorders  that  accompanied  the  Germanic  invasions.  There   was  no  opportunity  for  direct  contact  between  Latin  and  Old  English  in  England  .  Such  Latin  words  in  English  would   have  come  through  Celtic  transmission.   B3.  Latin  influence  of  the  second  period  (the  chrisianizing  of  Britain)   The  greatest  influence  of  Latin  upon  OE  was  occasioned  by  introduction  of  Christianity  into  Britain  in  597  .   B4.  Effect  of  Christianity  on  English  civilization  :   Schools  were  established  .  Were  they  taught  different  fields  of  knowledge  (poetry,  astronomy  ,  etc….   B5.The  Earlier  Influence  of  Christianity  on  the  Vocabulary   During  the  five  hundred  year  since  the  introduction  of  Christianity  to  the  close  of  old  English  ,Latin  words  must  have   been  making  their  way  gradually  into  English  Language.  Vocabulary  of  this  period  were  those  related  to    religion  and   its  organization  .   B6.  Bendictine  Reforms  Influence  on  English  :   The  influence  of  Latin  upon  the  English  language  rose  and  fell  with  the  state  of  the  church  and  learning  at  this  period   started  to  borrow  and  describe  less  popular  words  expressing  ideas  of  a  scientific  and  learned  character.   B7.  The    Application  of  Native  Words  to  New  Concepts:     English  didn’t  always  adopt  a  foreign  word  to  express  a  new  concept  .Often  an  old  word  was  applied  to  anew  thing   and  by  a  slight  adoption  made  to  express  a  new  meaning  .  Anglo-­‐Saxon  God  instead  of  Latin  Deus.   7
  8. 8. B  8.  The  Extent  of  the  Influence:   The  influence  on  the  language  is  seen  in  the  number  of  words  borrowed  as  a  result  of  Christianizing  of  Britain  about   450  Latin  words  appear  in  English  writings  without  the  derivatives  and  the  proper  names  .The  Latin  influence  of  the   second  period  was  thorough  and  makes  the  beginning  of  the  English  habit  of  incorporating  foreign  elements  into  its   vocabulary.   C.The  Scandinavian  Influence  –The  Viking  Age:            Near  the  end  of  the  Old  English  ,English  underwent  a  third  foreign  influence  as  a  result  of  the  contact  with  another   important  language  ,the  Scandinavian.  Scandinavian  peninsula  and  Denmark  were  one  time  neighbours  of  the  Anglo-­‐   Saxsons    and    closely  related  in  blood  and  language  .  In  the  eighth  century  they  began  to  attack  the  island  .  In  fact   from  the  middle  of  the  eighth  century  to  the  beginning  of  the  eleventh  century  it  was  known  as  the  Viking  Age.       C  1.The  Scandinavian  Invasion  of  England:   The  Scandinavian  attacks  upon  England  have  three  well  recognized  stages.  The  first  is  the  period  of  early  raids  in  787  .   The  second  stage  which  is  marked  by  the  extensive  settlement  in  850.The  third  stage  cover  the  period  of  political   adjustment  and  assimilation  from  878  to  1042.   C  2.  The  Settlement  of  the  Dans  in  England  :   The  Scandinavian  settlement  in  the  island  was  evident  from  the  1,400   Places  in  England  bear  Scaninavian  names  specially  in  the  north  and  east.   " C  3.The  Amalgamation  of  the  Two  People  :   There  was  a  close  kinship  between  the  Anglo-­‐Saxon    and  the  Scandinavians  .  Those  groups  who  settled  peacefully  in   Britain  .   " C  4  .The  Relation  of  the  Two  languages  :     There  was  an  extensive  interaction  of  the  two  languages  upon  each  other.  This  interaction  is  evident  in  the  number   of  Scandinavian  elements  found  in  English  .   C  5.  The  Test  of  Borowed  Words:   The  similarity  between  Old  English  and  the  Scandinavian  language     makes  it  at  times  very  difficult  to  decide  whether  a  given  word  in    modern  English  is  a  native  or  a  borrowed  one.  e.g  the  development     of  the  sound  /  sk  /  in  old  English  was  early  palatalized  to  /  sh  /written    sc  .   Whereas  in  the  Scandinavian  countries  it  retained  its  hard  /  sk  /  sound  .     Consequently  ,  while  native  word  like  ship  ,shall,  fish  have  /sh/  sound    in  modern  English  words  borrowed  from  the  Scandinavian  are    still  pronounced  with  /sk/:  sky,  skill,  scrub  ,bask.   