Histroy of English Language

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 124
  • Published: June 27, 2013
Read full document
Text Preview
HISTROY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN BRIEF
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE
History of English language will explain, why learning English as a second language is difficult without proper instruction, even though basic components are same. Throughout its history English has been influenced by the varieties of language. Living languages never remain static. Every language is the product of change and continues to change as long as it is spoken. Only dead languages like Latin or Sanskrit change no longer, since no one speaks them now. The changes, while they do occur are gradual and slow and hence almost imperceptible. Over a span of centuries, however, their cumulative effect is appreciable. Shakespeare English is difficult for modern readers; Chaucer’s is almost is incomprehensible without formal instruction. The History of the English language: The origin

During the Roman invasion, the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. English belongs, in all its stages, to the Indo European family of languages, formerly called Indo-Germanic, and still earlier Aryan.Indo European is the name given to the set of linguistic forms from which nearly all European languages as well as those of Persia and very large part of India can be shewn to descend. The historians have used the word Indo-European because it merely suggests that the languages it comprises cover most of the Europe and India mark the length of its confines. The predominance and pioneering s of the position of the German Philologist English is one of the most important languages in the world today. More the an 350 million people in Great Britain are native speakers. In addition 150 million non-native speakers of English are there. English however is not spoken by large number of people in the world .Chinese, for instance spoken by more than 880 million people in China alone. Among the western languages English has the advantage in numbers.Spanish in spoken by about 210 million people. Russian is spoken about 200 million people Portuguese is spoken about 105 million people etc .Importance of a language is associated with political role played by the nations using it and their influence in the international affairs. Several reasons may be adduced for current importance and popularity of English. Historically the colonial expansion of the British Empire over which the sun never sets, was responsible for the imposition of the English on aspiring natives. Even after achieving independence many countries like Nigeria, India, Ghana continue to use English as official language for several reasons. The nature of the English language and its tolerance to change has made it very popular. One of the major assets of the English language is the mixed character or its vocabulary. English being the Germanic descent has many words from the Germanic languages viz, German Dutch, Flemish, Danish, Scandinavian, Swedish, Norwegian.It also shares a large number of words with the European languages derived from Latin viz,French Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Hence English seems very familiar to anyone who speaks a Germanic and Roman language. Instead of making new words chiefly by the combination of existing elements, English has shown the marked tendency to go outside its own linguistic resources and borrow from other languages. These words have been so well assimilated into English the no one ever remembers or recognizes that they have been borrowed. Any etymological dictionary will show that English has borrowed from almost every language of the world; Hebrew Arabic Hindi Tamil,Malay,WestAfrica,Chinese,Brazil etc. This is the reason why we call English a cosmopolitan vocabulary which is an asset to any language which seeks to attain international use. Modern linguists therefore accept the dynamic nature of language. One of their axioms is that there are no pure forms of language, for language, for languages keep changing all the time. If English had remained pure over the...
tracking img