History of English This page is a short history of the origins and development of the English language The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. 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. The Angles came from "Englaland" [sic] and their language was called "Englisc" - from which the words "England" and "English" are derived.
Help What are the origins of the English Language? The history of English is conventionally, if perhaps too neatly, divided into three periods usually called Old English or Anglo-SaxonMiddle English, and Modern English.
The earliest period begins with the migration of certain Germanic tribes from the continent to Britain in the fifth century A. By that time Latin, Old Norse the language of the Viking invadersand especially the Anglo-Norman French of the dominant class after the Norman Conquest in had begun to have a substantial impact on the lexicon, and the well-developed inflectional system that typifies the grammar of Old English had begun to break down.
The following brief sample of Old English prose illustrates several of the significant ways in which change has so transformed English that we must look carefully to find points of resemblance between the language of the tenth century and our own.
It is taken from Aelfric's "Homily on St. Gregory the Great" and concerns the famous story of how that pope came to send missionaries to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity after seeing Anglo-Saxon boys for sale as slaves in Rome: The sense of it is as follows: Gregory] asked what might be the name of the people from which they came.
It was answered to him that they were named Angles. Then he said, "Rightly are they called Angles because they have the beauty of angels, and it is fitting that such as they should be angels' companions in heaven.
Others, however, have vanished from our lexicon, mostly without a trace, including several that were quite common words in Old English: Other points worth noting include the fact that the pronoun system did not yet, in the late tenth century, include the third person plural forms beginning with th-: Several aspects of word order will also strike the reader as oddly unlike ours.
In subordinate clauses the main verb must be last, and so an object or a preposition may precede it in a way no longer natural: Nouns, adjectives, and even the definite article are inflected for gender, case, and number: The system of inflections for verbs was also more elaborate than ours: In addition, there were two imperative forms, four subjunctive forms two for the present tense and two for the preterit, or past, tenseand several others which we no longer have.
Even where Modern English retains a particular category of inflection, the form has often changed. Old English present participles ended in -ende not -ing, and past participles bore a prefix ge- as geandwyrd "answered" above.
The period of Middle English extends roughly from the twelfth century through the fifteenth. The influence of French and Latin, often by way of French upon the lexicon continued throughout this period, the loss of some inflections and the reduction of others often to a final unstressed vowel spelled -e accelerated, and many changes took place within the phonological and grammatical systems of the language.
A typical prose passage, especially one from the later part of the period, will not have such a foreign look to us as Aelfric's prose has; but it will not be mistaken for contemporary writing either.
The following brief passage is drawn from a work of the late fourteenth century called Mandeville's Travels.The purpose of this compendium is to give you a brief outline of the history of English. phonetics of Modern English and explain the strange makeup of its vocabulary.
In addition, a study of how historical events have affected the English language will highlight many of the Proto-Indo-European English is a Germanic language which. Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. search Search the Wayback Machine. Featured texts All Texts latest This Just In Smithsonian Libraries FEDLINK (US) Genealogy Lincoln Collection Full text of "An outline history of the English language".
The History of the English Language From the Teutonic Invasion of Britain to the Close of the Georgian Era by Henry E. Shepherd A Brief Historical Outline of English Literature From the Origins to the Close of the Eighteenth Century by Jeannette Augustus Marks.
Outline of the History of the English Language and Literature [Anonymous] on benjaminpohle.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Originally published in CONTENTS of Outline of the History of the English Language and Literature.
PREFACE. THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. CHAPTER I.
History of its Vocabulary. 1. What a Language is 2. The English Language benjaminpohle.com: Anonymous. The history of English is conventionally, if perhaps too neatly, divided into three periods usually called Old English (or Anglo-Saxon), Middle English, and Modern English. The purpose of this compendium is to give you a brief outline of the history of English.
A In addition, a study of how historical events have affected the English language will highlight many of the sociolinguistic principles that we discuss on this course. 2.