C  6  .  Scandinavian  Place  Names:   Among  the  most  notable  evidences  of  the  extensive  Scandinavian     Settlement  in  England  is  the  large  number  of  places  that  bear     Scandinavian  names  (more  than  600  places  e.g  Derby,  Rugby  etc..)     C  7.The  Earlier  Borrowing:   At  the  early  stage  of  Scandinavian  invasion  words  borrowed  were  limited  to  those  associated  with  sea-­‐roving  and   predatory  people   e.g:  cnearr(  small  warship)  lip  (fleat)  dreng  (worrior)   " C  8.  Scandinavian  loan  –Words  and  Their  Character:   It  was    after  the  Danes  had  begun  to  settle  in  the  Island  and  enter  into  the  ordinary  relations  of  life  with  the  English   that  Scandinavian  words  commenced  to  enter  in  numbers  into  the  language  .   Their  settlement  brought  the  English  in  contact  with  a  civilization    very  much  like  the  English  .  The  words  borrowed   have  the  character  of  everyday  use.  e.g:  die  ,egg  ,dirt  ,  leg  ,kid  ,loan  ,race  ,  root..     C  9.The  Relation  of  Borrowed  and  Native  Words:   The  borrowed  Scandinavian  words  may  not  supply  real  need  in  English  vocabulary.  It  resulted  as  a  consequent  of  the   mixture  of  the  people  .  The    Scandinavian  and  the  English  word  were  used  side  by  side  and  the  survival  of  one  or  the   other  must  often  have  been  a  matter  of  chance.   C  10.  Form  Words:      The  Scandinavian  words  that  made  their  way  into  English  were  not  confined  to  nouns  ,adjectives  ,  and  verbs,    but   they  were  extended  to  pronouns  ,prepositions  ,adverbs  and  even  a  part  of  verb  to  be  .  Such  parts  of  speech  are  not   often  transferred  from  one  language  to  another  and  this  is  an  evidence  of  the  intimate  relationship  that  existed   between  the  two  languages.     C  10.Scandinavian  Influence  Outside  the  Standard  Sspeech  :   Scandinavian  elements  were  used  in  dialects  too.   8
  9. 9. C  11.        Effects  on  Grammar  and  Syntax  :   The  Scandinavian  influence  not  only  affected  the  vocabulary  but  extended  to  matters  of  grammar  and  syntax  as  well  .   Inflections  are  seldom  transformed  from  one  language  to  another  .  A  number  of  inflectional  elements  peculiar  to  the   Northumbrian  dialect  have  been  attributed  to  Scandinavian  influence  ,  among  others    -­‐s  of  the  third  person   singular  ,present  indicative  of  verbs.     In  many  words  the  English  and  Scandinavian  languages  differed  chiefly  in  their  inflectional  elements  .  Such  ending   may  create    some  obstacles  in  the  way  of  mutual  understanding.       Syntax  however  was  less  affected  than  vocabulary  .  The  probability  of  such  influence  naturally  varies  with  the  degree   of  intimacy  that  exist  between  the  speakers  of  two  languages.   C  12.  Period  of  Extent  of  the  Influence:   The  number  of  borrowed  Scandinavian  words  that  exist  in  standard  English  may  reach  nine  hundred  .  Such  words   represent  common  everyday  things  and  fundamental  concepts.  The  English  Dialect  Dictionary  contains  1154  simple   words  beginning  with  sc-­‐    (sk)  which  is  a  characteristic  of  Scandinavian   Language.  The  Scandinavian  influence  is  one  of  the  most  interesting  of  the  foreign  influences  that  have  contributed     to  the  English  language.     " " 9
  10. 10. Chapter  five   The  Norman  Conquest  and  the  Subjection  of  English  1066-­‐1200   1.The  Norman  Conquest:                                      Towards  the  end  of  the  old  English  period  an  event  occurred  which  had  a  greater  effect  on  the  English     language  than  any  other  in  the  course  of  history.  This  event  was  the  Norman  conquest  in  1066.Such  event   resulted  in  the  reduction  of  inflection  and  the  loss  of  a  great  number  of  Germanic  vocabulary.  It  also   resulted  in  the  adoption  of  enormous  number  of  French  words  to  the  extent  that  makes  English  almost  as   much  as  Romance  languages  as  Germanic  language.   