Development of Grammatical Categories of Adjective

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CONTENTS

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Part 1 The English adjective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Part 2 Old English adjective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Part 3 Middle English adjective. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Part 4 Early Modern English adjective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

INTRODUCTION

This paper is intended to discuss about the development and the changes of the English adjectives in Old English, Middle English, and Modern English. All languages in the world develop and change. A language is developing from time to time, and from generations to generations. Speakers of a certain language cannot prevent the language they speak from developing or changing. The development and the change of a language is not only on the lexicon, but it can be on the other elements of the linguistics, and the causes of the changes are various, such as: the political, social, cultural and technological development. There is a problem, however, of whether the development of the language can be directly observed or not. It is the genuine characteristic of a language that a language develops, and the process is for centuries. It is impossible to observe the development of a language directly since the age of man is limited. Something, which can be observed and studied are the proofs or the data of the changes. Unfortunately, not every language can give the proofs. Only languages which have written documents from era to era can provide them. The English, Arabic and Javanese belong those which can be traced, because they have written documents. According to the documents, English can be categorized into three periods. The period from 450 to 1150 is known as Old English, from 1100 to 1500 is known as Middle English, and from 1500 up to now is known as Modern English. The English language of today reflects many developments and changes of the last centuries. The political and social events had effected the English. The Christianizing of Britain in 597 brought England into contact with Latin civilization and it made additions to the English vocabularies. The Scandinavian invasions made a considerable mixture of the two peoples and their languages. The English, for two centuries, was only used by the lower class while the nobles and those associated with them used French as the result of the Norman Conquest. In 1066, English regained supremacy as the language of all elements of the population, and it greatly changed in both the form and vocabulary. In a similar way the Hundred Years’ War, the rise on an important middle class, the Renaissance, the development of English as maritime power, the expansion of the British Empire, and the growth of commerce and industry of science and literature , have each in its way, contributed to make the English language what it is today. Therefore, the development of the English adjective can be traced and discussed. Linguists differentiate the language changes into two, the internal and external changes. The first happens on the language itself, such as, the changes of the phonology, morphology, semantic, syntactic and lexicon system. And the latter undergoes changes because of the external influence such as contacts with other people having different...
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