Parts of Speech and History of English Language

Topics: English language, England, Noun Pages: 6 (1633 words) Published: October 13, 2014
Parts of Speech
A part of speech (also a word class, a lexical class, or a lexical category) is a linguistic category of words (or more precisely lexical items), which is generally defined by the syntactic or morphological behaviour of the lexical item in question. Common linguistic categories include noun and verb, among others. There are open word classes, which constantly acquire new members, and closed word classes, which acquire new members infrequently if at all.

Verb – is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (bring, read, walk, run, learn), an occurrence (happen, become), or a state of being (be, exist, stand). Adverb – is a word that changes or simplifies the meaning of a verb, adjective, other adverb, clause, or sentence. Noun – are a part of speech typically denoting a person, place, thing, animal or idea. In linguistics, a noun is a member of a large, open lexical category whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition. Pronoun – is a word that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase. It is a particular case of a pro-form. Adjectives – is a 'describing' word; the main syntactic role of which is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified. Conjunction – is a part of speech that connects words, sentences, phrases or clauses. A discourse connective is a conjunction joining sentences. A conjunction is an invariable grammatical particle, and it may or may not stand between the items it conjoins. Interjection – or exclamation may be a word used to express an emotion or sentiment on the part of the speaker (although most interjections have clear definitions). Filled pauses such as uh, er, um are also considered interjections. Interjections are often placed at the beginning of a sentence. Preposition – are a grammatically distinct class of words whose most central members characteristically express spatial or temporal relations (such as the English words in, under, towards, before) or serve to mark various syntactic functions and semantic roles (such as the English words of, for).

Brief History 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.

Before the Saxons the language spoken in what is now England was a mixture of Latin and various Celtic languages which were spoken before the Romans came to Britain (54-5BC). The Romans brought Latin to Britain, which was part of the Roman Empire for over 400 years. Many of the words passed on from this era are those coined by Roman merchants and soldiers. These...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Learn English Parts of Speech Explana Essay
  • Parts of Speech Essay
  • Parts of Speech Essay
  • Essay about Parts of speech
  • Essay on Parts of Speech
  • Parts of Speech Essay
  • English Speech Essay
  • English speech Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free