2.The  Origin  of  Normandy:   Normandy  is  a  district  in  the  northern  coast  of  France  directly  across  the  channel.  It  became  in    1000  one  of  the   districts  of  the  kingdom   of  France.    The  Normans  soon  absorbed  the  most  important  elements  of  French  civilization  .  They  adopted  the   important  features  of    Frankish  law  ,  including  the  idea  of  jury.  It  was  at  that  time    one  of  the  outstanding    legal   systems  of  the  world.  Most  important  event  is  that  they  have  gave  up  their  own  language  and  learned  French.   Before  the  Norman  conquest  the  relations  between  England  and  Normandy  had  been  fairly  close.       Illustration   The  relation  between  Normandy  and  England   1002  AEthelred  the  Unready  married  a  Norman  lady.   He  was  exiled  by  the  Danes  and  took  refuge  with  his  brother  –in-­‐law    in  France.   His  son  Edward  the  Confessor(who  was  brought  up  in  France)  was  restored  to  the  throne  in  1042  from  which  his   father  was  driven  .     3.The  year  1066  :   At  the  beginning  of  1066,after  the  reign  of  twenty-­‐four  of  Edward  the  Confessor  who  died  childless  ,  England  was   faced  again  with  the  choice  of  a  successor.  They  elected  Harold  earl  of  the  West  Saxon.   Before  his  death  Edward  assured  his  second  cousin  William  the  duke  of  Normandy  that  he  should  succeed  him  .In   early  manhood  Edward  had  had  to  face  a  number  of  crucial  contests  with  rebellious  barons,  powerful  neighbors  ,and   even  his  overlord  the  French  King.     In  1066  the  Normans  under  the  leadership  of  William  won  the  battle  of  Hastings  and  then  they  had  burnt  and   pillaged  the  southeast  of  England  .  By  the  end  of  1066  William  was  crowned  the  king  of  England.   4.  The  Norman  Settlment:   Many  of  the  English  higher  class  had  been  killed  on  the  field  of  Hastings.Thus  William  brought  his  Norman  followers   to  replace  such  class  .  This  process  took  place  for  the  next  four  years  .  In  1072  only  one  of  the  twelve  earls  in  England   was  an  Englishman  .At  the  reign  of  William  as  well  as  the  reign  of  his  sons  the  important  positions  were  mostly  held   by  Normans  or  men  of  foreign  blood.   5.  The  use  of  French  by  the  Upper  Class:     The  numbers  of  the  new  ruling  class  were  sufficiently  predominant  to  continue  to  use  their  own  language  (  French)   For  two  hundred  years  after  the  conquest  French  remained  the  language  of  the  upper  class  in  England  .The   distinction  between  those  who  spoke  French  and  those  who  spoke  English  was  not  ethnic  but  largely  social.     6.Cicumstances  Promoting  the  Continued  Use  of  French:   The  most  important  factor  in  the  continued  use  of  French  by  the  English  upper  class  until  the  beginning  of  the   thirteenth  century  was  the  close  connection  that  existed  through  all  these  years  between  England  and  the   continent  .   7.The  Attitude  Toward  English:   English  become  uncultivated  tongue  ,it  was  the  language  of  a  socially  inferior  class  but  there  was  an  evidence  of   mutual  respect  and  peaceful    cooperation.  During  the  period  up  to  1200  the  attitude  of  the  king  and  the  upper  class   towards  the  English  language  may  be  characterized  as  one  of  simple  indifference  .  They  didn’t  cultivate  English   because  their  activities  in  England  did  not  necessitate  it  and  their  constant  concern  with  continental  affairs  make   French  for  them  more  useful.   8.  French  Literature  at  the  English  Court:   Literature  played  an  important  part  in  the  lives  of  the  leisured  class.  Thus  a  considerable  body  of  French  literature   being  produced  in  England  from  the  beginning  of  the  12th  century.   9.Fusion  of  the  Two  People:   After  a  few  years  of  the  conquest  people  accepted  the  new  order  as  a  fact  and  adjusted  themselves  to  it.  All  the   inhabitance  of  England  were  described  as  English  .  This  early  fusion  between  French  and  English  was  evident  in  the   marriage  of  the  Normans  to  English  women.  It  is  evident  from  the  way  in  which  the  English  gave  their  support  to   their  rulers.   10.  The  Disfusion  of  French  and  English:   French  was  the  language  of  the  court  and  the  upper  classes,  English  was  the  speech  of  the  mass  of  the  people.  The   relation  of  two  folds:   10
