1PISMP TESL (2)
TOPIC 1 QUESTION 1: DISCUSS THE ORIGINS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN BRITAIN AND THE EVENTS THAT BROUGHT ABOUT THE STANDARDIZATION OF THE ENGLISH LANGUGAE DURING THE EARLY ENGLISH MODERN AGE (1500-1800)
Origins of English Language
The English language belongs to the West Germanic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The closest undoubted living relatives of English are Scots and Frisian. Frisian is a language spoken by approximately half a million people in the Dutch province of Friesland, in nearby areas of Germany, and on a few islands in the North Sea.
The history of the English language has traditionally been divided into three main periods: Old English (450-1100 AD), Middle English (1100-circa 1500 AD) and Modern English (since 1500). Over the centuries, the English language has been influenced by a number of other languages.
Old English (450 - 1100 AD)
During the 5th Century AD three Germanic tribes (Saxons, Angles, and Jutes) came to the British Isles from various parts of northwest Germany as well as Denmark. These tribes were warlike and pushed out most of the original, Celtic-speaking inhabitants from England into Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall. One group migrated to the Brittany Coast of France where their descendants still speak the Celtic Language of Breton today.
Through the years, the Saxons, Angles and Jutes mixed their different Germanic dialects. This group of dialects forms what linguists refer to as Old English or Anglo-Saxon. The word "English" was in Old English "Englisc", and that comes from the name of the Angles. The Angles were named from Engle, their land of origin.
Around 878 AD Danes and Norsemen, also called Vikings, invaded the country and English got many Norse words into the language, particularly in the north of England. The Vikings, being Scandinavian, spoke a language (Old Norse) which, in origin at least, was just as Germanic as Old English.
Words derived from Norse include: sky, egg, cake, skin, leg, window (wind eye), husband, fellow, skill, anger, flat, odd,ugly, get, give, take, raise, call, die, they, their, them.
Middle English (1100-1500 AD)
After William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, invaded and conquered England in 1066 AD with his armies and became king, he brought his nobles, who spoke French, to be the new government. The Old French took over as the language of the court, administration, and culture. Latin was mostly used for written language, especially that of the Church. Meanwhile, The English language, as the language of the now lower class, was considered a vulgar tongue.
By about 1200, England and France had split. English changed a lot, because it was mostly being spoken instead of written for about 300 years. The use of Old English came back, but with many French words added. This language is called Middle English. Most of the words embedded in the English vocabulary are words of power, such as crown, castle, court, parliament, army,mansion, gown, beauty, banquet, art, poet, romance, duke, servant, peasant, traitor and governor.
The Middle English is also characterized for the beginning of the Great Vowel Shift. It was a massive sound change affecting the long vowels of English. Basically, the long vowels shifted upwards; that is, a vowel that used to be pronounced in one place in the mouth would be pronounced in a different place, higher up in the mouth. The Great Vowel Shift occurred during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries.
Modern English (1500 to the present)
Modern English developed after William Caxton established his printing press at Westminster Abbey in 1476. Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press in Germany around 1450, but Caxton set up England's first press. The Bible and some valuable manuscripts were printed. The invention of the printing press made books available to more people. The books became cheaper and more people learned...