9. The history of english
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9. The History of English Profile:Landmark writers, Middle English and the Colonial Period State: An Overview of the Stages of Development of English English as a language has effectively gone through 3 main stages of development (Old English, Middle English, and Modern English) evolving from a mix of old Germanic dialects into the beautiful world language you are reading and communicating in now!English began with the Roman abandonment of Britain (410 AD) which left the country open to invasionThe Britons are believed to have mostly spoken a Celtic language which, in England at least, has left barely a trace on the English language apart from a few less commonly used words (crag, coomb, tor,) and a few place names – most famously (and debatably) LondonThe time of Roman domination has also had little effect on the language (though not the road system) which evolved later, though some place names come from Latin - specifically any place with the suffix ester. Colchester, Chester, Cirencester were originally Roman forts.In the 5th century theAngles, Saxons,andJutes began to settle in the country forcing the Celtic Britons to flee to the mountainous west of the Island (Wales and Cornwall) or to slowly integrate into the Germanic tribes, initially as slaves or servants, and adopt their languageThe original languages died out apart from in Cornwall where Cornish survived into the 19th century and Wales which has over three hundred thousand native speakers of Welsh todayThe various dialects spoken by the Germanic invaders slowly evolved intoOld Englishwhich has given modern English about half of all its words Despite this, Old English is incomprehensible to a native speaker todayThe earliest inscriptions of Old English date from the 5th century but the earliest surviving written literary text is an Old English translation of the Danish/Swedish legendBeowulfBeowulf is a heroic poem which opens in Denmark. Where King Hrotghar suffers visits of monster named Grendel repeatedly. Grendle is a monster which lives in the stamps and kills Hrothghars warriors. One day a young warrior named Beowulf appears, he is originally from Sweden. Beowulf offers his help to the king of Denmark and wants to help to get rid of the monster. Hrothar agrees and promises him many gifts. The next night Grendel appears and grips Beowulf. But Beowulf takes of his sword and cuts monster’s arm of. Grendel leaves back to the swamps to die here. Unfortunetly for Beowulf next Night Grendel’s mother appears to revenge her son. She kills one of the Hrotghars warriors and returns to the swamps. In the morning, Beowulf seeks her out in the swamps and cuts her head off. King Hrtghar gives the promised gifts and Beowulf leaves back to Sweden. Old English was enriched by the Christianization of theAnglo-Saxons by missionaries from Ireland and the Roman Empire They brought with them Latin which gave old English about 400 words such as bishop, martyr, priest, paper, school (usually more complex terms related to education or religion)In the 9th and 10th centuries Britain was often raided and some parts conquered byViking invaders who spoke Old Norse. These new invaders brought about 2000 words to the English language.Add in prepositions and conjunctions and see what sentence you can make of these words:Die, Give, Take, Thrust Anger, Bag, Drag Pillage - all off Nordic origin. The clash between these two Germanic languages is thought to have done away with gender cases in English.In 1066 Britain was conquered by the Normansand England became bi-lingual for a timeEnglish at one point seemed to be in danger of dying out. At first the nobility spoke Norman French and the peasants spoke Old English but over several generations they merged and the aristocracy eventually adopted English (after the fall of Norman France) but in a completely different form with a strong French Influence.This fusion of Old English and Norman French createdMiddle English,still hard to understand at first sight not least because of the lack of any formal spelling rules but much closer to modern English In the 14 Century GeoffreyChaucer helped establish English as a literary Language instead of just Latin or French which were used at the time His most famous work is theCanterbury Tales about a group of pilgrims from all walks of life travelling to Canterbury who tell each other comic stories to pass the time.Canterbury Tales are about the group of 29 pilgrims who travels to the grave of Thomas Becket in Canterberry. The pilgrims ranging from a knight, nun, merchant or man of law to a monk or a wife. They stop in the pub at the Tabbard Inn. The bartender promises a meal to the one who says the best tale from his life. So they decide that everyone has to say in total 4 stories. And so they do. So in fact Canterbury Tales are composed of the tales of 29 pilgrims.Canterbury Tales are also so important because they provide something like a social study throughout the class system. It’s surprising that the most spicy tales are told by the nuns. Many of the tales are concerned in relationships, sex and moral problems.Starting from about this time English underwent theGreat Vowel Shift leading to a more modern pronunciation of wordsAlong with this, the invention of theprinting press byWilliam Caxton (1485)led to a partial standardization of spelling and vocabulary and a unification of dialects. We can see the emergence ofEarly Modern English by about 1500. This was the language of Shakespeare and is largely comprehensible today. By the 18th century with the publication of the first dictionary (Samuel Johnson 1755)LateModern English and a standardised form of the language had been fully realized. Many of these dictionary makers drew on Shakespeare as an inspiration and he is credited with coining several thousand words and phrases.In the 18th and 19th century academic writers often adopted Latin, Greek or French phrases into English. This was also the time of Empire and many