  11. 11. a) knowledge  of  English    among  the  upper  class:                  French  was  not  confined  to  persons  of  foreign  extraction  ,  but  all  those  who  were  associated  with  the  governing   class  soon  acquired  a  command  of  it.  It  was  a  mark  of  social  distinction.  Since  English  was  the  language  of  the   largest  part  of  the  population  ,many  of  the  upper  class  would  acquire  some  familiarity  with  it.  Most  of  them   could  understand  the  language  but  could  not  speak  it  .English  survived  for  a  considerable  time  in  some   Monastries  for  some  bishops  could  not  speak  English.   b)  Knowledge  of  French  among  the  middle  class:   By  the  end  of  the  12th  century  a  knowledge  of  English  was  not  unusual  among  the  upper  class,  and  French  was  also   found  among  the  lower  social  scale  .  knights  as  well  as  the  middle  class    cultivated  French.      In  the  period  preceding   the  loss  of  Normandy  in  1204  there  were  some  who  spoke  only  French  and  many  more  who  spoke  only  English  and   there  was  a  considerable  number  of  bilinguals.
  12. 12. Chapter  6   The  Re-­‐establishment  of  English  1200-­‐1500   Changing  conditions  after  1200:   As  long  as  England  held  its  conditional  territory  and  the  nobility  of  England  were  united  to  the  continent  by  ties  of   property  and  kinder,  a  real  reason  existed  for  the  continued  use  of  French  among  the  governing  class  in  the  island  .   After  1200  conditions  changed   England  lost  an  important  part  of  its  possessions  abroad  .  The  nobility  gradually  relinquished  their  continental  states.   Consequently    new  feelings  developed  such  as  rivalry  between  the  two  countries  accompanied  by  an  anti  foreign   movement  in  England.  Therefore  the  maintenance  became  artificial  .Due  to  social  and  economic  changes  in  the  14th   century  English  won  its  way  back  to  universal  use.  In  the  15th  century  French  almost  disappeared  .     The  Facts  that  Caused  the  Disappearance  of  French:   The  loss  of  Normandy:   in  1204  king  John  lost  Normandy  which  was  binding  England  to  the  continent  .  (the  bridge  of  England  to  the   continent  ).  He  married  Isabel  who  was  betrothed  engaged(in  marriage  contract)  to  a  head  of  powerful  and   ambitious  family.  John  attacked  this  family  which  complained  to  the  king  of  France    Philip.   The  latter  summoned  john  1202  to  appear  before  his  court  at  Paris  .    John  thought  that  since  he  was  the  king  of   England  he  wasn’t  subject  to    the  French  law  .  On  the  day  of  the  trial  John  did  not     appear,  therefore  the  court  declared  his  territory  (Normandy)confiscated  .   Thus  Philip  carried  out  the  decision  of  the  court  and  invaded  Normandy.  After  loosing  Normandy  ,john  lost  his   supporters  one  after  another.   He  lost  his  popularity  after  the  death  of  his  nephew  who  was  married  to  Philip’s  daughter  who  was  murdered  too.   The  loss  of  Normandy  was  beneficial  to  the  English  language  as  well  as  to  the  other  aspects  .The  King  and  nobels   started  to  look  upon  England  as  their  priority  .  The  island  king  soon  had  his  own  political  and  economic  goals  which   were  not  the  same  of  those  of  France.   Separation  of  the  French  and  the  English  Nobilty:   After  the  Norman  conquest  a  large    number  of  the  nobility  held  lands  in  both  countries  (  England  and  France)Thus   existed  a  kind  of  interlocking  aristocracy  and  it  was  difficult  for  some  of  the  English  nobility  to  say  whether  they   belonged  to  England  or  to  the  continent.   In  1204  the  king  of  France  announced  that  he  had  confiscated  the  lands  of  several  great  barons.  The  families  who   had  estates  on  both  sides  where  forced  to  give  up  one  or  the  other.   Some  nobles  preferd  their  larger  holdings  in  England  and  gave  up  their  Norman  lands  .After  1250  all  the  nobility  of   England  consider  themselves  English.   France  Reinforcements:   With  the  separation  of  French  and  English  Nobility  ,the  Norman  nobility  was  forced  to  identify  itself  with  England.   Consequently  the  country    witnessed  the  invasion  of  foreigners  mainly  from  south  of  France  at  the  reign  of  king   john  .  It  increased  at  the  time  of  his  son  Henry  III  (his  mother  and  wife  were  French)   During  king  Henry’s  reign  all  the  native  officials  of  the    court  were  dismissed  from  their  offices    and  replaced  by   foreigners  .  Those  foreigners  were  placed  in  charge  of  everything  and  they  oppress  the  English  subjects  and  nobles   and  accused  them  of  treachery  to  the  king.     In  1236  Henry  was  married  to  Eleanor    .  Many  of  the  relatives  came  to  England  and  the  king  rewarded  them  with   lands  possessions  and  money.  e.g  (one  of  her  uncles  was  appointed  earl  of  Richmond)Henry  III  1216-­‐1272  during  his   long  reign  the  country  was  eaten  up  by  strangers  who  were  not  only  French  but  of  other  nations  such  as  Romans  and   Spanish.   The  Reaction  Against  Foreigners  and  Growth  of  National  Feeling:   in  1234  started  the  policy  of  (England  for  the  English)   A  number  of  bishops  told  the  king  that  the  situation  was  not  wise  or  safe    but  rather  dangerous  to  the  whole  country   because  these  aliens  hate  the  English  people.     Upon  this  threat  the  king  dismissed  the  foreigners  from  offices.  Those  foreigners  didn’t  understand  the  English   tongue  ,  they  lacked  faith  and  cause  the  country  to  be  poor.   The  reaction  against  foreigners  caused  some  wars  “Baron’s”        was  in    (1258-­‐1265)  during  which  the  foreigners  were   driven  from  England  when  peace  was  finally  restored  and  Edward  I(1272-­‐1307)  came  to  the  throne  we  enter  upon  a   period  in  which  England  became  conscious  of  its  unity  when  the  governmental  officials  are  for  most  part  English.   Thus  the  foreign  attack  in  the  thirteenth  century  undoubtedly  delayed  the  natural  spread  of  the  use    of    English  by   the  upper  class.   French  Cultural  Ascendency  in  Europe:   The  stimulus  given  to  the  use  of  French  in  England  by  foreign  additions  to     the  upper  class    coincides  with  the  wide  popularity  that  the  French  language  enjoyed  all  over    Europe  during  the   thirteenth  century  .Even  some  books  were  translated  into  French  because  it  was  common  to  all  people.  The  prestige   of  French  civilization  was  carried  out  by  the  greatest     12
  13. 13. medieval  literature  By  the  fame  of  the  university  of  France  and  by  the  Normans  themselves.  These  were  the  reasons   for  the  continued  use  of  French  among  political  circle  in  England.     English  and  French  in  the  Thirteenth  Century  :   The    thirteenth  century    was  described  as  a  period  of  shifting  emphasis    upon  the  two  languages  spoken  in  England.   The  upper  class  continued  to  use  French  as  was  the  case  in  the  12the  century  however,  the  reasons  for  doing  so  were   not  the  same  .   French  became  a  cultivated  tongue  supported  by  social  custom  and  by  business  and  administrative  conventions  .At   the  same  time  English  was  restoring  its  recognition  when  the  separation  of  the  English  nobles  from  their  interest  in   France  had  been  completed  (English)  it  was  becoming  generally  used  by  the  upper  classes  .It  was  at  this  time  the   adoption  of  the  French  words  into  the  English  language  took  place  on  a  large  scale.  Their  French  words  occurs  when   those  who  know  French  and  have  been  accustomed  to    use  it  try  to  express  themselves  in  English.  Moreover  the   literature  intended  for  polite  circles  begin      to  be  made  over  from  French  into  English  .  By  the  end  of  the  century  the   young  generation  of  nobility  started  to  speak  English  as  their  mother  tongue  and  had  to  be  taught  French  with   English  glosses.     French  was  used  by  the  upper  class  as  well  as  in  parliament,  in  the  low  court,  public  negotiations.  French  was  read  by   the  educated  .  As  the  use  of  French  declined  French  appeared  as  either  in  court  or  peculiar(example  :mistaken  in   gender  by  some  writers  using  La  before  a  man’s  name  and  Le  before  a  wonan’s  name  .   Compare  to  the  decline  of  the  use  of  French  the  use  of  English  spread  among  the  upper  .  Evidence  of  the  spread  of   English  is  little  treaties  to  teach  children  French  when  French  was  treated  as  a  foreign  language.   Latin  was  the  language  of  record.     To  sum  up  the  situation  in  the  latter  part  of  13th  century  ,  English  was  widely  known  among  all  classes  ,though  not   recognized  by  everyone.   Attempts  to  Arrest  the  Decline  of  French:   After  the  close  of  13th  century  it  was  clear  that  the  use  of  French  was  very  weak.  The  people  had  a  strong  tendency   to  speak  English  specially  in  church  and  university.   The  100  years  war:   During  he  12th  century  the  connection  of  England  with  the  contenint  have  been  broken.  It  caused  a  hostile   atmosphere.  One  of  the  causes  of  such  conflect  between  England  and  France  was  the  interference  of  France  in   England’s  efforts  to  control  Scotland.  This  led  to  Edward  III  invasion  of  France.These  wars  lasted  from  1337-­‐1453.    The  100  was  no  doubt  one  of  the  causes  of  the  disuse  of  French.    The  Rise  of  the  Middle  Class:   One  of  the  main  reasons  for  the  restoration  of  the  English  prestige  was  the  improvement  of  the  conditions  of  the   majority  of  people  and  the  rise  of  the  middle  class.   The  importance  of  a  language  is  largely  determined  by  the  importance  of  the  people  who  speak  it.    What  gives   importance  to  the  language  ?     During  the  last  part  of  the  middle  English  period  the  condition  of  the  laboring  class  was  rapidly  improving.  (e.g.  fixed   money  payment)The  reason  for  the  change  ?  In  the  year  1348  appeared  in  the  southeast  of  England  the  first  case  of   a  disease,  which  spread  fast  for  it  was  contagious  once  it  hits  in  two  or  three  days  the  victim  either  died  or  showed   signs  of  recovery.  The  death  rate  approximated  30%.  Therefore  it  was  called  “The  Black  Death’  Plague.  This  calamity     affected  the  poor  more  than  the  rich.  The  loss  of  great  number  of  the  poor  caused  shortage  of  labor  which   consequently  caused  the  rise  in  wages.   The  black  death  increased  the  economic  importance  of  the  laboring  class  along  with  the  importance  of  the  English   language  which  they  spoke  .What  caused  the  rise  of  the  importance  of  the  English  language.  After  the  black  death   (  the  rise  of  the  importance  of  laboring  class  who    spoke  English  witnessed  the  rise  of  another  group  The  Craftsmen  and  the  Merchants  class.     As  the  towns  fold  were  engaged  in  trade  and  or  in  manufacturing  craft  and  they  were  unified  for  their  mutual   protection  and  advantages  .     Thus  ocurred  In  each  town  an  independent    wealthy  and  powerful  class  between  rural  peasants  and  the   aristocracy  .Such  changes  in  the  social  and  economic  life  benefited  particularly  the  English  –speaking  part  of  the   population.     General  Adoption  of  English  in  the  Fourteenth  century:   At  the  beginning  of  the  14th  century  English  was  once  more  known  by  everyone  .  So  learned  and  unlearned   understand  English.This  situation  was  proved  by  texts  from  that  age.  More  over  it  was  even  spoken  by  many  nobles.   However  French  still  was  used  at  the  court.  Some  writings  indicated  that  French  was  the  language  of  two  groups  ,  the   educated  class  and  the  French  ,  church,  low  court  (educated  people  include  legal  profession)  up  to  1362In  fact   people  who  could  speak  French  in  the  14th  century  were  billingulals.(  e.g  Edward  III  knew  English.)     In  1362  for  the  first  time  English  was  used  in  the  parliament  .     13
  14. 14. The  best  description  to  the  situation  is  to  say  that  in  the  14th  century  English  became  again  the  mother  tongue  of  all   England.  As  for  schools  it  was  after  1349  that  English  began  to  be  used  in  the  schools.        Increasing  Ignorance  of  the  French  in  the  Fifteeth  Century:   By  the  15th  century  the  ability  to  speak  French  fluently  was  an  accomplishment  .  Even  the  ability  to  write  it  was   becoming  less  general  among  people  of  position.   French  was  a  language  of  culture  and  fashion.   When  French  went  out  of  use  as  a  spoken  language  in  England  the  reasons  for  using  French  has  changed  .  They   stated  three  reasons  for  learning  French  :  first  it  was  the  need  to  communicate  with  their  French  neighbors  in  France.   Second,  the  laws  are  largely  in  French.  And  finally  sofesticated  letters  were  written  in  French.  The  first  of  course  is   valid  today.  But  the  other  two  disappeared  by  the  time.         The  Use  of  English  in  Writing:   Latin  was  the  language  of  writing  for  along  time  because  people  who  could  write  Latin  could  do  so  because  of  its   international  character  and  the  feeling  that  it  was  a  language  that  had  become  fixed  while  the  languages  seemed  to   be  variable,  unregulated  and  in  a  constant  state  of  change.  It  was  in  the  15thcentury  that  English  succeed  in  displacing   both  Latin  and  French    in  writing  .It  was  the  reign  of  Henry  V(  1413-­‐1422)  that  marked  the  turning  point  in  the  use  of   English  in  writing.   1425  represents  the  time  at  which  English  begins  to  be  generally  adopted  in  writing  .     Middle  English  Literature:   The  literature  written  in  England  during  the  middle  English  period  reflects  the  changes  in  the  use  and  neglect  of   English  .  The  time  French  was  the  language  of  the  upper  class  ,  the  books  they  read  were  in  French.From  1150-­‐1250   English  was  the  language  of  the  middle  and  lower  class.  After  the  separation  of  the  English  nobility  from  France  shift   towards  the  use  of  English  began  and  that  affected  its  literature  started  to  have  romantic  literature  and  translations   and  adoptions,  from  French  begin  to  be  made.   The  general  adoption  of  English  by  all  classes  in  the  latter  half  of  the  14th  century  ,  gave  rise  to  a  body  of  literature   which  represents  the  high  point  in  English  literary  achievement  in  the  middle  ages.   1340-­‐  1400  period  of  great  individual  writers.    Chauser  greatest  English  poet  before  Shakespeare.  The  literature  at   the  latter  14th  century  form  an  outstanding  period  in  Middle  English  literature.  They  present  proof  of  the  Secure   position  of  the  English  language  had  attained.   15th  century  is  known  as  imitative  period  because  much  of  the  poetry  written  was  written  in  emulation  of  Chaucer.   And  also  called  transition  period  because  it  covers  a  large  part  of  the      interval  between  the  age  of  Chaucer  and  the   age  of  Shakespeare  .Middle  English  literature  throw  interesting  lights  on  the  fortunes  of  the  English  language.   " " 14
  15. 15.          Chapter  7   Middle  English  1150-­‐1500:   Middle  English  is  a  period  of  great  change.   This  period  has  witnessed  drastic  change  in  the  English  language  more  than  any  time.   The  causes  of  such  changes:   1.  The  Norman  conquest.   2.  Conditions  that  followed  the  conquest.   3.  Tendencies  to  manifest  themselves  in  old  English.   Do  you  think  changes  would  have  happened  in  the  language  if  the  Norman  conquest  didn’t  occur?   Due  to  the  conquest  the  changes  took  place  rapidly.  The  changes  of  this  period  affected  English  in  both  its  grammar   and  vocabulary.        Regarding  the  grammar  it  reduced  English  from  a  highly  inflected  language  to  analytic  one.  As  for  the  vocabulary   large  part  of  the  old  English  word-­‐stock  was  lost  and  thousands  of  French  and  Latin  were  borrowed.   Decay  of  Inflectional  English:   The  distinctive  changes  in  grammar  was  marked  by  the  reduction  of  inflectional  endings  of  the  noun  and  adjective  ,   making  distinctions  in  number,  case  or  gender  were  altered  in  pronunciation  that  they  lost  their  distinctive  form  and   hens  their  usefulness.   The  loss  of  inflection  appeared  also  in  verbs.   The  reasons  for  the  loss  of  inflectional  endings:   1.The  phonetic  changes.   2.  The  operation  of  analogy.     The  earliest  was  the  change  of  final-­‐m  to  -­‐n  either  for  plural  nouns  or  adjectives  e.g.  the    muðum  (mouths)   muðun  .Such  –n  of  inflectional  ending  was  later  dropped  (muðu  )   The  vowels  (a,o,u,e)  in  inflectional  endings  were  transferred  to  a  sound  called  “indeterminate  vowel”  which  came  to   be  written  “e”  and  rarely  (I,y,u).  Consequently  a  number  of  originally  distinct  endings  (-­‐a,-­‐u,-­‐e,  -­‐an  ,-­‐um)  were   reduced  to  a  uniform  –e.   Such  changes  have  been  found  in  the  old  English  10th  century.  Though  the  pronunciation  has  changed  the  letters   were  preserved  in  writing  due  to  the  tendency  of  the  (conservatives)  scribes  to  preserve  the  traditional  spelling.   The  Noun:   The  most  distinctive  ending(suffix)  is  the  –s  of  the  possessive  singular  and  of  the  nominative  and  accusative  plural.   Since  these  two  cases  of  the  plural  ,  were  those  most  frequently  used.  The  –s  came  to  be  thought  of  as  the  sign  of   the  plural  and  was  extended  to  all  plural  forms.(which  is  identical  to  what  is  used  today).In  early  Middle  English  only   two  methods  of  indicating  the  plural  remained  :  the  –s  or  –es  (from  the  strong  declension    and  –en  (oxen)from  the   weak  declension.  In  fact  –s  has  become  the  universal  sign  of  the  plural  .     The  Adjectives:   Changes  in  the  forms  of  adjectives  as  the  nouns  were  partly  a  result  of  the  sound  changes  and  partly  a  result  of  the     extensive  working  of  analogy.  1  distinction  between  plural  and  singular  disappeared  both  forms  ended  with  –e  blinda   ,blindan  =    blinde   The  only  ending  which  remained  to  the  adjectives  was  often  without  distinctive  grammatical  meaning.  In  the   fourteenth  century  final  –e  ceased  to  be  pronounced  yet  it  was  maintained  in  writing  .  Thus  the  adjective  became   uninflected  word  by  the  end  of  the  middle  period.     The  Pronouns:   Due  to  the  decay  of  inflections  the  language  depend  less  upon  formal  indications  of  gender  ,  case  and  number(as  in   adjectives).   It  depends  on  word  order  and  the  prepositions  to  indicate  the  relation  of  words  in  a  sentence.  The  reduction  of   inflection  was  apparent  in  the  demonstratives  which  used  to  have  different  forms  for  number  ,  gender  and  case  that   disappeared  and  they  were  reduced  to  what  are  known  today  :this  ,that  ,those  and  these.   However  regarding  personal  pronouns  there  was  a  need  for  separate  forms  for  the  different  genders  and  cases,  thus   most  of  the  distinctions  that  existed  in  old  English  were  retained.     The  changes  happened  earlier  were  the  combination  of  the  dative  and  accusative  cases  under  that  of  the  dative   (him,  her,  them)   For  the  nuter  the  form  of  the  accusative  (  he  ,  it)  became  the  objective  case  because  it  was  like  the  nominative  and   because  the  dative  would  (him)  be  confused  with  corresponding  case  of  the  masculine.    One  of  the  changes  (simplification)  was  the  loss  of  the  dual  number.      The  change  was  gradual  and  both  the  strong   and  weak  forms  were  used  side  by  side  .e.g  the  verbs  which  changes  to  the  weak  form  have  the  old  strong  form   preserved  as  in  (  climb-­‐clomb)         The  Verbs:   The  prominent  changes  in  the  verbs  during  the  Middle  English    period  were  the  loss  of  strong  conjugation  (inflection  of  verbs)   15